Over the course of this country’s history there have been several Native Americans serving in the US House and the US Senate. But it’s a hit or miss. One or two. Then none. Three and now four … including the first two Native American women ever elected to either House.
Perhaps that time is growing near.
Montana is a great story.
Montana leads the nation when it comes to participatory democracy. And yet there are so many other states where that should be so from Alaska to Arizona to the Dakotas to Oklahoma. This country is better and stronger when every citizen has a voice.
Then, this is a difficult time for any campaign.
As my colleague Kolby KickingWoman reported last week in Indian Country Today: “The global pandemic has upended life for a lot of people … KickingWoman found politicians from Montana to Oklahoma who now use Facebook and virtual town halls to try and reach voters. Instead of going door to door or traditional campaigns.
One upside, according to Rudy Soto, Shoshone-Bannock, who is running for Congress in Idaho is that more voters are aware of the importance of government. He says he sees more people determined to register to vote and to participate.
That’s an important idea when the process itself is being changed by the pandemic. More states are open to the idea of shifting ballots to polling stations to the mails.
That’s already an area of promise in at least four of the states that held primaries last week, turnout surpassed 2016 levels. And, most of those votes were cast by mail.
Clearly people are voting with their feet. Or better … voting with their stamps.