NEWS GLEAMS | Election Day Is Nov. 8, Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Indian Child Welfare Act

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷

✨Gleaming This Week✨

Photo depicting a South Asian- and female-presenting individual in a red cardigan filling out a King County election ballot.
Photo courtesy of King County Elections.

Nov. 8 Is Election Day!

The Nov. 8 General Election is coming up! Pulling from South Seattle Emerald’s South End Guide on the elections, here is an easy-to-read information resource on how best to get out the vote!

If you haven’t voted before:

Where Can I Vote?

In King County vote by mail means in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

In addition, King County opened its newest and 75th ballot dropbox location at Woodinville City Hall on July 14, the first dropbox in Woodinville city limits.

According to a press release, over 96% of registered voters live within a 3-mile radius of a drop box location. Typically, about half of voters return their ballots via drop box.

Drop boxes are open 24 hours a day and emptied at least once a day during an election.

“Drop boxes are key to accessible elections here in King County and Washington State,” said King County Elections Director Julie Wise. “Constructed of half-inch thick steel, bolted directly into concrete, equipped with multiple locking mechanisms and with tamper evident seals, drop boxes are not only convenient, but also secure.”

24-Hour Drop Boxes

Return your ballot to a ballot drop box. Your ballot must be returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Plan ahead to avoid lines.

Drop boxes are:

  • Open 24 hours a day beginning Oct. 20.
  • Close on Election Day, Nov. 8, at 8:00 p.m.

Find a list and interactive map of all the dropbox locations in King County on King County Elections’ website.

Who Can Vote?

According to the King County Elections website, almost any adult who is a:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Legal resident of Washington
  • At least 18 years old on election day
  • Not disqualified by court order, not currently incarcerated for state or federal or out-of-state felony conviction.

A new Washington State law restores voting rights for those who have served a prison sentence. Upon release from prison, voting rights are restored, but people must reregister to vote. For more detailed information for voters with a felony conviction or people without a residential address, check the King County Elections website.

Also new this year are voting rights for 16- and 17-year-olds outlined in the Future Voter program. In Washington, 16- and 17-year-olds can sign up to be automatically registered to vote when they’re eligible.

How to Register to Vote

Registering to vote is easy. You can register to vote in-person through election day. See King County Elections’ website for more information.

If you want to register in advance next year, you can register online or by mail up until 8 days before an election.

Screenshot depicting a stage with 3 individuals conducting a discussion.
(Photo courtesy of Valley and Mountain Fellowship.)

A Dialogue on White Supremacy, Democracy, Christian Faith, and More

Over the weekend, the South Seattle Emerald was co-sponsor a conversation with Valley and Mountain Fellowship in Columbia City. Entitled “Christian White Supremacy: A Dialogue with Dr. Anthea Butler and Rev. Dr. Obery Hendricks,” the event spoke of the United States’ ongoing dialogue around Christian values, which have spawned fear, undermined elections, and led some to attempt to return the country back to a pre-civil rights movement status quo. The conversation also hopes to content with white supremacy in traditions and Christian congregations.

The conversation built off of the offertory prayer that the people of Valley and Mountain Fellowship recite every week. It says, “Wellspring of life, help us to use our offerings to make peace in our community. Set us free from fear, hoarding, and hostility, and renew in us the desire to become open-handed and open-hearted. Teach us to know what is enough so that all may not just survive, but thrive.”

Building off of that, please watch the Emerald’s livestream coverage of the entire talk on our Facebook page. Subtitles are available in English.

The Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments Around the Indian Child Welfare Act on Nov. 9

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Brackeen v. Haaland, a case that challenges the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which is a law that protects Native children from being forcibly removed from their homes, families, tribes, and culture. The upholding of ICWA is largely supported by tribes around the country.

Today, represented by Coolley LLP, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and 12 ACLU state affiliates — including ACLU Washington — filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court urging the court to uphold the constitutionality of the ICWA. 

According to their press release, “ICWA was passed by Congress in 1978 to address the nationwide epidemic of Native children being discriminatorily removed from their homes by child welfare agencies and placed into non-Native homes at disproportionate rates. ICWA requires state courts to make active efforts to keep Native families together, and it applies to children who are citizens or eligible to be citizens of a federally recognized tribe.”

“The ACLU’s brief argues that the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld federal laws that, like ICWA, specifically apply to tribes and has recognized these laws are rooted in tribal political sovereignty rather than race,” it continues.

According to IllumiNative, the plaintiffs, the Brackeens, are represented by Gibson Dunn, which is a law firm that is experienced in representing oil and gas companies. The framework upheld by ICWA “is the same federal framework that recognizes the inherent right of Tribal Nations to protect their sacred sites, burial grounds, and drinking water … if the Supreme Court accepts Gibson Dunn’s invitation to chip away at Tribal sovereignty, oil and gas companies will have a clearer path to extract fossil fuels on Tribal lands without the consent of Tribal Nations.”

Theodora Simon (Navajo), Indigenous Justice Advocate with the ACLU of Northern California, says, “To roll back the protections the Indian Child Welfare Act provides could return us to an era where Native children were indiscriminately torn from their families. This was a key part of centuries-long history of forced Native child removal as a tool of cultural genocide. It also ignores the overwhelming evidence that being removed from homes and disconnected from culture, tradition, and identity is deeply harmful to Native children. Native children have better life outcomes and deeper understanding of their cultural background when they have access to their tribes and tribal culture. The destruction of Native families puts the future survival of Native Nations and culture at risk. The Indian Child Welfare Act supports Native children, keeps Native families together, and preserves tribal culture, and it must be upheld.”

Those who wish to support the effort can sign the petition or join a Nov. 9 action at the Supreme Court.

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