Washington tribes launch Native Vote effort

Washington tribes are hoping to get more Native Americans to the polls and to get more Native Americans in public office..

Native Vote Washington officially launched this month. The non-profit, non-partisan organization seeks to educate, activate and empower Native Americans, who make up about 1.6 percent of the state population.

As part the effort, Native Vote Washington will stage a bus tour and a series of rallies and music concerts to encourage Native voters to participate in state and presidential elections in November. In the past, tribes played a role in elections for governor and the U.S. Senate.

Native Vote Washington also plans to recruit and train Native candidates for public office. At least three tribal members serve in the Legislature and two tribal members recently won elections at the county level.