Arizona Native American voters won the election–now Republicans are punishing us.
Here’s how we’re fighting back.
Earlier this month Arizona’s Governor signed Senate Bill 1485 (early voting list) and Senate bill 1003 (limits ballot curing time) into law. Bill 1485 ends the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL); removing the permanent part of the mail-in voting and purges thousands of voters from the voting list. Bill 1003 shortens our time for ballot curing to 7 p.m. on Election Day instead of the 5 day window after Election Day.
In 2020, our team of Northeast Arizona Native organizers and volunteers worked tirelessly to get folks registered to vote and sign up for PEVL because it made it easier and safer to vote, especially in a pandemic. Many of our communities in Apache, Navajo, and Coconino County saw record turnout in early voting and now Republicans are punishing us with bills like SB 1485.
Days leading up to the election Navajo, Hopi, and Apache organizers got people to the polls and even after Election Day we got calls from partners who needed help tracking down voters who didn’t sign their ballot or had missing information. We used our network to make calls, stop by homes, or arrange transportation for folks who needed to correct the missing signature. This extra time was needed to make sure every vote was counted and it did. Democrats secured a big win for Sen. Mark Kelly and President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Now Republicans are limiting our time to cure ballots in an attempt to silence voters.
More options for early voting, mail-in voting, drop boxes, and in-person polling locations were critical in 2020, not only because of the pandemic, but voters had to also battle a delayed mail system, some didn’t have reliable transportation, and others lived up to an hour or more from their polling location, ballot drop box, or local county election office. In addition, there is little to no internet or unreliable phone service in some regions and local organizers can make all the difference.
Rural and tribal people know the barriers to voting all too well, even pre-pandemic. This is why our team of Native organizers are so crucial to reaching and engaging voters–in election years and off.
Hopi and Apache organizers are back in the field
Lorraine Coin, Hopi Tribe, is a fierce Democrat and has been registering voters for 5 years and training other Hopi organizers.
“Voting is our fundamental right and should be made easier, not harder.” — Lorraine
Marian Quintero, White Mountain Apache Tribe, is a mom and started with our team by first volunteering in her home community, then moved into a paid organizer position for the 2020 election.
“I wasn’t that involved with the Democratic Party, but after I started volunteering I knew my work was needed and we as Native Democrats had to do this work.” — Marian
To help inform community members about these voter suppression bills we launched our Family Votes program on Mother’s Day. As of today, we have two organizers back in the field on Hopi and Apache lands registering voters and talking with residents about HR1/SR1/For The People Act, and the AZ Independent Redistricting Commission to protect voting rights and lay the groundwork for 2022. We will also hire Navajo organizers later this summer.
We have a goal of hiring four more local organizers this year to strengthen Democratic presence and keep up the momentum we built in 2020. We have a big election in 2022 and must invest now.
Help us reach our monthly goal of $10,000 by donating to our program today: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/nativeorgkos
The signing of SB 1485 and SB 1003 are just two of the dozen or so bills Republicans are pushing to further legislate voter suppression in Indigenous and Black and Brown communities, but we will not back down. Voting is our right and we will fight for it.
We are from these communities and know what it takes to travel that extra distance, go down that washboard road and keep showing up. Please join us in our efforts. Donate to our Family Votes Program today!
Ahé hee’/Thank you
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DONATION LINK: secure.actblue.com/…
Checks may also be mailed to: Navajo County Democrats — Native Organizing Fund PO Box 144, Lakeside, AZ 85929 · (928) 224-8021