- Associated Press - Friday, May 23, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has introduced legislation aimed at protecting voting rights for Alaska Natives and American Indians.

The Alaska Democrat’s office says the bill is meant to complement legislation introduced earlier this year that would rewrite a formula for special protections under the federal Voting Rights Act after the prior provision was thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Begich’s bill would, among other things, allow for valid tribal IDs to be used at polling places that require identification. It would require Justice Department approval for certain polling place changes on Indian reservations and in Alaska Native villages. It also calls for ballots to be translated into written Native languages.

Senators from Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana joined Begich in introducing the bill.

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