House Passes Bill to Increase Access to the Ballot Box in Indian Country

House Passes Bill to Increase Access to the Ballot Box in Indian Country

Santa Fe, N.M. -Today, Representative Derrick Lente’s (D-Sandia Pueblo) bill to increase access to the ballot box in Indian Country passed the New Mexico House unanimously.  HB 357 would convene a Native American voting information task force that would make recommendations to the New Mexico Secretary of State on the status of Native American voting in the state.

“Voter participation is one of the most important responsibilities we have as citizens, and everyone should have access to the ballot,” said Rep. Lente. “We know that Native communities face unique challenges when facilitating elections, and my bill will make sure every Native American has the same access to voting as everyone else.”

The Native American voting information task force prescribed in the bill would consist of a member from the Navajo Nation, Jicarilla Apache Nation, Mescalero Apache Tribe, a member of a Pueblo, and a Native American who resides in an urban area in order to gain comprehensive knowledge and make recommendations to improve voting education and information in Indian Country.

HB 357 passed by a vote of 63 to 0 and will now move to the Senate for consideration.