The Election Commission for the Cherokee Nation decided to move forward with a special election September 24th for principal chief. The Commission met in Tahlequah Wednesday evening because of new developments in the Freedmen case.
The Nation recently kicked out 2,800 descendants of the tribe’s black slaves who want to vote, and the federal government says that violated an old treaty. A federal judge will hear the case next week. They commission also approved to expedite absentee ballots to Freedmen who are registered voters and requested absentee ballots for the election.
The commission said that Freedmen voters who did not request absentee ballots will be allowed to vote on challenged ballots at precincts or early walk-in voting. All Freedmen ballots are challenged ballots, absentee or not, while the commission awaits pending litigation.
“I’m very upset because it’s not right. We have every right to vote just like anyone else,” said Rodslen Brown-King, Cherokee Freedmen.