Some Native Americans Have to Travel 270 Miles to Vote in Nevada
Highway 379 turns to gravel here, white and dusty, narrowing until it disappears into the craggy mountains off in the distance. Hang a right before the pavement ends and a skinny road veers toward the center of this tiny town.
They’re used to remoteness here on the Duckwater Shoshone reservation in Nye County. Its residents recently got a laundromat with seven washing machines. They are still searching for a doctor, but they finally filled two vacant police positions. There’s no restaurants, banks or supermarkets, but there is a gas station — four large tanks propped high on skinny metal legs with a naked nozzle padlocked to the side.
But there is another glaring need in Duckwater and at several other reservations: a reasonably close site for residents to cast ballots. So the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada sued in October and got two sites added to the state’s approximately 435 polling locations. They wrote a letter to the Nevada secretary of state shortly afterward to ask for more but were rejected.
Duckwater was one of those places that didn’t get a site, even though its residents have the longest trek to cast ballots in Nevada — about 270 miles round trip to vote on election day.
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