Judge finds San Juan County not in contempt; primary held


A federal judge on Tuesday declined to reopen the Navajo Nation’s voting rights lawsuit against San Juan County, Utah, saying he felt the county was making a reasonable effort to comply with court-ordered redistricting.

The Nation had argued the county had interfered with the election by sending Navajo voters the wrong ballots. The county’s attorneys responded that any mistakes had been inadvertent, citing the fact that most Navajos in the area don’t have street addresses and their Post Office boxes are often across the state line.

U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby, who had previously ruled in favor of the Nation in the six-year-old lawsuit and last December ordered the county to redraw its election district boundaries to ensure Navajos were fully represented on the school board and county commission, took an abrupt turn toward the county in his Tuesday decision at the U.S. district courthouse in Salt Lake City.

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Categories: News

About Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at cyurth@navajotimes.com.