Secretary of State highlights 2020 voter turnout on tribal lands

Photo Credit: State of Colorado

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold highlighted the increase in active voter turnout on tribal lands in Colorado for the 2020 General Election. Turnout for active voters living on the Ute Mountain Ute tribal lands increased from 36% in 2016 to nearly 50% in 2020, while for the Southern Utes turnout increased from 46% in 2016 to 70% in 2020.

“The 2020 general election saw a large increase in turnout of voters living on tribal lands in Colorado,” Secretary Griswold said. “I am proud of my office’s work and close partnership with the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute, and look forward to continuing to work together to further increase participation and access to voting on tribal lands.”

Native Americans living on tribal lands in Colorado did not have guaranteed voting rights until as late as 1970. As part of continuing efforts to improve voting access for Native Americans in the wake of this historic suppression, Secretary Griswold helped pass one of the largest democracy reform packages in the nation in 2019 which included guaranteeing voting centers on tribal lands. Native Americans who do not have an address recognized by the U.S. Postal Service are also now able to register to vote using the unrecognized address, the tribal council headquarters address, or any other address approved by the tribal council.  They now can also drop off their voter registration application to their tribal council, who will then forward it to the county clerk and recorder. 

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