Absentee voters to use pencil on CN ballots

06/07/2011 07:49 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizens who are intending to vote absentee in the 2011 tribal elections are expected to use a No.2 pencil when filling out the ballot because of the type of paper the ballots are printed on and the machine being used to count ballots.

“The ballots are counted by machines. Those machines are carbon sensitive,” said Lloyd Cole, Cherokee Nation Election Commission attorney. “When you use a ballpoint pen or ink it is not as likely to pick up the ballot as it would be if it was in pencil.”

This is also not the first year the EC has asked absentee voters to use pencil. Cole said in previous years the ballots have stated that the voter should use a pen or pencil.

“Now if the ballot comes through and for some reason it’s, say it’s in pencil or ball point pen or pen, it doesn’t read it, it kicks it out and then we have to hand read it,” Cole said. “In other words, we have to read it and post it by hand instead of the machine. That’s the reason they want pencil because it’s a carbon and it reads more accurately and we have less that we have to hand count. That’s the primary purpose for pencil.”

When filling out absentee ballots, voters are to complete the arrow with a No. 2 pencil for their candidates of choice or answers to the ballot issues.

Connie Parnell, Cherokee County Election board secretary, said it’s normal for absentee ballots to be filled out in pencil.

She said ballots taking No. 2 pencil marks are used statewide and similar to how a scantron test works, which is what some high schools or universities use to grade students tests.

The scantron test is filled out in pencil and placed through a machine that can only read pencil, like a voting machine.

“And so it’s used to reading that and sometimes there are certain types of inks that they will not read and so it might be if it’s a reflective ink it will not read it,” she said.”

tesina-jackson@cherokee.org • 918-453-5000, ext. 6139
About the Author
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Tesina first started working as an intern for the Cherokee Phoenix after receiving the John Shurr Journalism Award in 2009. Later that year, Tesina received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., and in 2010 joined the Phoenix staff as a reporter.    

In 2006, Tesina received an internship at The Forum newspaper in Fargo, N.D., after attending the American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. She also attended the AIJI summer program in 2007 and in 2009 she participated in the Native American Journalists Association student projects as a reporter. Tesina is currently a member of NAJA and the Investigative Reporters & Editors organization.
TESINA-JACKSON@cherokee.org • 918-453-5000 ext. 6139
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Tesina first started working as an intern for the Cherokee Phoenix after receiving the John Shurr Journalism Award in 2009. Later that year, Tesina received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., and in 2010 joined the Phoenix staff as a reporter. In 2006, Tesina received an internship at The Forum newspaper in Fargo, N.D., after attending the American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. She also attended the AIJI summer program in 2007 and in 2009 she participated in the Native American Journalists Association student projects as a reporter. Tesina is currently a member of NAJA and the Investigative Reporters & Editors organization.


