KUNM

New Voter Guides Aim To Boost Native American Participation

Oct 23, 2018

Many Native Americans living in rural areas lack access to detailed information about elections. That’s why there’s a new first-of-its-kind voter guide this year.

The Native American Voter Guide features a list of candidates and ballot questions, where and when to vote and how to get a translator. It was a joint project of the Native American Voting Task Force and the League of Women Voters.

Rick Nez, Vice Chair of the task force, travels to different Native American communities around New Mexico to discuss politics and explain the details of how to vote.

 

"We have to understand that our vote is very important because of funding for projects in our communities," he said.

 

Nez said the guide makes it so people don’t have to drive long distances to places like post offices to find out about elections. It’s mailed right to their homes.

 

"Now that it's sent out, we can just have it at our local government buidling, we can announce it, we can talk about it, we can ask people if they have any questions," Nez said.

 

Tribal elections are nonpartisan, Nez said, and the voter guide also has information on party affiliation, which can be unfamiliar to some.

 

There are specific guides for twelve counties, including Bernalillo, Santa Fe and Taos.

 

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