TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - Turning 18 in the past may have meant being able to stay
out late, getting into a dance club, or joining the military. Today, more
18-year-olds are rushing out to register to vote than ever before.
"Everybody's vote makes a difference," said Aubree Hamby, who registered to
vote at the Cherokee Nation on her 18th birthday. "Now that I'm 18, I can
actually have a voice locally and nationally. I realize whatever happens
around the world can affect us here."
The Cherokee Nation is currently registering voters at all of their offices
and is working to increase voter awareness through their Get Out The Vote
campaign. The Cherokee Nation has registered 25,000 new voters since 2000
and hopes to register an additional 10,000 this year.
"We're seeing a lot of young people register this year," said Chad Smith,
Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. "I think our message to encourage
people to vote is really hitting home."
Hamby was encouraged to register by her mother, Paula Hamby.
"I realize how important it is and as Cherokee people we could, if everyone
would register, have a big influence on who is in office," Paula Hamby
said. "If we'd all join together we could have a pretty powerful voice."