Navajos head to polls in potentially historic county race
MONUMENT VALLEY, Utah (AP) — As tribes around the United States fight for increased access to the ballot box , Navajo voters could tip the balance of power in one Utah county in the first general election since a federal judge overturned their voting districts as illegally drawn to minimize Native American voices.
The San Juan County Commission race highlights tensions between white residents and Navajos, who face huge disparities. After a fight to get on the ballot, candidate Willie Grayeyes is hoping to begin to address issues like neglected dirt roads that tear up buses and can wash out in storms, leaving students unable to get to school.
Though county leaders acknowledge the historical inequities Navajo people face, they say those issues go far beyond their reach, and court battles over voting are part of their ongoing struggle against the federal government.