Indian Leaders Seek 1 Million New Voters
Republicans have recognized the risk in not counting the Indian vote and are making unprecedented inroads in what has historically been an overwhelming Democratic constituency.
There are 4.3 million American Indians nationwide with nearly 3 million of them older than the age of 18 which may be only 1.4 percent of the overall voting age population, BUT this year the highest concentrations of Indian voters are in states with tight races.
“It has to do NOT with their total (Indian) population," said David Magleby, dean of social sciences at Brigham Young University. ”It has to do with where they are distributed.
If the Democrats think they can get to 50 in the Senate, then the Native American vote in Alaska and South Dakota could determine who controls the Senate.”
The National Congress of American Indians, the nation’s largest Indian organization, is orchestrating the nonpartisan voter registration efforts coordinating with Indian organizations on reservations and minority advocates in areas with high Native concentrations.
Tex Hall, president of NCAI and chairman of the Mandan Hidatsa and Arikara nation in North Dakota, said, I million new voters is a “very attainable number.”
This story has been edited from an Associated Press report, dateline Washington appearing in the Sunday, April 18th issue of the Yuma Daily Sun.
Editorial Note: Here is a tip for new and seasoned voters from an old hand at politics. When you pick a Senate (or any) candidate who is up for re-election, check his/her voting record on Indian Affairs concerning things that affect Native Peoples like the environment, Indian gaming, water issues, the economy, education, legislation, etc. Their past record will probably be an indicator of how they will vote in the future. bobbie
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