Election Commission targets ‘antagonistic’ precinct workers
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation Election Commission officials agreed May 21 to give individual commissioners authority to terminate contracts with precinct workers who breach their “good faith” obligations.
“The commissioner that hired the person would be the one that sends a letter to that precinct official,” Election Commissioner Carolyn Allen said.
EC officials said there are four to five workers per each of the tribe’s 51 voting precincts. Allen initially wanted a way to address precinct workers “not acting in good faith of their contract by being active in political campaigns or antagonistic toward the Election Commission.”
She made a successful motion that “any precinct worker’s agreement may be terminated” by the appropriate commissioner.
“I think it gives us the leeway to take action,” she said.
Commissioner Rick Doherty said the issue arose from social media posts. Allen said with one worker in particular, “it is a continuous thing. It is not just one social media post. It is very aggressive.”
EC attorney Harvey Chaffin said the EC already has the right to terminate for any reason with 30 days notice. For those breaching their contracts by attempting to discredit the commission or candidates, termination letters would be sent.
“There is no doubt that what your precinct workers do can reflect on the commission,” Chaffin said. “If you’ve got a worker in the precinct that’s criticizing publicly some other candidates and the commission, I think that certainly could be considered breach of the obligation.”
Early walk-in voting for the June 1 general election is May 25 and May 28-30.