Report Shows Voting Inequities In Indian Country

Published: Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 3:55pm
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Many states plan to rely more heavily on a mail-in ballot system with the coronavirus and social distancing in mind. But a report released Thursday said that’s problematic for tribes.

A report by the Native American Rights Fund said tribal members face obstacles like a lack of internet access to register to vote, ballots delivered to rarely checked Post Office boxes, and language barriers.

Natalie Landreth, who is Chickasaw and an attorney with the Native American Rights Fund, spoke at a recent get out the vote rally on social media.

“This is the kind of thing we want you to watch out for this year closing your polling places, shortening your voting hours, reducing your registration,” Landreth said. “The people in power who don’t agree with Indian issues are counting on you not to vote.” 

Landreth’s group held nine field hearings to gather testimony about voting discrimination. It plans to use the findings to write policy and suggest legislative action.

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