New Report: Voter ID Laws and the Native Vote

Voter ID laws being considered or already in place in six states could have a negative impact on Native voter participation in the 2012 election and in years to come. New analysis released today by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), warns that Native voters in Alaska, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, present significant barriers to Native Voter participation.Download the report here.

NCAI, the nation’s leading Native American advocacy organization, also announced it is supporting increased voter protection efforts in Arizona, Montana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, in response to historic and current voter suppression efforts.

“We will not be deterred – Indian Country is focused on turning out the largest Native vote in history this year – and this report helps us focus our protection and education efforts. Voter ID laws and photo ID laws are a major concern and we are working to make sure Native voters have the information they need to make their voice heard,” said NCAI President Jefferson Keel from the organization’s 69th Annual Convention being held in Sacramento, California.

The report, titled Voter IDs and the Native Vote, identifies three areas where voter ID requirements pose significant challenges for Native voters and can be characterized as having a disproportionate effect on the American Indian and Alaska Native vote: First, states with voter ID laws compromise the rights of Native voters by not accepting tribal IDs as valid forms of identification; second, such laws create barriers of cost, logistics, and distance to obtaining required IDs; and finally, these laws risk disenfranchising large numbers of Native voters through provisional ballots.

The report also states that of the 18 states that Native Vote has identified as focus states for protecting Native voter rights and increasing voter engagement, 11 have passed new voter ID laws that could disproportionately affect Native voters. A map and chart included in the report highlights the six states of greatest concern.

The report also outlines steps that can be taken by tribal nations, states, and election officials, to increase education and protection efforts for Native voters.

In January, Keel and NCAI called for the largest Native vote in history.

Check out and download the infographic that goes with the report.

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Comment by Richard Adame on July 21, 2014 at 8:09am

Bozho Nikanek

Hello    My Friends
I served 20 years in the army and this message is very important for the Native Voters Nationwide. Even if your state did not tax veterans your vote will help other Native People in states that did steal this money. 
The 4 tribes in Kansas recently passed our own resolution and joined the NCAI and the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma in passing their resolutions to urge congress to pass a law that would force states to repay illegally taxed military wages to all Native Americans who served in the armed forces and who were wrongfully taxed.
No one seems to know about it.  Not the Native voter,not the Native Americans running for office or their non native opponents and not even the Veterans who were illegally taxed.
The United States congress is aware of the wrongful taxation and stopped the illegal activity in 2001 but failed to pass legislation to repay these veterans.
A bill was even introduced into congress in 2004, the Native American Veteran Pay restoration Act, but it had no support and was quietly and quickly forgotten.
Each of you and all of us have veterans in our families. This Native Vote website must take this information and make a video ,start a blog discuss the issue and ensure the Native Voters and those running for office with Native populations are aware of this injustice.
Ask why congress admits taking millions but refuses to give it back. This illegal taxation happened to every Native Veteran whos state deducted state income taxes from all wages.
Have you ever owed taxes?  Were you late paying your taxes?   Did the Government or state let you off with a warning?  Or did they add a penalty? accrued interest? Late fee? All the above?
They should have the same rules apply to their tardiness in repaying these veterans! 
 Ahau  Migwech


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