05/05/2015 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court on April 29 upheld a District Court ruling denying a tribal citizen’s request to require the Election Commission to provide early walk-in voting at each precinct in the tribe’s jurisdiction. The Supreme Court denied the appeal of Larry Paden stating that there was no substantial controversy with only offering walk-in voting in Tahlequah at the Election Services Office instead of at each precinct in the 14 counties. In 2014, Paden filed a lawsuit stating that the Election Commission had denied Paden and others equal protection of the law by providing early walk-in voting only at the Election Services Office. The Supreme Court states that the “heart of the controversy centers around Cherokee law mandating that the Cherokee Nation Election Commission provide in person absentee voting” at the Election Services Office. The court states the law makes it discretionary to the EC on the number of days allowed for early in-person absentee voting and what locations would be permitted to have it. “The Election Commission has determined for purposes of this election to allow three days of early voting at the Election Commission Office,” the opinion states. “The Election Commission has further determined that for reasons of cost, security and staffing that early in person absentee voting will only be allowed at the Election Commission Office located in Tahlequah, Okla.” Paden said this practice “constitutes an unfair denial of equal protection to Cherokees” who do not live in the Tahlequah area. “Because Cherokee citizens live literally all over the world, there will never be any circumstances which make the convenience of voting equal among the Tribe’s citizens,” the order states. “We find that the concerns of the Election Commission are valid and that the Commission’s imposition of reasonable restrictions upon Cherokee voters is not a denial of equal protection. Cherokee law permitting in- person absentee voting at the Election Commission Office and granting discretion to the Election Commission as to whether it should allow early in-person absentee voting at other locations and the Commission’s decision not to allow the same constitute a reasonable justifiable burden on Cherokee voters.” All five justices – James Wilcoxen, Troy Wayne Poteete, John C. Garrett, Angela Jones and Lynn Burris – signed the ruling.
05/03/2015 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Rocky Mountain Cherokee Community Organization will host two fundraisers in May. A bingo game will be held at the organization’s community building on May 9 with a concession stand opening at 5 p.m. and bingo games beginning at 6 p.m. A gospel singing will begin at 5 p.m. on May 23. Concessions or a dinner will be for sale during the singing. The Rocky Mountain Community is located 5 miles west of Stilwell on Hwy 100. Turn onto Rocky Mountain School road and continue about 5 miles. The RMCCO Community Building is located across the road from the Rocky Mountain School softball field. RMCCO is affiliated with the Cherokee Nation’s Community and Cultural Outreach. Advancement of the Cherokee culture and communities in the Cherokee Nation’s 14-county jurisdictional areas, as well the tribe’s many satellite communities, is important for the future of the CN. CCO is designed to strengthen Cherokee communities. For more information, call Vicki McLemore at 918-506-0487.
05/02/2015 04:00 PM
WASHINGTON – The National Park Service has proposed to modify the regulation governing the gathering of plants in national parks. The rule would allow citizens of federally recognized American Indian tribes with traditional associations to areas within specific units of the NPS to gather and remove plants or plant parts for traditional purposes. The gathering and removal allowed by the rule would be governed by agreements that may be entered into between the NPS and the tribes, and would also be subject to permits that identify the tribal members who may conduct these activities. The rule would prohibit commercial uses of gathered materials. To be published on April 20 in the Federal Register, “Gathering of Certain Plants or Plant Parts by Federally Recognized Indian Tribes for Traditional Purposes,” will be open for public comment for 90 days through July 20. “The proposed rule respects tribal sovereignty and the government-to-government relationship between the United States and the tribes,” said NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “It also supports the mission of the National Park Service and the continuation of unique cultural traditions of American Indians.” Many units of the NPS contain resources important to the continuation of American Indian cultures. Indian tribes have actively sought the ability to gather and use plant resources for traditional purposes such as basketry and traditional medicines while ensuring the sustainability of plant communities in parks. At the same time, park managers and law enforcement officers need clear guidance regarding their responsibilities for enforcing park regulations with respect to the use of park resources by American Indians. The proposal provides an approach to plant collecting by members of federally recognized tribes that can be applied across the NPS. In drafting the proposed rule, NPS staff met with or contacted more than 120 Indian tribes. Tribal consultation that followed indicates that the approach taken in the proposed rule would address the need for gathering while respecting tribal sovereignty. Comments on the proposed rule should reference the NPS and Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1024-AD84, and can be submitted online through the Federal Rulemaking Portal: <a href="http://www.regulations.gov" target="_blank">http://www.regulations.gov</a>, which provides instructions for submitting comments; or by mail to: National Park Service, Joe Watkins, Office of Tribal Relations and American Cultures, 1201 Eye Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20005. Comments and suggestions on the information collection requirements in the proposed rule should be sent to the Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior at OMB-OIRA by fax at 202-395-5806 or by email to OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov. Comments by email should be sent to <a href="mailto: madonna_baucum@nps.gov">madonna_baucum@nps.gov</a> or by mail to: Information Collection Clearance Officer, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20240. Reference “1024-AD84” in the subject line.
05/02/2015 12:00 PM
