Richard A. Clucas
Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and University Honors
Voter turnout -- Oregon -- Warm Springs Indian Reservation -- Statistics -- Case studies, Postal voting -- United States, Indians of North America -- Suffrage, Vote-by-mail elections -- Oregon
When Vote by Mail was fully implemented by the state of Oregon in 2000, it quickly became the subject of study by the Political Science community. While there is not yet an academic consensus about the impact of vote by mail, its growing popularity is undeniable. Mail voting has now been fully adopted in four states, with several others extensively offering mail ballots as an alternative to in-person voting. As this form of convenience voting spreads across the county, it is important to once again try to determine its impacts. This study examines a voting group often overlooked by academic research: Native Americans. With states like Arizona and Montana already utilizing mail ballots at high rates and both having significant Native American populations, it is not unrealistic to imagine the Native vote being impacted by even further expansion of full Vote By Mail. Using the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, located in north-central Oregon, as a case study, this research project intended to compare voter turnout before and after Vote By Mail implementation on the reservation, as well as to compare relative change between Native American and non-Native American voters. Unfortunately, government office closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic rendered it impossible to complete that statistical analysis. This article concludes with a call for additional research, given the importance of this under-researched topic.
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Torry-Schrag, Nathaniel J., "The Impact of Vote by Mail on Native American Turnout" (2020). University Honors Theses. Paper 923.