The Native vote can and has made a difference. For example, in 2006, U.S. Senator John Tester (D-Montana) won his Senate seat over the Republican incumbent candidate by only 3,562 votes. In that election, more than 17,000 voters cast ballots on Montana’s seven Indian reservations. Again in 2012, Senator Tester was re-elected by a narrow margin with the power of the Native vote. Our vote is our power, and we need to en- sure that every Native vote counts.
There are over 4.7 million eligible Native voters over the age of 18+. Increasing the participation of Nayive Americans in the voting process is one of the key means of reclaiming our power.
In the United States, power is available through participatory democracy. If Native Americans can engage fully in the political system — free from the barriers that currently obstruct us — we can reclaim power and participate in a way that is fair and just.
How do I register? Online registration has ended, but you can register or update your registration when you vote, whether that is at your polling place on Election Day or at an early voting location. You will need proof of residence to register — a driver's license or tribal ID with current address. If your ID does not show your current name or address, you can bring a photo ID and a document with current name and address. Learn more at https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us.
How do I vote early? You can vote early at your county courthouse or possibly other locations, depending on where you live. In Mille Lacs County, early voting takes place at the courthouse in Milaca; In Aitkin County, the courthouse in Aitkin; and in Pine County, the courthouse in Pine City. You can see a list of early voting locations online at https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us.
The power of Native Americans
• Native Americans voters have the potential to become potent political forces. Only 66% of the eligible Native American voting population is registered to vote.
• There are over 1,000,000 eligible Native Amer- icans voters (18+) in the United States who are not registered.
• There are active forces working against African Americans, Native Americans, and Communities of Color to keep us from voting. They know the power we hold. Together, we must ensure that EVERY Native vote counts!
• Check your registration status — Make sure you are registered and ready to vote.
• Know how you will plan to vote. It’s probably too late to vote by mail, but you can still vote early in person or at your polling place on election day, November 3.
• 2020’selectionmaylookdifferentthanprevious years. Look up information about how to vote by contacting Minnesota’s Secretary of State’s Of- fice or going to NativeVote.org.
• Embrace your power! Get out the Native Vote 2020!