Nevada bill to ensure tribal access to polling places signed into law
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Gov. Steve Sisolak has signed into law the bill designed to remove barriers to voting on Indian reservations and colonies.
AB137 eliminates the requirement that tribal governments get approval from local election officials to establish polling sites.
The measure requires city and county clerks to recognize established polling places on tribal lands unless the tribes request otherwise.
Sponsor Assemblyman Howard Watts, D-Las Vegas, said the previous rules requiring tribal governments to reapply for polling places in each election was cumbersome. He said the bill will ensure every community has access to the ballot box.
The bill was unanimously approved this spring in both the Assembly (41-0) and Senate (21-0).
The news comes after Native residents across Northern Nevada were able to cast their votes at polling stations within several local tribal communities for the first time during the 2018 election.
After gold was found in California, silver was discovered in Virginia City, and the Comstock bonanza lured those seeking riches onto Washoe terrain. The settlers viewed the land as an object of financial opportunity. In a very short time, pine nuts, seeds, game and fish had been overused. The harmonious rhythm that the Washoe had maintained was broken.