CREDO Action

Stand up for Native American voting rights

Sign the petition

Petition to state and local election officials:

"There’s simply no more essential duty of a democratic government than to provide open and fair elections accessible to ALL eligible voters, including Native Americans. We believe establishing satellite locations for in-person voter registration and in-person early voting locations must happen for Native American votes to be cast and counted."

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    Stand up for Native American voting rights

    If every American could vote, there is little chance Donald Trump and his Republican cronies would get away with their radical, hateful agenda. No wonder Republicans across the country try to make it as difficult as possible to vote.

    Native Americans, in particular, face deliberate obstacles to voting. After centuries of genocide and land theft, America only allowed Native peoples to vote starting in 1924. But the years since brought systematic voter disenfranchisement – and got even worse after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act.1

    The 2018 midterms once more included voter suppression tactics on Native reservations. We need to turn up the pressure on state and local election officials immediately or risk more of the same in years to come.

    Stand up for Native American voting rights.

    There is some good news: Washington Governor Jay Inslee recently signed landmark Native American voting rights legislation into law that advocates hope could serve as a model for the nation.2 That is why we are standing alongside our friends at Four Directions, a leader for Native American voting rights and engagement, to fight to protect and expand access to the ballot box.

    Today, Native peoples who try to vote face obscene obstacles including:3

    • No federal protection. Until the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, counties with a history of voter suppression had to apply for pre-clearance before passing laws to restrict voting. Now, those protections are gone – and the Trump administration gives a free pass to counties that try to suppress the vote.
    • No physical addresses. In 2018, states like South Dakota rejected absentee ballots because they lacked addresses, despite states' failure to provide Native Americans who live on reservations physical addresses. States with voter ID laws also commonly reject tribal ID cards.
    • No easy-to-access polling places. Last fall, some indigenous peoples had to drive more than 150 miles to get to a polling place – the same strategy of systematically limiting polling places and voting machines that right-wing politicians use to suppress the vote of other communities of color.

    State and county election officials hold immense power over small decisions that make a huge difference in whether Americans can exercise their right to vote. They aren't used to hearing from advocates – so speaking out now could produce important changes.

    Stand up for Native American voting rights.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Peter Dunphy, "The State of Native American Voting Rights," The Brennan Center for Justice, March 13, 2019.
    2. Massoud Hayoun, "Could Washington State Be a Model for Native Voting Rights Reform?" Pacific Standard, March 20, 2019.
    3. Dunphy, "The State of Native American Voting Rights."