Round two has begun in the most recent legal tussle between the Navajo Nation and San Juan County over allegations that the voting rights of Utah Navajos are being abridged.
In a suit filed in January in U.S. District Court for Utah, the Navajo Nation argued that San Juan County is keeping Navajos from capturing a second seat on the three-member county commission by failing to redraw voting districts to reflect the 2010 U.S. Census. The suit alleges that county officials are packing a majority of Navajos into one of three voting districts to ensure non-American Indian majorities in the remaining two districts.
But in rebuttal to the claim, filed in February, San Juan County provided evidence that it indeed had updated the districts to better mirror the changing population dynamics across the county. County officials contend the populations of the three districts are now practically equivalent.