Voting controversies, legal filings surround June 26 primary election

Elections issues in San Juan County were the focus of several filings in federal court in the past week, during the run-up to the June 26 primary election.
Separate filings dealt with the San Juan County Commission candidacy of Willie Grayeyes and with the manner in which the election has been managed by San Juan County.
The 2018 election includes races for all three Commission seats and all five seats on the San Juan School Board. All eight races are for seats in newly drawn voting districts.
Under the new voting districts, Native American voters hold a strong majority in two of the three Commission districts and in three of the five school board voting districts.
Despite having a narrow majority of voters in the county, Native Americans have never held more than one Commission seat or two school board seats.
The elections were called after the Navajo Nation filed a lawsuit stating that the previously election districts violated voting rights laws.
After several years of legal actions, Federal Judge Robert Shelby made the changes.

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