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National group touts success of Native vote push

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Organizers of a massive get-out-the-vote campaign that
targeted Native American communities across the country are considering their
efforts a success.

The National Congress of American Indians led the push. The group pointed
Thursday to U.S. Senate races in Montana and North Dakota, as well as a voter
identification ballot initiative in Minnesota, where it says the Native American
turnout made a difference. The Minnesota voter ID requirement failed.

NCAI Executive Director Jackie Johnson Pata says the best indicator was the
fact that President Barack Obama mentioned Native Americans during his victory
speech Tuesday night. She called that a “huge leap” for Indian Country.

It’s difficult to say at this point exactly how many American Indians and
Alaska Natives showed up to the polls. But NCAI officials say Native Americans
in New Mexico and Montana were registered to vote at higher rates than any other
racial or ethnic group in those states heading into Election Day.


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