Final votes are still being counted, but we know that the 2020 election was historic.
American voters turned out in record numbers, and political participation by communities of color influenced election outcomes in many states. Native Americans were among these critical populations, playing a significant role in shaping returns across the country.
Represented and representing
In swing states like Wisconsin and Arizona, Native Americans participated at extreme high rates as part of the coalition of voters supporting Joe Biden. The Navajo Nation, with critical voters in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, reported turnout rates as high as 90%. Also, county-level election results in parts of Wisconsin that are home to Native reservations reported high rates of participation and support for Biden and Harris. Native voters undoubtedly played a critical role in this historic election.
Beyond turnout, Native people also saw the election of six Native representatives to Congress, half identifying as Democrats and half identifying as Republicans.
National news has documented how COVID-19 has devastated many Native communities across the nation. Reports show the pandemic was top of mind for the majority of Native voters, and roughly 60% of Native voters reported knowing someone personally who had tested positive for the coronavirus — a higher percentage than any other racial or ethnic group in the U.S.
Native Americans did not become citizens of the U.S. until 1924 and were still disenfranchised in many states long after they were granted citizenship. Still today, Native voters have to fight against laws that seek to restrict or make difficult the act of voting. The 2020 election demonstrates that Native people demand a voice in creating a more inclusive, equitable and just society.
Thank you to all the Native voters, organizations and Native nations that worked hard to register and mobilize Native voters and fight for Native voting rights.
More on Native American Voting Power
These important articles highlight the critical role of Native Americans in the 2020 election.