Target: Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell, House and Senate Majority Leaders
Goal: Let Native American communities finally easily vote in state and national elections.
Hundreds of miles separate many Native Americans from polling places in state and federal elections, preventing many from being able to exercise their right to vote. This disenfranchisement must be put to an end as soon as possible. Demand that Congress make it easier for Native Americans to participate in the political process.
For many Native American communities, participating in democracy on election days is a logistical nightmare. Members of Nevada’s Duck Valley Reservation, for example, need to drive 104 miles to get to their nearest polling station, and those of Utah’s Goshute Reservation need to drive 163 miles to get to theirs. In Alaska, members of several Native communities even have to fly to their nearest station because the terrain between them is too rough for roads.
Clearly this is an unacceptable state of affairs, but the Department of Justice has released a proposal to fix it. Called the Tribal Equal Access to Voting Act, it would give Native American communities the power to decide for themselves where their polling stations would be located. The government would then have to oblige. This would cut down on the unrealistic distances mentioned above, and give many Native Americans the chance to vote if they so choose.
Too many Native Americans have been denied their right to political participation for far too long. Sign the petition below to demand that Congress pass the Department of Justice’s proposal so that this issue can finally be resolved.
Dear Majority Leaders McCarthy and McConnell,
I am writing you today regarding the Department of Justice’s Tribal Equal Access to Voting Act. This is a vital piece of legislation that needs to be put into effect as soon as possible.
The United States should be under no delusion about its relationship with Native American communities. This country was built on their land and on the genocide of their people. For all intents and purposes, the country should by right belong to them.
Since your government is in all likelihood not going to let that happen, the least you can do is ensure that Native Americans who want to participate in the American political process have the ability to do so. As it stands, many do not—the nearest polling stations from a number of reservations are hundreds of miles away, setting up logistic barriers to many who would like to vote but ultimately cannot due to distance.
The Tribal Equal Access to Voting Act is designed to address that. It would require the government to set up select polling places wherever tribes decide to have them set up, cutting down on the massive distances noted above and opening up voting to countless Native Americans.
There is no justifiable reason not to pass this act into law. Since your party is in charge of both the House and the Senate, it falls on you to make sure that happens. I demand that you pass the Tribal Equal Access to Voting Act so that President Obama can sign it into law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tony Webster