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Shannon County, S.D. No. 1 in Obama Voters


The 2012 elections saw a major turnout of American Indian voters, most of which helped President Barack Obama to his reelection, but what county was the most pro-Obama?

That honor goes to Shannon County, home of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, in South Dakota according to Bloomberg. As the article states, the outcome is very surprising given that the county has a black population of .08 percent – which is contrary to usual pro-Obama counties. Instead the county’s population is 94.2 percent American Indian and saw a 93 percent voter turnout in support of Obama.

Shannon County was not the only Native majority county to be in the top 10 of pro-Obama counties. Menominee, Wisconsin ranked No. 9.

The news is welcoming following the counties fight for early voting rights that rose in January 2012. As Indian Country Today Media Network reported on March 25, a court ruled in favor of the county granting it the full 46-day early voting period instead of a proposed window of six days. Oglala Lakota leaders filed a lawsuit expressing their concerns of having to drive as many as 200 miles round trip to vote in another county. Statistics had shown that when early voting was available in the county as many as 46 percent of voters used it.

As for Shannon County, it is hard to say if the voters were more pro-Obama or pro-Democrat. Bloomberg states the county has twice before recorded the highest percentage of voters for a Democratic presidential candidate – 85 percent for John Kerry in 2004 and 88 percent for Obama in 2008.