The voting process has long disenfranchised Native American communities. With the COVID-19 pandemic and mail-in voting exacerbating the problem, U.S. senators in the Mountain West and across the country are asking the federal government to make sure voters in Indian Country can cast ballots come November.
In a letter to Attorney General William Barr, the senators called out the lack of in-person polling places in tribal communities, and asked the Department of Justice to work with tribal governments to find solutions.
"Native Americans already face significant obstacles to voting and, as we approach the November election, many Tribal leaders have expressed concerns that their communities are being left behind in efforts to expand vote-by-mail," the letter reads. "Specifically, vote-by-mail obstacles that can affect Native American voters include not having mail delivered directly to their homes, distant rural post offices, too few P.O. boxes, homelessness, and language and technological barriers."
"Our tribal communities sometimes have unique challenges," Rosen told the Mountain West News Bureau. "They’re spread far apart, there’s all kinds of different issues that they have. So we want to be sure that they are able to vote."