The Youth Vote Matters in Indian Country

The New York Times’ Jennifer Steinhauer writes up a story about the decrease in voters registering as Republicans – “G.O.P. Drops in Voting Rolls in Many States”.  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/05/us/politics/05flip.html?_r=1&ref=politics&oref=slogin

 

Our Vote Matters!

 

 

One angle is that younger voters are tending to vote Democratic, rather than Republican.  The Times points out that the population of 18- to 24-year-olds rose from about 27 million in 2000 to nearly 30 million in 2006.

 

Our research shows that within the Nation’s and Washington State’s Native American communities, there is an even larger component of young voters.

 

In 2007, the median age for all people in the United States was 36.6, compared to a median age for all Native American people of 31.4, a gap of more than 5 years.  In Washington, the 2006 statewide median age was 37.1, compared to 30.6, the median age for Native Americans in the state, a gap of 6 and a half years.

 

And while the Times’ report shows an 11% growth in 18-24 year olds nationwide, in Indian Country the population rose by 20%!

 

The bottom line is that our youth make up a critical part of the Native Vote and that more than ever the national and state parties must turn their attention to this crucial constituency and their needs.

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