Native Americans hope to rock Oklahoma's vote


Saturday, November 1st 2008, 11:16 pm
By: News 9


By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Election officials are expecting a record turn out on Election Day, and one group of Oklahomans is trying to rock their vote.

Native Americans play a big role in Oklahoma, but the group is not known to head to the polls in droves. Native American leaders in Oklahoma are hoping to change that.

After a year of hard work, it's now about celebrating; a celebration of working to get Native Americans to the polls, like first time voters Jeremiah and Aylamedrano Billy.

"It's important for us. We want to get our voice heard," Aylamedrano Billy said.

They said they want to change what history has shown them, that many Native Americans are often absent on Election Day.

"Native populations are less found voting, so we're trying to push to get natives to vote and young natives to vote also," Aylamedrano Billy said.

Given the amount of influence Native Americans have, especially in states like Oklahoma, their leaders say they can't afford not to cast ballots.

"Tribal governments are some of the biggest employers in the state of Oklahoma. We contribute billions of dollars," Seminole leader Enoch Kelly Haney said.

Steven Barse has already been to the polls and expects many more Native Americans to do the same.

"I would predict an increase in younger Indian people," Barse said.

This is the fourth year Native Americans have been taking part in their own rock the vote. Many believe this year will be the most successful.

Early voting continues from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday. Click here to find your County Election Board to vote early.

All polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Click here to find your polling location for Tuesday.