Make Voting A Tradition
Make Voting A Tradition (MVAT) is a culturally specific, year-round, multi-generational approach to increase voter turnout and civic engagement. The fundamental principle of MVAT is that Native Americans are more likely to become more politically active when engaged by peers. MVAT has created partnerships with local, statewide, and national efforts to increase turnout in BIPOC, and other traditionally low-turnout groups.
By utilizing MVAT's statewide and national profile, the project continues to establish and nurture relationships that will strengthen the voices of individuals to create access and influence in elections. Now, in partnership with MN Voice, MVAT is spearheading a first-of-its-kind Statewide Native Table focusing on civic engagement and voter mobilization.
During the 2020 national election cycle, MVAT was a lead partner with similar organizations as part of a "seven state strategy" where the number of Native votes could, and did, decide elections. American Indians' voice in the voting process has been marginalized via systematic methods targeting how to keep them out of the democratic election process. This has been conducted through voter ID methods and complicated voter registration processes. Additionally, ease of access to voting sites and ease of access to voter registration methods has also been a public policy roadblock to American Indains. Make Voting A Tradition aims to counteract these public policies through voter education and providing individuals an opportunity to gain a stake in saying how they want public policy to be dictated in their neighborhood.