Senators Intro Native American Voting Rights Act
More than a dozen Senators last week introduced the Native American Voting Rights Act to provide resources and oversight to ensure equal access for Native Americans to vote. Findings by the Native American Voting Rights Coalition revealed a lack of accessible registration and polling sites, and issues in fulfilling address requirements for voter registration, especially when dealing with addresses on reservations. The legislation would implement key provisions to ensure Native Americans have equal access to the ballot box, including the establishment of a first-of-its-kind Native American Voting Rights Task Force, which would authorize funding for tribal-state consortiums to bolster Native voter registration, education, and election participation efforts in tribal communities. The bill would also increase Native access to voter registration sites and polling locations, and ensure equal treatment for tribal ID cards for voting purposes. Finally, the bill addresses the devastating effects of Shelby County v. Eric Holder -- the Supreme Court case that killed Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act which prohibited certain jurisdictions from implementing any change affecting voting without receiving federal pre-approval that the change does not discriminate against protected minorities. This bill prohibits states from undertaking discriminatory actions without Department of Justice agreement while emphasizing the importance of government-to-government consultation. Regular Beat DC readers know that several states have used methods to exclude Native Americans from voting. More on the bill here.