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Published October 20, 2010, 12:03 PM

Judge to Decide on Benson County Voting Dispute

A federal judge says a voting dispute in Benson County involving an American Indian reservation is "not a case of overt racism."

By: Associated Press, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - A federal judge says a voting dispute in Benson County involving an American Indian reservation is "not a case of overt racism."

The Grand Forks Herald reports that Judge Ralph Erickson is expected to decide soon whether to stop Benson County from closing three polling sites on the Spirit Lake reservation for the Nov. 2 election.

Erickson said in court that the issue is whether the county's decision restricts anyone's right to vote.

The county is having only one polling site to see if mail voting will increase voter turnout and save money. The tribe took the case to court, arguing that the decision continues a "history of official racial discrimination in voting."

The county also is closing four other polling sites not on the reservation.

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