EC considers new voter lists, candidate financials request forms
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – During an Oct. 5 meeting, the Cherokee Nation’s Election Commission tabled an item regarding its Information Request Form so commissioners can consider creating separate documents for voter list and candidate financial requests.
EC attorney Harvey Chaffin requested that commissioners table the item and suggested creating two forms by clarifying that subsections 25 and 46D of the Election Law fall under different categories.
Subsection 25 deals with obtaining voter lists. It states the most “recent voter list shall be made available to all citizens of Cherokee Nation, subject to the provisions of the Cherokee Nation Freedom of Information Act” and that the “list shall be made available on paper, computer diskette, gummed labels, electronically, or any other method available.” It also states the EC “may charge a nominal fee to cover the costs of duplication of the voter list, provided that the voter list shall be subject to inspection free of charge during the business hours of the Election Commission.”
Subsection 46D deals with corrections, revisions and retention of candidates’ financial disclosure reports. It states the EC “shall give the candidate an opportunity to correct any deficiency or error in his or her reports” and that any “contributions received during the six-month period following said election date shall be recorded on a revised final report to be filed no later than the first of the month following the expiration date of said six-month period.” It also states the “reports shall be maintained by the Election Services Office, which shall preserve the reports in a secure location for at least five years, during which time they shall be a public record available for inspection and copying.”
Chaffin said there should be separate request forms because the law states that only CN citizens can obtain voter lists whereas anyone can request candidate financials.
“There’s several different issues I see after I researched the statute. One is that the voter list is available only to Cherokee citizens and pursuant to that (CN Election Law) Section 25. So I don’t think financial reports and voter lists should be on the same form,” Chaffin said. “I actually think probably the form…we’re using now, would apply more to the public, to the candidate financial reports, and the one we revise would apply more to the (voter) list. My recommendation is let me do a little more work on that, and let’s put it on our next agenda.”
Chaffin also said it would be beneficial for the voter list form to state the subsection under which it falls in the Election Law.
“I think it would be a good idea also to have, maybe on the back of this form or maybe down here somewhere, have a copy of the statute,” he said.
In other business, commissioners approved the 2018 Maxim Consulting contract at $40,000, which covers system upgrades, and the 2018 Hart Intercivic contract at $25,000 that covers all licensing for software that runs the programs used for tribal elections.