In this first-of-its-kind online conversation, NARF legal experts Natalie Landreth (Chickasaw) and Jacqueline De León (Isleta Pueblo) discuss the historic struggles of Native people to vote, the legal fights to access the ballot and be represented, and why voices for racial justice are critical to our democracy. We discuss our new report Obstacles at Every Turn: Barriers to Political Participation Faced by Native American Voters, which provides detailed evidence of how Native people face obstacles at every turn in the electoral process: from registering to vote, to casting votes, to having votes counted.
The North Dakota legislature passed a bill that required all registered voters to have a voter ID that included a permanent street address. Some saw this change in the law as an attempt to limit the Native American vote. The law especially affects Native Americans because customary addresses are not the norm on the state’s five reservations. In response, tribal activists and allies mobilized the Standing Rock community. That get-out-the-vote drive resulted in a record voter turnout in 2018. See the full Right to Vote film at publicsquaremedia.org/right-to-vote/