National | Politics

S.E. Ruckman: Working to increase Indian vote turnout in 2012

"Voting advocates are reaching across Indian Country where they have never stretched before. Since early 2012, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) voting advocacy campaign, Native Vote 2012 and the new campaign, “Every Native Vote Counts,” has unleashed an army of voting advocates on the march to turn out the largest number of Indian voters in history.

In every region of Indian Country, organizers are knocking on doors, setting up chairs for rallies, driving elders to registration sites or explaining the issues to those who may not be politically savvy. They are also transporting elders by the vanload in the rural portions of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation to registration sites. Transportation to the polls on Election Day is also in their plans, said Muscogee (Creek) Nation councilor and voting advocate, Cherrah Ridge.

“Our biggest push is to get people to vote, not just to register,” she said. “That’s where it really counts.”

Everywhere is suddenly the place to be to sign up new voters. Audra Antone of the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona has recounted her must-vote speech at basketball games, powwows and state fairs. Any gathering is fair game and she has her pitch pretty well memorized, she said."

Get the Story:
S.E. Ruckman: Groups mobilize to register Native voters (The Native American Times 10/8)

Join the Conversation