Dear Friends,

Maka Duta has been charged with falsifying requests for absentee ballots on the Crow Creek Sioux reservation.  She says the accusations are unjust and has filed suit against former South Dakota attorney general Mark Barnett.

Maka Duta, also known as Rebecca Red Earth-Villeda, faces a trial on 19 counts of forging absentee ballot applications.  Each count carries a maximum prison term of five years.

Barnett has stressed that the case involves a small number of applications only.  "We don't have any evidence that she ever got her hands on any ballots, that any fraudulent ballots were ever cast by anything that she had anything to do with," he said.

Despite this avowal, the Wall Street Journal and others have used the case to suggest Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) stole the 2002 election.  They're scapegoating Maka Duta to discredit the growing power of Native people at the ballot box.
Unfortunately the Democrats have abandoned Maka Duta and she is facing these charges alone and needs legal and financial support. 

Please contact me about donating to Maka Duta's defense.  I'll make sure any funds are spent on effective legal representation for her.  Thank you for your generosity in this trying situation.
Victor Rocha