Advertise:   712.224.5420

South Dakota Indians wielding newfound influence

South Dakota tribal leaders say politicians are finally paying close attention to their issues now that Indians are going to the polls in record numbers.

In 2000, Indian voters were credited with Sen. Tim Johnson's 524-vote win over his Republican challenger. And last month, Indian voters helped send Democrat Stephanie Herseth to the House.

Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, said people in Washington, D.C., noticed the impact. "That's what the election did for us," he tells The Sioux Falls Argus Leader. That's why we need to stay involved in politics and elections."

This November, all eyes are on Indian country as Sen. Tom Daschle (D) faces a challenge from Republican John Thune, who lost the 2000 election. Thune is making a concerted effort to appeal to Indian voters.

Get the Story:
Counting on Indian Country (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 7/11)
Daschle says voter ID hearings a start (The Rapid City Journal 7/10)

Related Stories:
Hearings set in response to Indian voter complaints (07/08)
Voter ID law seen as attempt to suppress Indian vote (7/7)
Tribal college president calls for repeal of ID law (7/2)
Indian voter complaints referred to authorities (6/29)
Group files suit over problems Indian voters faced (6/28)
Editorial: Indian vote hearings won't do any good (06/17)
Daschle seeks hearings over Indian voter problems (6/15)
S.D. ID law passed to 'turn Native voters down' (6/11)
Tom Daschle: Indian Country shows its clout (6/10)
Lawsuits planned for problems Indian voters faced (6/10)
South Dakota Indian vote doubled last week (6/7)
Republican admits Indian voters decided election (6/4)
Russell Means ready to give up on Republican Party (6/3)
Voting problems reported by South Dakota Indians (6/3)
Democrat Stephanie Herseth heads to House (6/2)