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Top 10 States

with the Highest


Populations of
Voting-Age Natives

134,000

50,000

WA

27,000

5
8%

Senator Tim Johnson


(D-SD) was re-elected by
500 votes in 2002, with
the final votes counted
coming from the Pine
Ridge Reservation.

49,000

OR

3%

SD

WY

Senator Lisa Murkowski


(R-AK) credits her victory
in the 2010 election to the
significant power of the
Alaska Native vote. With
over 100,000 write-in
votes, she was only the
2 nd successful US Senate
write-in candidate.

5% 10%
AZ

17%

NM

11%

Registered

Not Registered

OK

Map Key
Eligible AIAN
Voters in 2010

232,000

AK

66%

1,000,000

76,000
88,000

Voting Population

Of American Indians and


Alaska Natives eligible to vote,
only 66% are registered,
compared to 74% of
eligible non-Hispanic
Whites.

ND

MT

With endorsements from


12 tribes, Senator Maria
Cantwell (D-WA) was
narrowly elected in
2000, creating a 50-50
tie in the US Senate.

The power of the


Native Vote has been
significant in state
races and important
national races.

Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)


won the 2012 election by a 1%
margin. Heitkamp noted that her
only road to Washington, DC
was through Indian Country.

In 2006, Senator John Tester


(D-MT) won his election by 3,562
votes, over 17,000 voters cast
ballots on Indian reservations.

149,000

AIAN
population as %
of states total
population
(18 and over)

34% of the total Native


population over 18 or
1,000,000 eligible voters
is not registered to vote.

Ballot measure to
expand the number of
legislative districts fails.

2006

2003

Montana creates six


American Indianmajority districts.

Nine American Indians serve in the


Montana Legislature, reflecting proportion
of American Indian state population.

Alaska Redistricting Board merges


two Southeast Districts, diminishing
rural Native voter impact.

2012

State population triples between 1959-2009,


though no change in the number of state
representatives or legislative districts.

2011

of Native Districts

Tribes influence leads to the


appointment of a tribal member as
Chair of Redistricting Commission.

2010

ALASKA: Erosion

19592009

a Base of Power

Montana tribes challenge


1990 redistricting and file
case in federal court.

1999

MONTANA: Building

1990

Lower Turnout

Election loss of long-serving


Alaska Native State Senator Albert
Kookesh due to redistricting.

The turnout rate of American


Indian and Alaska Native
registered voters is 5 to 14
percentage points lower than
the rate of many other
racial and ethnic groups.
Source: Demos, 2012.

Increase in American Indian


and Alaska Native US Populations

Elected Representation
in US Government

4.1

million

If representation in Congress
was proportional to the US
Native population, we would
have 2 Native Senators and 7
Native Members of the House.

2010

million

2000

1.9

Proportional

0 2
2 7

64 Native State Legislators

million

1990

= 1 million
AIAN People
Source: US Census

Oklahoma

Maine

Maryland

New Mexico

South Dakota

Minnesota

Montana

Washington

North Carolina

Alaska

Illinois

North Dakota

Arizona

Kansas

Wyoming

22 Native Legislators
9 Native Legislators
8 Native Legislators
5 Native Legislators
5 Native Legislators

3 Native Legislators

17 Senators

1 Native Legislator

2 Native Legislators

1 Native Legislator
1 Native Legislator

1 Native Legislator
1 Native Legislator

1 Native Legislator

e ma l

Energy

1 Native Legislator

3 Native Legislators

Key Issues that Bring Native


People to the Ballot Box
Tribal Government
Sovereignty

Senate

5.2

Actual

House

2 Native US
Representatives

31%
69%

Indian Child
Welfare

Gaming

Education

Environmental
Impact Issues

Water

Federal Budget
& Spending

Mal e

47 Representatives
National Congress of American Indians
Embassy of Tribal Nations
1516 P Street NW | Washington, DC 20005
www.NCAI.org | www.NativeVote.org

Fast Facts