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Indigenous Voting Issues

Lack of a traditional street address, isolated communities with poorly maintained roads, and lack of election infrastructure all present major challenges to tribal communities. For example, only 18% of residents on tribal land in Arizona have home mail service. This poses a major hurdle for any voters trying to request an absentee ballot as they simply will never receive one. Many tribal communities lack the resources to ensure an adequate number of polling locations, forcing voters to travel great distances. This especially hampers elderly Indigenous voters who don’t have access to travel. Additionally, the trek is made even more difficult as the roads are poorly maintained. This creates an environment in which Indigenous voters are grossly underrepresented in our democracy. Indigenous voter turnout is consistently the lowest in the country. In the modern era of American democracy, there has only been one Indigenous Senator and ten Indigenous Representatives. 


  • 10 % "The turnout rate among Tribal community registered voters is up to 10 percentage points lower than the rate of other racial and ethnic groups.”

An Accessible, Inclusive Voting Solution

Mobile voting will help alleviate these problems by adding a more accessible and inclusive option. We need to utilize tools and technology that will help tribal communities gain access to their ballots. Mobile phones are the most common tool used by residents on tribal lands to get online as only 53% of residents have access to high-speed internet at home. A citizen will simply receive their ballot on their own device, mark it, and return it without having to leave their own home. This inclusive solution will help safeguard the rights of Indigenous voters and create more accurate representation in our democracy. 

Resources & Related News

  • “In 2017 and 2018, the Native American Voting Rights Coalition—founded by the Native American Rights Fund—held nine public hearings to better understand how Native Americans are systemically and culturally kept from fully exercising their franchise."
  • “The right to vote has been an uphill battle for Native Americans. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 helped to secure and protect that right for many Native Americans and Alaska Natives. With the Voting Rights Act, voter participation among Native Americans increased.”

Have a Story to Share?

Are you an Indigenous voter who has faced difficulties casting your ballot? Share your story with us so others hear how mobile voting could help you!

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