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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

MT goes live with online tool for Indigenous voters

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Monday, June 3, 2024   

Indigenous leaders in Montana have announced the release of an online tool to help Native voters learn about the issues and candidates on the ballot.

Ballot Builder is now live in 10 Indigenous Montana communities.

Ballot Builder is a nonpartisan tool to inform voters before heading to the polls - from where candidates stand on certain issues, to the records of federal, state and local judges.

Western Native Voice Executive Director Ronnie Jo Horse said the tool lets voters create a sort of mock ballot they can print and take to a polling place, so they can fill in their official ballot with more certainty and a lot less stress.

"It can be overwhelming, especially for first-time voters," said Horse. "So, we're hoping that Ballot Builder can really be a tool that can be used for the voter to make voting go more easily - but more than that, really having an informed vote before they go."

Horse said the tool was created to empower Native American voters to make informed decisions about every candidate and simplify complex ballot initiatives.

She estimated that it will be used by at least 60,000 Indigenous voters this year, and she said she wants to expand Ballot Builder to other parts of the state.

Western Native Voice worked with the group Branch Politics to create Ballot Builder.

Montana joins a growing list of states where voters can do their homework about candidates and issues prior to an election.

Indigenous voters in 10 Montana Indian Country counties can even download tailored educational tools and sample ballots well ahead of going to the polls - or, Horse said, before voting by mail.

"They themselves," said Horse, "can explore what's on their ballot and who's on their ballot, and what the offices do."

Horse said the app also offers people the option to register to vote.



Disclosure: Western Native Voice contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Civic Engagement, Education, Native American Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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