‘Twilight’ actor urges Natives to vote
WASHINGTON – A new video titled “Native Vote” has been released featuring Lakota Sioux actor Chaske Spencer, known for his role in the “Twilight” saga, in an effort to inspire Native Americans to vote in upcoming elections.
The video was released with the help of the National Congress of American Indians.
According to a press release, the video “highlights the power and importance of the Native vote and encourages voters in tribal communities to understand that every voice – and every vote – counts.”
NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline Pata said Native American voters are one of the country’s most underrepresented and disenfranchised group of voters.
“‘Native Vote’ is focused on turning out the largest Native vote in history in 2012. Estimates show that over 1 million eligible Native voters are unregistered. It’s going to take people like Chaske Spencer stepping forward to help spread the word,” Pata said. “This is a true grassroots effort and we need everyone to be involved to spread the word. We hope that Indian Country and non-Native people alike are inspired, especially young people, to get more involved in civic activities such as voting.”
In the video, Spencer states “nothing is more important to me than the future of our people...I started an effort called ‘Be the Shift’ to encourage young people to be involved. That’s why I support ‘Native Vote’ in encouraging American Indians and Alaska Natives to vote in federal, state and local elections,” he adds. “In 2012, people all over the United States will be voting for the next president and Native people cannot be left out of the process. Be the shift, be the Native vote. Every voice counts.”
According to the release, NCAI’s “Native Vote” initiative works to inform Native voters of key deadlines, registration guidelines, voting locations and process, candidates and ballot measures.