Benson prosecutor responds to tribal lawsuit

Minnewaukan, North Dakota (AP) October 2010

Benson County State’s Attorney Jim Wang says a dispute over voting on the Spirit Lake reservation will have to be resolved in “a very narrow window.”

Wang tells KZZY radio that the county has about three weeks to respond to a federal lawsuit the tribe filed seeking to stop the county from closing reservation voting sites during the November election. The election is about three weeks away.

The county is having only one polling site to see if mail voting will increase voter turnout and save money. The site is the Minnewaukan courthouse.

Tribal leaders say the decision will hurt Indian voting. Wang says if a judge orders more polling sites this close to the election, it might cause confusion.

Sen. Byron Dorgan has asked U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon to review the county’s decision.