Today is Election Day in the United States, and voters have already begun casting ballots in person this morning. Polls close on the East Coast starting at 7 P.M. EST this evening, and you can follow the full results from House, Senate, and the Presidential Elections here.
In Texas, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hansen turned aside a push from three Republican candidates and a conservative activist to toss out nearly 127,000 ballots cast by drive-through voting in Harris County. The Texas Supreme Court rejected a case from the same plaintiffs over the same issue on Sunday.
Chicago’s Hockey Team announced on Sunday that they will open their home games and other events by reading out “a formal statement that recognizes the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.” The team stated that they “acknowledge that the team, its foundation, and the spaces we maintain, work, and complete within, stand upon the traditional homelands of the Miami, Sauk, Fox, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, and the Council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi Nations.”
Navajo Nation Window Rock Judicial District Judge Malcolm Begay dismissed a lawsuit that sought to force a primary election for tribal officials that was canceled as a result of COVID-19. Elouise Brown filed the lawsuit in August, claiming the voting rights of Navajos were violated when tribal lawmakers overturned a presidential veto of legislation that canceled the tribe’s primary election.
The Navajo Transitional Energy Company has negotiated an agreement with Public Service Co. of New Mexico (PNM) wherein the tribal company would take over PNM’s 13% share of the Four Corners Power Plant in 2024, expanding the Navajo Nation’s investment in coal-fired electricity generation.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Sunday Navajo Nation COVID-19 Update: 73 New Cases
Native News Online, November 1
The Navajo Department of Health reported 73 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and no recent deaths. The total number of deaths remains 581 as previously reported on Saturday. Reports indicate that 7,546 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 125,851 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 11,828, including two additional delayed reported cases.
Federal Judge Rejects GOP Push To Toss 127,000 Ballots In Texas
Politico, Josh Gerstein and Zach Montellaro, November 2
A federal judge in Houston has turned aside a last-ditch push by Republicans to toss out nearly 127,000 ballots cast by drive-through voting in recent days in the state’s largest county, which is a major Democratic stronghold.
A New Report on Indigenous Peoples Reveals Voting Habits
Native News Online, Levi Rickert, November 2
When Native voters go to the polls on Election Day, they will do so feeling their priorities are not being adequately addressed, with a lack of trust in the U.S. government and feelings of uncertainty about the direction of the country. These findings were part of the Indigenous Futures Survey released last week by IllumiNative, Native Organizers Alliance and the Center for Native American Youth.
Some Navajo Nation Citizens Are Voting By Horseback
Native News Online, November 2
30-year-old Allie Young (Diné) turned the activism she employed to fight the deadly coronavirus into helping to register and get out the vote on the Navajo Nation. She organized an initiative called the “Ride to the Polls” effort, which involves riding to the polls on horseback.
Getting To The Polls Can Be Hard In Navajo Nation. This Woman Is Leading Voters On Horseback.
The Washington Post, Sydney Page, November 2
There are only a few available polling stations for Navajo voters, many of whom have limited access to transportation. Frustrated by the barriers that discourage voting among Indigenous people, Allie Young, 30, hatched a plan. She started “Ride to the Polls” in early October, hoping to empower Native American youth to vote in the 2020 election while connecting with their cultural heritage. She leads groups on horseback along a 10-mile route from Church Rock in Navajo County to the polling stations in Kayenta, Ariz.
Judge Dismisses Suit Over Navajo Primary
AP News, November 2
Elouise Brown filed the lawsuit in August, claiming the voting rights of Navajos were violated when tribal lawmakers overturned a presidential veto of legislation that canceled the tribe’s primary election. Window Rock Judicial District Judge Malcolm Begay dismissed the lawsuit last week, saying that Brown did not follow provisions in tribal law to sue the Navajo Nation and, therefore, the court did not have jurisdiction.
Judge Dismisses Defamation Claim By Dakota Access Protester
AP News, James MacPherson, November 2
A federal judge has dismissed part of a lawsuit by a New York City woman who was severely injured in an explosion while protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota four years ago. In a 54-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Daniel Traynor dismissed claims of defamation against law enforcement officials who made public statements blaming the woman for her own injury.
Before Every Home Game, Chicago Blackhawks Reads Out The Native American Land Recognition.
The Washington Newsday, Jonathan Edwards, November 2
The Chicago Blackhawks announced on Sunday that the team will open their home games and other events by reading out a land recognition of the Indians. The hockey team committed to a land recognition or “a formal declaration recognizing the unique and enduring relationship between the Native American Heritage peoples and their traditional territories” on the first day of Native American Heritage Month.
Navajo Energy Company To Acquire Shares In Coal Power Plant
AP News, Susan Montoya Bryan, November 2
The Navajo Transitional Energy Co. has negotiated an agreement in which Public Service Co. of New Mexico would divest from the Four Corners Power Plant in 2024 with the tribal company taking over PNM’s 13% share. The agreement would call for the utility to pay to $75 million to the tribal company for breaking current coal contract obligations at Four Corners.
Man At Center Of Tribal Sovereignty Ruling Heads To Retrial
AP News, November 1
A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation who was convicted in state court of sexually assaulting a child will be retried in federal court after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in July that Oklahoma prosecutors lack the authority to pursue criminal cases against Native Americans in parts of the state.
Washington State Salmon Management Challenged By Anglers
AP News, November 1
The Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife has argued that a group run by a fishing guide has no legal standing after the group challenged the agency’s management of salmon in the region. Fish Northwest, a group of non-Native American recreational anglers, argued that the department failed to meet the requirements set by a 1974 landmark judicial decision mandating that state officials co-manage fishing areas with treaty tribes.
Four New Indigenous Films By And About Native Women
Indian Country Today, Vincent Schilling, November 2
For the past 45 years, the nonprofit Women Make Movies has been one of the leading industry organizations working to help female filmmakers, directors and producers create films with a message of female empowerment and resilience. Among its latest efforts are four Indigenous-themed films, each employing a female Native producer and/or director.