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Senate candidate Paulette Jordan discusses voter suppression, census in Fort Hall

jordan waving to camera from behind podium
Senate candidate Paulette Jordan addresses the press pool at the Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel on Monday, after a campaign stop in the area.

FORT HALL, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - With less than 90 days until the November election, Idaho senate candidate Paulette Jordan is ramping up her campaign.

During a visit to the Shoshone-Bannock tribes, Jordan held a press conference Monday at the Sho-Ban Casino Hotel. She discussed the implications of the pandemic on tribes, voter suppression and low tribal participation in the census.

After speaking with tribal chairman, Kevin Callahan, on some of the particular issues the Sho-Ban tribes face, Jordan called for more polling locations in Fort Hall, citing long lines and a lack of ballots in 2018.

She also spoke out on voter purging, which is when a state removes registered voters from their rolls after years of not voting.

"We have to be very watchful as that has happened in many red states in this country," Jordan said. "We want to make sure our people, and of course the hispanic communities and rural communities, are mindful that their registration is still upheld on the rolls."

Idaho purges voters from its rolls if they haven’t voted in four years, though it's also one of the few states that allows voters to register at the polls on Election Day. However, with mail-in ballots likely being the prominent form of voting in November, it's important for voters to make sure they're registered before the election. You can check your voter registration or register online here.

Jordan also called on tribal members to fill out the 2020 census, citing only a 20% participation rate in Fort Hall.

"We want to make sure that the funding comes in in order to strengthen our community in many ways," Jordan said. "With our schools and health care system, the census goes to everything--anything that impacts someone's daily life."

A low census participation rate for the Sho-Ban tribes could impact grant programs, funding for road maintenance, and schools, Jordan said. You can respond to the 2020 census online here.

The campaign trail looks different than Jordan's bid for governor in 2018 because of the pandemic. She said she plans to host virtual and tele-town hall conferences and possibly host socially distant events at drive-in theaters around the state.

"I am an indigenous woman, and being that we are indigenous people, we are not beholden to any party system. Because of that fact, I think that's why Idaho deserves a leader that is not tied to the party rhetoric," Jordan said.

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Emma Iannacone

Emma is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.


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