Unprecedented push for Indigenous voter participation could shake up election
November 2, 2020
RED LAKE -- Through a seemingly unprecedented voter registration effort, 5,500 people were registered to vote in Red Lake Nation over the course of eight days, many for the first time. Thousands more were registered in Leech Lake and White Earth, with estimates of around 8,000 in total between them all.
A coordinator for the recent registration effort in Red Lake, Mike Simpkins, said in his 30 years of experience, he's never seen an effort like this.
Doreen Wells of Red Lake has spent the last few days driving voters back and forth from Red Lake to the Beltrami County Administration Building in Bemidji to vote early, many for the first time.
She and around 75 others from Leech Lake, Red Lake and White Earth have been knocking on doors since Monday, Oct. 26, asking if anyone needs a ride to the polls, and they plan to continue through Election Day.
"Drivers hope to bus 20 to 50 voters per day to auditor's offices right up to election day," Michael Meuers recently wrote in the Red Lake Nation News. "America's Indigenous Peoples will be heard in 2020."