Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA Today is the deadline to register to vote in the state of Arizona in the primary election that is August 28.
You Can't Vote to Elect the First American Indian
Woman to Congress if You Are Not Registered to Vote Today
Arizona's primary election is important to American Indians because the first Navajo woman to run for Congress, 34 year old Wenona Benally Baldenegro, would become the first American Indian woman ever elected to Congress in the history of the United States.
But, she has to win the primary first in order to run as the Democratic nominee in November for Arizona's First Congressional District. In order to vote in the primary, Arizona residents must be registered to vote today.
Arizona's First Congressional District is comprised of 41 percent ethnic voters: American Indians represent 21 percent and Latino voters represent another 20 percent.
Voter registration among American Indians is a focus of Native Vote 2012, a program of the National Congress of American Indians, based in Washington DC.
“Over the last century since securing our rightful place at the ballot box, Native people have remained one of the most disenfranchised group of voters in the United States. Today as a result, only two out of every five eligible American Indian and Alaska Native voters are registered to vote,”
Jefferson Keel, Chickasaw, president of the National Congress of American Indians told delegates of the organization's mid-year conference in Lincoln, Nebraska last month.
“In 2008 over 1 million eligible Native voters were unregistered. I think that Indian Country should consider this a civic emergency. We should all be concerned; American Indians and Alaska Natives, tribal, and state and federal governments. There are a number of concrete actions that we can take now to change this situation.”
If you are a resident of Arizona and are not registered to vote, you may do so online at ServiceArizona.com
posted July 30, 2012 7:59 am edt