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By Mark Moran - Producer-Editor, Contact - News


Big Sky Connection - Advocates are taking a unique approach to get out the vote efforts for next week's election. They are throwing informational parties in various locations over the weekend designed to have fun while getting people involved in the democratic process. Comments from Adam Beaves (BEEVES') Fisher, deputy director, government and political relations, Western Native Voice.

Click on the image above for the audio. - Statewide, about 60% of registered voters participated in the last election, but in Montana's four majority-Native American counties, turnout was significantly lower. Advocates for Indigenous Montanans are trying to change that for the upcoming election. (Adobe Stock

Mark Moran

November 3, 2023 - Indigenous voting activists are throwing parties around Montana this weekend to encourage citizens to vote, but especially to encourage Native Americans to get involved in the democratic process.

Western Native Voice is working with Montana Conservation Voters to stress the importance of voting in next week's local elections. Adam Beaves-Fisher, deputy director for government and political relations, said it is important for all citizens to be democratically active, but it is especially essential for Montana's indigenous people to cast their ballots and use their voice because they have historically been disenfranchised.

"It's important for Native communities to be a part of our democratic process," he said, "to be able to create the future and be part of the decision-making process that affects them directly."

The events will be held on Saturday at the Big Horn Resort in Billings and Sunday at the Civic Center in Great Falls. The parties start at 4 p.m. on both days.

While voting is a serious issue and a civic responsibility, Beaves-Fisher said the parties are designed to give people something fun to do while they make community contacts and learn about the democratic process. Parties, he said, are not necessarily associated with get-out-the-vote efforts.

"We'll be having guest speakers, a free dinner," he said. "We'll have prizes, games. We'll also have local organizations attendees can connect with to hear about other opportunities to get involved."

Organizers are still looking for volunteers to help at both events. Elections Day is next Tuesday.

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