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US Justice Department Backs Nevada Tribes On Voting Test

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Justice Department is siding with two Nevada tribes' interpretation of a key part of the U.S. Voting Rights Act at issue in a legal battle with state and county officials over minority access to the polls.

Lawyers for the Paiute tribes are scheduled to go before a federal judge in Reno Tuesday with their emergency request for a court order establishing satellite voting sites on their reservations before the November election.

They accuse Nevada's secretary of state, Washoe and Mineral counties of illegally denying tribe members voting access afforded to people in wealthier, mostly white neighborhoods.

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The counties say the sudden change would cost too much, and the state says it has no authority to intervene. But the Justice Department said in a new filing Monday they appear to be confusing voting rights with "voting convenience."