Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 50

SPECIAL SEC TION
This is the fourth installment in
a series of articles celebrating the
centennial of the ratification of the
19th Amendment. The D.C. Bar pays
homage to the countless women
and supporters of the decades-long
suffrage movement whose persistence and sacrifice changed the
course of history.

For Native American Voters,
the Fight Is Far From Over
By Stacy Julien

J

ust as Patricia Ferguson-Bohnee
was finishing up a phone call,
she received information that 80
poll locations may close in Arizona
and, more importantly for her, in
Indian Country. The Arizona State
University law professor again found
herself preparing to dig into another
fight on behalf of Native American
voters.
"It's always something," she said with exasperation in her voice.

Her irritation was valid. Because while Native
Americans were legally permitted to vote in
every state in the early 1960s, roadblocks still
make exercising that right a burden, from
address requirements to blatant racism and
hostility.
And for Native American women, the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 did
not mean voting rights for them. Native
American and Asian women, who were not
granted citizenship until years later, remained
disenfranchised. And even when Native
Americans were finally granted citizenship in
1924, it would take another 40 years before they
could get full voting rights.
Many Native Americans served in the military
and fought for the country, yet they still faced

50 WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

JUNE 2020

It would take two landmark cases in 1948 -
Harrison v. Laveen and Trujillo v. Garley - before
Native Americans could vote in U.S. elections,
regardless if they had paid property taxes or
lived on tribal land. Even so, they were not
eligible to vote in every state until 1962, when
Utah became the last state to remove formal
barriers. And even with the eligibility to vote, an
array of hurdles have attributed to a lack of participation in elections and Native Americans'
long history of lack of trust in the government.
One major obstacle is the address requirement
to mail in ballots. Native Americans living on
reservations don't have a standard mailing
address. So in places like Washington State,
which only offers a mail-in option, some Native
Americans may never receive a ballot to vote.
During the height of the coronavirus pandemic
this past spring, mailing in ballots made sense
for quarantine directives, but it also took away
an opportunity for many to vote.
"In these trying times, we have the potential to
drastically disenfranchise Native Americans,"
says Jacqueline De León, a staff attorney with
the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and
member of the Isleta Pueblo. Started in 1970,
the NARF provides legal assistance to Indian
tribes, organizations, and individuals. "We're
pushing for a designated building that will allow
for ballots to be dropped off and picked up."

CONTINUING BARRIERS
The NARF is also fighting a ban on third-party
ballot collecting, a practice Native Americans
and Alaska natives rely on to participate in

Lynn French/Arizona State University

Luckily, this "something" had a positive ending.
Those tribal polling locations remained open.
But Ferguson-Bohnee, faculty director of the
Indian Legal Program and director of the Indian
Legal Clinic at ASU, is one of the warriors on the
frontline dealing with similar battles often.

discrimination and resistance when they
attempted to vote. Some states (in particular
Arizona and New Mexico) denied voting opportunities to Native Americans because they didn't
pay real estate taxes and because they lived
under tribal jurisdictions and not the federal
government.

Patricia Ferguson-Bohnee
elections. In 2018, Montana passed a measure
that "prohibits a person from collecting another
voter's ballot, with certain exceptions." The
NARF, the American Civil Liberties Union, and
five Native American tribes filed suit to strike
down the measure.
"There's no basis for it," Ferguson-Bohnee says.
"These are just ways to suppress the vote."
Advocates say that under the guise of voter
fraud protection, some of these laws are being
put in place to undermine Native Americans'
ability to vote. "Protection shouldn't be used as
a tool to prevent people to vote," she adds.



Washington Lawyer - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - June 2020

YOUR VOICE
FROM OUR PRESIDENT
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
BAR BUSINESS: BUDGET REPORT
MEET GEOFFREY M. KLINEBERG: 49TH PRESIDENT OF THE D.C. BAR
MOVING THE NEEDLE ON LAW FIRM DIVERSITY
THE 2020 JOHN PAYTON LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
JAMES SANDMAN GOES BACK TO SCHOOL
LAW & SERVICE: OAG CONNECTS TO THE COMMUNITY
ON FURTHER REVIEW
THE LEARNING CURVE
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
WORTH READING
ATTORNEY BRIEFS
DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
THE PRO BONO EFFECT
SPECIAL SECTION: UNFINISHED FIGHT
LAST WORD
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 4
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - YOUR VOICE
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 7
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 9
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - BAR BUSINESS: BUDGET REPORT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MEET GEOFFREY M. KLINEBERG: 49TH PRESIDENT OF THE D.C. BAR
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 14
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MOVING THE NEEDLE ON LAW FIRM DIVERSITY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE 2020 JOHN PAYTON LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 26
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - JAMES SANDMAN GOES BACK TO SCHOOL
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - LAW & SERVICE: OAG CONNECTS TO THE COMMUNITY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - ON FURTHER REVIEW
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE LEARNING CURVE
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 40
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - WORTH READING
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - ATTORNEY BRIEFS
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 45
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE PRO BONO EFFECT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 48
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - SPECIAL SECTION: UNFINISHED FIGHT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 51
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - LAST WORD
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover4
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