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Tribal nations, community organizations start nonpartisan voter initiative

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma
Voters wait in a long line outside Trinity Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Okla. in 2020.

There’s a new one-stop shop website for Oklahoma voters to get election information. Vote Your Values is part of an engagement initiative that a group of Tribal nations and community partners are endorsing.

About 55% of Oklahomans voted in the 2020 presidential election. Although this was historic voter turnout for the state, it was ranked last in the nation for voter participation. Historically, turnout is even lower in non-presidential elections in Oklahoma.

Matthew Morgan, chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Commission and spokesperson for Vote Your Values, said lack of voter engagement is an issue tribal nations encounter. But he said motivation and highlighting voter’s principles are part of the initiative’s goal.

“We are actively talking with community partners as well who have the same thought that we do,” Morgan said. “And when I say that, what I mean is people that are not interested in partisan politics. We’re not interested in candidates, we’re not interested in races, we’re only interested in increasing the numbers of voters that are registered.”

Morgan said this initiative is rooted in highlighting potential voters’ values and educating them to vote based on those standards.

The Vote Your Values website includes information about the voting process, election days, registration deadlines and information for those who are already registered. This information is not only tailored to state and federal elections, but also tribal elections.

Through the website, in-person voting drives and social media campaigns, Morgan said the organization is meant to address all Oklahomans.

“It is for all potential Oklahoma voters who we think should be involved in electing folks, and we want to encourage them to get registered if they are not,” Morgan said. “And if they are, to really think about what is important to them and make their voices heard.”

Anna Pope is a reporter covering agriculture and rural issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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