Representatives from the Sandoval County Native American Voting Rights Program will be providing voter education at the New Mexico State Fair. They will have a joint booth with the county’s Tourism Department, on Thursday, September 17, 2015, which is County Day at the Fair.
The Native American Voting Rights Program was created to ensure that the county’s Native American population has equal access to all phases of the electoral process. However, it doesn’t mean the program provides services solely to Native Americans, or even Sandoval County residents.
At the state fair, as they do at many other community events, program representatives will answer questions about the voting process for all citizens. They also can assist citizens with voter registration.
The program reps’ attendance at the fair is in line with the variety of services they offer throughout the year. These services include voter education and awareness training and voter registration drives. Voting rights coordinators typically travel across Sandoval County conducting election-focused presentations, workshops and training sessions at schools, community centers, senior centers and other venues such as community health fairs and conferences.
When necessary, the voting rights coordinators also translate election-related material—including ballots—into the appropriate Native language (Keres, Towa, and Navajo).
All information provided by the voting rights coordinators is non-partisan. They never advise voters—including those needing language translation assistance—on which candidates or ballot questions to select.
“We see the state fair as a place to raise awareness about the voting process among a broad spectrum of New Mexico citizens, including natives and non-natives,” said Jaime Pino, the Keres Voting Rights Coordinator. “We hope people will stop by our booth at the fair, particularly those who are not yet registered to vote. There’s a big election coming up next year, and everyone should have their voice heard by exercising their right to vote.”