American Indian group to put poll watchers at voting precincts in 12 states

Saturday, September 11th 2004, 6:10 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A national American Indian group plans to put poll watchers at voting precinct's with a high percentage of American Indian voters in Oklahoma and 12 other states on November second.

The Native Vote 2004: Election Protection Project national coordinator Heather Dawn Thompson says the effort is to ensure that every Indian voter who is eligible to vote is able to voter.

In Oklahoma, poll watchers will be outside the voting locations answering questions since the state election law doesn't allow poll watchers to be in a polling location during hours of operation.

Oklahoma was chosen because it has a large Indian population.

Coalition leaders think the American Indian vote could decide the U-S Senate race between Republican Tom Coburn and Democrat Brad Carson.

Carson is a member of the Cherokee nation, the state's largest tribe.

Oklahoma has the second-largest Indian population, next to California.

Other states included in the project are Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.