Native American Voting Rights
Even if rules about voting are the same for everyone, they may affect different people differently. If you have lived in the same house all your life, you may only need to register to vote once. If you move from one rental property to the next every year, updating your registration is a yearly event. If a requirement for your registration is a valid mailing address, that is a trivial condition for most, but for the 1% of Americans that do not have a valid mailing address, that could be an insurmountable hurdle. Native Americans who live on reservations are significantly more likely to be among those without a valid mailing address and therefore unable to register to vote in states which require a valid mailing address.
We wondered what the country thinks about Native American Voting Rights and the balancing act between rules that seem designed to enhance election security while disenfranchising Native American. We asked the ActiVote users the question and gave them five answers to pick from:
- Voter suppression of Native Americans should be avoided at all costs.
- Avoiding voter suppression of Native Americans should weigh stronger than safeguards against voter fraud.
- Both voter suppression of Native Americans and safeguards against voter fraud should be weighed equally when taking any actions.
- Avoiding voter fraud should weigh heavier than voter suppression of Native Americans.
- Voter fraud should be avoided at all costs.
A large majority of 69% believes that we should avoid voter suppression at all costs, and another 9% believes that avoiding voter suppression of Native Americans is more important than stronger safeguards against voter fraud. Only 9% believe that voting security outweighs Native American voting rights.
Although Democrats are more strongly supportive of prioritizing avoiding voter suppression over voter security (89%), Republicans also in majority (59%) agree with that priority.
Based on our polling, when creating rules that enhance voter security, it is important to ensure that lawmakers think about those people that are negatively impacted by those rules. Especially when a specific group, like Native Americans, through no fault of their own, lose the right to vote simply by not having a mailing address, people from all sides agree that this should not happen.