EC approves voter list, candidate financial request form
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – During its Nov. 14 meeting, the Cherokee Nation’s Election Commission approved its new request form for voter lists or candidate financial reports after months of adjustments.
“We drafted this form similar to the Freedom of Information Act, but it’s not pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act because the information that we provide to Cherokee citizens is provided by statute. It’s a specific statute that allows us to give certain voter information. It limits what we can give,” Harvey Chaffin, EC attorney, said. “The Cherokee citizen isn’t entitled all the information we have. This form, I think, gives the information that’s needed. It’s a written request that we have in our policy we need to keep.”
Chaffin recommended that some “small” changes such as the length of time the EC has to complete a request needs to be added before the form is approved.
“We got a asterisk down there that says, ‘request due 20 days.’ That’s the request that’s due under the Freedom of Information Act. I don’t think we have the right to wait 20 days if somebody requests a voter list. I think we would have a reasonable time,” he said. “If they come in and want a printout of all the citizens, voters in their district or all over, then we might not do it that day, but we would be able to get that in the next day or two.”
Chaffin also mentioned there should be a portion on the form that specifies if the requester is a CN citizen, since only citizens can request the voter list. Both citizens and non-citizens can request the candidate financial reports.
“The only thing is if I remember correctly, the financial reports are not limited to citizens. In a box put citizenship card required for voter list,” he said.
EC Director Connie Parnell said although those filling out the application are asked to attach a copy of identification as well as a citizenship card, if requesting voter lists she would like to see a “check box” on the form asking that a copy of the requesters citizenship card be attached.
At the bottom of the form, which is for the commission to complete, Chaffin suggested adding a “request number” and “request completed/citizen notified: date” line.
“Request number, I think that’s good because that let’s you keep them in chronological order and gives you a reference number to them,” he said. “So I think what we need here is just to say, ‘request number’ and then a next line to say ‘request completed and citizen notified’ slash with a date. So then we’ve got a record of when we completed the request and when the citizen was notified that it was available to them.”