Making voter registration easier for Native American communities in Oklahoma City and Tulsa is a priority for the Rock the Native Vote (RNV) initiative. In March, RNV kicked off the voter registration season with a full slate of events to engage people from all tribes.
“We have workers and volunteers at tribal wild onion dinners, advocacy and education events, pow-wows and more,” said the Rev. David Wilson, director of Rock the Native Vote and Assistant to the Bishop of The Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference. “We want to make sure our Indigenous voices are heard at the ballot box.”
The Oklahoma midterm elections will take place Nov. 8, 2022, with both the US Senate and members of the House of Representatives up for reelection.
“Oklahoma is second in the nation with the highest populations of voting-age Native peoples,” said Wilson. The No. 1 state is Alaska. According to the National Congress of American Indians, 1.2 million Native Americans are not registered to vote across the country. In the last general election, 55% of Oklahomans turned out to vote, compared to 66.4% on the national level.
“These statistics show Oklahoma voting numbers are lower than the national level and we have much work to do.” Wilson said.
Rock the Native Vote is organized in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and is funded through the National Urban Indian Family Coalition out of Seattle, Wash. The two cities are among 24 cities around the country representing more than 1 million urban voters.
In addition, RNV is partnering and working with organizations such as Cherokee Vote, United for Oklahoma, AARP Oklahoma and the United Indian Tribes of Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas.
If persons are interested in volunteering, please contact Rev. Wilson at Dwilson@oimc.org.