Voting Rights Blog Posts

During this year's Native American Heritage Month, Tribal leaders and high-level White House Officials constructed discourse with respect to issues important in Indian Country.  The 2021 Tribal Nations Summit (the Summit), hosted by the White House, was held on November 15th and 16th. This is the first time the Summit has taken place since 2016. The Summit presented a unique opportunity for nation-to-nation dialogue on support to Tribal communities to create opportunities, advance equity, and address new and long-standing challenges. Topics addressed included Infrastructure, Native languages, climate change and COVID-19. Several members of the American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) attended the Summit.

The Summit commenced by releasing the “White House Tribal...

The 2020 elections featured the highest number of ballots cast in American history and was a landmark election for Indigenous representation at the Federal and State levels. In 2018, the first Native American women were elected to Congress as Representatives Deb Haaland (D-NM-1), and Sharice Davids (D-KS-3) were elected alongside incumbent Representatives Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-2) and Tom Cole (R-OK-4). In 2020, the number of Indigenous representatives increased again as six candidates successfully won their federal elections, including Congressman-elect Kai Kahele (D-HI-2) and Congresswoman-elect Yvette Herrell (R-NM-2). 

New Mexico’s three-member House delegation now includes two Indigenous women. One of whom, Rep. Haaland, is currently being vetted for Secretary...

This year, with the nation living under the shadow of a pandemic, and an expectation that COVID-19 will continue to be a presence well into the fall, officials are scrambling to ensure the November 2020 general election proceeds smoothly and safely. However, it has been widely reported that recent actions taken by the Trump Administration seem to undermine the capacity of the United States Postal Service (USPS), the agency entrusted to handle vote-by-mail (VBM) operations. In fact, the President confirmed that his efforts to dismantle the USPS are intended to hinder the Postal Service’s ability to sort and count ballots ahead of the election in November: 

“They need [the $25 billion...