Natives Urged To Vote
Nordgulen, a Phoenix resident and member of the Chickasaw, Choctaw and Sioux nations, has worked for months to find and register Native Americans for the Moving Forward Foundation.
“According to the U.S. Census, there are more than 320,000 Native Americans in Arizona and the Phoenix Indian Center estimates some 76,000 live in the Valley. The Foundation, which is nonpartisan, registered thousands this year.
“With the presidential election a statistical dead heat, and many swing states having a significant number of Native Americans, there has been an unprecedented effort to get out the Native vote, both on and off the reservation.
“In the swing state of Minnesota, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is planning luncheons and carpool for Election Day. On Arizona’s Salt River Reservation bus caravans have taken members to early voting. and a Valley grass-roots organization has put together Native-Poll-Ooza!, an Election Day concert to show the voting bloc of urban Indians.
“Both candidates have courted the Native vote, but there is more visible support for Democratic hopeful. John Kerry, according to tribal leaders. ‘I see a lot of Native Americans for Kerry-Edwards buttons’, said George Goggleye, chairman of the Leech Lake Band in Minnesota. ‘I don’t see any George Bush ones. If they’re here they are in the closet.
Nordgulen, 20, is a sophomore at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas who used her semester break to help register Arizona Natives. She plans to knock on doors this weekend to remind people to vote on Tuesday.
This article,. from the October 31st edition of The Arizona Republic bylined Betty Reid and Judy Nichols, has been edited for content and length
‘Native Vote’ Has It Together!
Submitted by Alyssa Burhans
IT'S TIME TO GIVE NOTICE!
November 2 is around the corner and Native people are mobilizing at levels we’ve never seen before. Before you leave the office today tell your boss, colleagues, family, and friends that on November 2, you’ll be voting and urge them to also volunteer with the local Native Vote effort.
IT'S ALREADY HAPPENING!
Throughout the country, non-profit groups and Tribes have registered new Native Voters on reservations and urban areas. The next step, getting them to the polls, is the most critical and will rely on the collected efforts of many. In states like Florida, Nevada, Oregon, Iowa, and New Mexico, volunteers are already working tirelessly to get voters to the polls in record numbers and need your help.
LET’S VOTE IN RECORD NUMBERS!
In order to have record numbers of Native people participate in the political process this year – we need Native voters in tribal communities and urban areas to VOTE. The Native Vote efforts across the country depend on people like you to door knock, phone bank, poll monitor, and transport voters to the polls. If your not sure where to plug in, please contact me at email@example.com or 612-860-3300 to get information on Native Vote efforts across the country.
DON'T JUST TALK ABOUT CHANGE - BE THE CHANGE!
By participating in the political process, we are creating change in our communities – tribal and urban. We are demonstrating to elected officials, Washington, D.C. and the Nation that we are here and we are organized. Now is the time for us to work together – to have an impact at the polls and more importantly to strengthen our communities and our collected identity. Be a part of that change – vote early and volunteer.Make your voice heard on November 2.
HELP PROTECT MINORITY VOTING RIGHTS
Federal law recognizes that many Americans require information in languages other than English in order to be informed voters and participate in our representative democracy. The keystone of these federal laws, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, makes it illegal to discriminate based on someone’s language proficiency
On Election Day, individuals who are not proficient in English have the right to bring a family member or friend into the polling booth to help interpret the ballot and other election materials. However, many voters and election workers are unaware that this is the law.
Carmela Confesor writes that the Democratic party in Tucson has more than 200 attorneys well-versed in political law who will be poll watchers in the Native American, Black and Hispanic communities in case they are needed for assistance at the voting places.
“We have never had problems before but,” she added, “Arizona is a swing state we want to ensure that no problems do arise.”
NATIVE UNITY - A place for Native American Peoples to solidify their tribes to make a positive impact on the cultural, social, economic and political fabric of American society and a place for non-Natives to better understand the ways of the American Indian.