Sigma: Journal of Political and International Studies


Grant Baldwin


poll booths, Native American voter turnout


On March 12, 2019, Senator Udall (D-NM) and Representative Lujan (D-NM- 3) introduced the Native American Voting Rights Act of 2019 (S.739; HR 1694) to both chambers of the United States Congress as a proposed solution to problems concerning low voter turnout among Native Americans and Alaska Natives. (While I recognize there are notable differences between Native American groups and Alaska Native groups, for the remainder of this analysis I use the terms Native, Native American, American Indian, and Alaska Native interchangeably.) If enacted, the bill would provide voting assistance to Native communities by bringing poll booth and voter registration locations closer to Native Americans, ensuring that tribal identification cards qualify as valid forms of ID for voter registration, and expanding bilingual voting accessibility to Native languages. Shortly after the bill’s introduction, it was referred to the Senate’s Judiciary Committee and the House’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties and has not made any progress since.