CLAREMORE, Okla. – The Will Rogers Memorial Museum will host the “Will on the Hill” music festival beginning at noon on May 16. Rogers County native Beau Jennings and his band the Tigers will headline the festival. Jennings, who appeared in concert at the museum two years ago, will play his new album/project, “The Verdigris: in Search of Will Rogers.” To prepare for the project, Jennings, of Inola, retraced the steps in Will’s life, traveling from his Indian Territory birthplace to Alaska, where he and Wiley Post perished in a plane crash. As he traveled to major locations in Will’s life, he recorded new songs written on the way, inspired by nature and places. Activities will begin with a live podcast from noon to 1 p.m. with Bart Taylor, Will Rogers Memorial Museum assistant curator for education and Jacob Krumwiede, Museum assistant director, in an interview with Jennings about the process of writing his Will Rogers’ influenced album. “He will play a song or two on his acoustic guitar to show and talk about his songs,” Taylor said. Cody Brewer, associated with the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, will be putting on a Will Rogers’ themed songwriting class for kids from 1-2 p.m. in the museum’s theatre. He will involve youngsters in songwriting and more specifically, writing about Will Rogers. He does this program at the Woody Guthrie Center, which builds kids’ excitement building as their creativity is aroused using Oklahoma history to tell a story. Other bands and performers are being lined up for the festival from 2-10 p.m. Those other bands include: “Annie Oakley,” an all-girl band founded by singer-songwriters Sophia and Grace Babb, is added to the list of musicians. Their music is described as Americana with a combination of folk, bluegrass, country, indie and soul. The sisters are descendants of both Comanche and pioneer Land Run stock and share the Ulster Scots heritage of Woody Guthrie and Merle Haggard. “Grazzhopper” has a foundation of bluegrass and country. Frontman Cody Brewer draws from influences of his family and surroundings. Grazzhopper’s songs discuss everything from trials and tribulations of life to the power of joy. Other bands and singers expected are Travis Linville, Dana Louise and Joe Mack. Linville has appeared on the David Letterman show and played multi-instrumentals with Hayes Carll on stages across North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark and Norway. Joe Mack is a singer, songwriter, producer, and teacher with a 30-year history of performing in a variety of situations. At the same time the grounds will be teeming with the Tulsa Windriders, a kite experience, artists and food trucks. Sponsors include Cherokee Nation, Cherokee Nation Businesses, Oklahoma Arts Council and Will Rogers Memorial Foundation.
05/01/2015 02:00 PM
MT. VERNON, N.Y. – Women on 20s campaign officials have chosen a day and time that the polls will close for individuals to vote on their favorite woman in the hopes of making a change to the $20 bill. Voters have until 11:59 p.m. EST on May 10 to cast their vote for one of the four women. Those on the ballot are former Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller, civil rights activist Rosa Parks, former first lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt and abolitionist Harriet Tubman. According to a Women on 20s press release, officials chose the deadline to be on May 10 to honor women on Mother’s Day. “It’s a day to honor all women, because we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our mothers. And our country wouldn’t be what it is without its founding mothers and the female game changers who’ve gone unrecognized behind the scenes for too long,” the release states. With the campaign, officials hope to replace President Andrew Jackson with one of these women on the $20 bill by 2020, which marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s passing that granted women the right to vote. The release states that soon after the votes are counted and all of the information is complied, campaign officials will then deliver their findings to President Barack Obama and Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew in a “unique way.” For more information on this campaign or to vote, visit <a href="http://www.womenon20s.org" target="_blank">womenon20s.org</a> . Those who do not have Internet access can write in a letter casting their vote. Campaign officials said the vote would not be counted with the others, but it would be part of the presentation that is presented to the president. Letters can be mailed to P.O. Box 2353, Mt. Vernon, New York 10550. All letters should be addressed to Barbara Ortiz Howard, Women on 20s.
05/01/2015 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation recently celebrated the opening of its new Gallery Shop, a gift shop inside the Cort Mall that offers everything from handmade coffee mugs and beaded earrings to wall décor in the Cherokee syllabary made by Native artists. “Everything displayed in the Spider Gallery is unique,” Donna Tinnin, the tribe’s community tourism manager, said. “We noticed people would do a lot of looking at the Cherokee art pieces but often weren’t purchasing anything. So, we wanted to offer people the opportunity to purchase something that was still handcrafted by Cherokee artists, but smaller items that may be more adequate for their budget.” Hand-beaded jewelry, postcard prints, miniature gourd turtles, graphic T-shirts, commercial reed baskets and handmade coffee mugs that range in price from $10 to $100 are just a few items available. Artists’ work featured in the Spider Gallery goes through a selective screening process. The Gallery Shop allows more Native artists to display their work in a less rigorous way. Matthew Anderson, 45, is a self-taught artist from Tahlequah. The CN citizen has gourds and pottery in the Spider Gallery and has handmade coffee mugs for sale in the Gallery Shop to appeal to a wider array of shoppers. “Larger pieces of art take longer to produce, which makes them more of a high-end piece,” said Anderson. “When artists start moving things in a new retail environment, everything sells more quickly, giving them more of an opportunity to make and sell more items.” CN Commerce oversees the Gallery Shop, Spider Gallery and Kawi Café, all located inside the Cort Mall, which is owned by the CN. The department also has a Small Business Assistance Center that helps entrepreneurs with loans and Cherokees with mortgage assistance to buy homes as well as programs that cater to artist development. The Gallery Shop is located directly across from the Spider Gallery at 215 S. Muskogee Ave. For more information on the Spider Gallery or the Gallery Shop, call 918-453-5728.