In 2020, the people of Arizona spoke loud and clear with their vote. Arizonans in Apache County and all across our state value the right to vote for the leaders of their choice.

Many signed up for the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) because it made it easier to vote. People are busy. And it's not always easy to get to the polls, especially on a workday and when the voting box might be many miles away. 

The result is that many citizens did not vote in each and every primary election. Voting is not mandatory for citizenship. Voters will exercise their right to vote when it works for them.

Arizona's new voter suppression laws signed by Gov. Ducey infringe on the idea of early voting, something that we all found important. 

Recently, Republican legislators ignored the people, and tribal nations, by changing the law, making it more difficult for underrepresented communities to vote.

Republicans lost the last election. It was fair and impartial without fraud. So instead of reshaping the Republican message, these legislators are making it harder to vote so fewer Native and Black and brown communities will turn out at the ballot box. 

We will prevail in spite of the Republicans using every means to hold onto power.

This is the time when Democrats and Independents must organize and make sure we elect leaders who will genuinely stand up for us, voting for those who respect our voting rights. 

We demand diverse representation in all election offices and that means we need to work harder to gain Democratic control of our state legislature.

I applaud those who fought hard to prevent the passage of these bills like the Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, recorders and election officials, tribal and community leaders, and other citizens groups. 

We need to keep up this fight and organize together.

I remain committed to fighting for our right to vote and will continue to register voters and work with our county party to turn out voters each and every election.

Voter suppression bills like SB 1485 and others were drafted to make it harder for our communities to vote. 

We will stop them and will work to vote them out. 

It was wrong for the governor to sign them.

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This essay does not necessarily reflect the view of Indian Country Today; voices in our opinion section represent a variety of reader points of view. If you would like to contribute an essay to Indian Country Today, email the opinion editor, Vincent Schilling at opinion@indiancountrytoday.com.

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