Over the next few months, The Wellbriety Movement will be providing some communications around the importance of registering to vote! Every vote counts! Remember there is power in numbers. When we vote and get our family members to vote, we can impact outcomes and change the debate. Below we have provided some information on the barriers to voting in Indian Country and a few tools that can be used to overcome these barriers.
“Native Americans were denied American citizenship and voting rights until 1924, and that history had a chilling effect on electoral and civic participation,” said Ramos, a Democrat from Highland, speaking earlier this month before the California Assembly, which approved a legislative proposal to help Native Americans gain greater access to the electoral process and passed the proposed measure to the Senate.
Native Americans have the lowest voting rate of any American racial group, an outgrowth of having one of the lowest voter registration rates in the U.S. Nearly two out of five eligible Native Americans nationwide are not registered to vote, in part because of the barriers that come with living on tribal land.
- Many reservation residents don’t have street addresses for voter registration.
- Multiple families often live in the same house and share the same post office box, there is concern that some people wouldn’t get their mail ballots.
- Many reservation voters don’t want to spend money on a postage stamp to return a ballot by mail.
- Reservation residents who had been picking up relatives’ ballots to deliver to the elections office can no longer do that under the new Ballot Interference Prevention Act that limits a person to turning in no more than six ballots for other people and requires a form to be completed. The law’s $500 possible penalty has deterred family members from collecting ballots.
A few tools that can be used to over come these barriers;
- Visit nativevote.org and utilize their regional map to find your state and obtain more information on your state’s election laws and important dates, contact information for Native Vote Coordinators and state political party information.
- Research and support Bills and Legislation passed in your state that help the Native community gain greater access to voting.
- Contact your political party.
- Share voting information with your family, friends and community and encourage those around you to vote.
Your Vote Matters; Register to Vote for the 2020 Presidential Election
The Wellbriety Movement is strongly encouraging everyone to register to vote! To get more information, visit usa gov.