September 22, 2012

NCAI aims to increase Indian voting

National Tribal Group Aims to Register More VotersA national tribal advocacy group is planning a week of voter education and registration events in more than 130 communities across Indian Country in an effort to boost turnout in November.

The National Congress of American Indians says there's a "civic emergency" in American Indian communities. The group says two out of five eligible American Indian and Alaska Natives are not registered to vote.

The group wants to boost participation by at least 10 percent.

Next week's events are expected to reach more than 35,000 people in 29 states.
Elections 2012: Native Voter Drive Kicks Off This Week

By Mark TrahantMore than 35,000 people in 130 communities across the country are participating in Native Vote Action Week beginning today. Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day.

“Now is a crucial time for Indian country to work together to get Native Voters registered and ready to go to make our voice heard on November 6th as we participate in national and state elections,” National Congress of American Indians President Jefferson Keel said. Native Vote Action Week is a response to Keel’s call during the January 2012 State of Indian Nations, for the largest Native voter turnout in history. “The Native vote counts for our people, our rights, and our culture. We must raise our voice and remember, that every Native vote counts.”

Earlier this year NCAI declared “a civic emergency” because of the low rates of voting participation by American Indians and Alaska Natives. NCAI said only two out of every five eligible voters are not registered–some 1 million eligible voters were unregistered.

Native Vote events this week include registration drives at tribal colleges, tribal offices and health centers.
Comment:  For more on voter registration, see White Americans Fear a Black President and Only Property Owners Should Vote?

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