By Miranda Willson for the Las Vegas Sun:
The last few elections marked several firsts for Native Americans in Nevada. For the first time, approximately 1,150 Native Americans residing at the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony near Reno voted in the 2018 election at a polling place on their reservation. That spared them the approximately 70-mile round-trip journey they previously took to get to the nearest polling place.
Two years earlier — less than a month before the 2016 presidential election — a federal judge ruled that Nevada was required to open early polling locations on the Walker River Paiute Reservation in Mineral County and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation northeast of Reno. And for the first time in history, Native Americans at Pyramid Lake could also vote close to home on Election Day, rather than at a polling place nearly 50 miles away for some residents.
Although the Nevada Secretary of State and county offices don’t track voter turnout by race or ethnicity, Native American voting activists reported an average turnout increase of 43 percent in Nevada precincts with high Native American populations in 2018, thanks to these victories and other recent campaigns.
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