Tribal citizens looking for official results in the upcoming special election for principal chief may be disappointed when balloting ends Saturday, Sept. 24.
The Cherokee Nation Election Commission approved amending its regulations to allow a 48-hour certification period after each election. While unofficial results will be announced before commissioners leave on election night – or the following morning, as was the case in the recent election – final canvassing and official results will not be determined until two days later.
Newly appointed Election Commissioner Susan Plumb proposed the amendment. “I don’t know of any other entity, whether it’s state, municipal or otherwise, that certifies election results immediately,” said Plumb.
Commissioner Patsy Eads-Morton outlined the counting process, and explained the need for either additional personnel to help count absentee ballots, or to at least have a break in the counting.
“We need more people here to help remove absentee ballots from the boxes and prepare them for the machines,” said Eads-Morton. “We need a break. It could be that we need that famous ‘going to breakfast,’ or whatever. We need rest. When the [Cherokee Nation] Supreme Court counted ballots, they took breaks. Everyone needs to know it’s going to take a while.”