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Navajo Nation Members Suing Over Voting Access

Members of the Navajo Nation who say a 2014 switch to all-mail voting in a southern Utah county disenfranchised tribal voters want a judge to order an injunction restoring polling places for the November election.

The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission is also asking that bilingual election staff be at the polling places to help Navajo speakers. The commission filed a lawsuit earlier this year.

A federal judge will hear arguments on the request Wednesday in Salt Lake City.

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San Juan County officials say the new voting system led to higher voter turnout in 2014. They accuse the Navajo plaintiffs of fabricating the claims in the lawsuit in an attempt to control local politics.

The only polling place two years ago was in Monticello, a city in the northern part of the county far from the Navajo Nation.