Deron Marquez: Electoral College protects the Indian voter's voice

Native women took part in the Women's March on Washington on January 21, 2017, the day after Republican Donald Trump was sworn into office as the 45th president of the United States. Photo: Indigenous Women Rise

Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but Republican Donald Trump is now president of the United States. How did that happen? Deron Marquez, a former chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, explains how the Electoral College system can benefit Indian Country:
The Electoral College is an important pillar to our sovereignty. The largest county from each of the 10 most populated states almost equals the population of 12 states where the American Indian population is noticeable and impactful. In South Dakota and Oklahoma, 8 percent of the population is American Indian. In North Dakota, the population is 5 percent, in Montana it is 6 percent, in Arizona it is 4 percent and in Wyoming it is 2 percent. New Mexico enjoys a 9 percent American Indian population and the state has had pivotal moments in the presidential selection.

The Constitution established a political relationship between tribal governments and the federated republic and is recognized by both central and state governments. Given the executive branch is instrumental on Indian affairs, these sovereign interactions are paramount to Indian country. Currently, American Indian communities have an impact in their respective regions, voicing concerns regarding the various bureaucratic layers controlled by the executive branch by voting, which leads to awarding the states Electoral College votes. A popular vote system would silence the American Indian.

Many factions make-up the whole and within the whole, diverse variables fuse factions, producing large coalitions that form larger factions within the state, seeking a moment of empowerment. Common variables typically include employment, religion, income, trade, race, political philosophy, governments, environment, common causes and the like. These common variables are specific to that state. Under the Electoral College system, presidential candidates must interact with minority states and those intra-political communities, including Indian country, to fully appreciate the uniqueness of each states common variables.

Read More on the Story:
Deron Marquez: Electoral College Vital for Indian Country and State Diversity (Indian Country Today 1/22)

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