In the last midterm election voters in the Cherokee Nation reported many people coming to their doors and urging them to hand over their absentee ballots, sometimes without filling them out. Others described receiving absentee ballots by mail that they had not requested. Candidates and their supporters have brought in hundreds of absentee ballots changing the course of the election.
The most notable seat during the 2017 elections was the District 7 tribal council position. David Commingdeer was winning by a considerable margin, and when the polls closed, it looked like Commingdeer was the new Cherokee Nation Tribal Council member for District 7 by a landslide. However, after the absentee ballots were counted Frankie Hargis was declared the winner.
962 people voted for District 7
425 of the 962 voted absentee ballot (44%)
388 of the 425 voted for Frankie Hargis (91.3%)
The absentee ballots represent an unusually high number of absentee voters for a region that only had 962 voters in total. 44% of a district that is IN JURISDICTION voted absentee. What is more alarming is that records over the years show that large numbers of absentee ballots have been sent to Adair County liquor stores and candidates PO boxes.
In the Cherokee Nation, it is LEGAL to take someone else’s ballot and turn it in. It is NOT LEGAL to fill out a ballot in someone else’s name and vote for them.
Why in the world would someone be able to walk in someone else’s ballot? Why not just require it to be mailed to the election commission?
Tribal council members continue to vote down any measure to eliminate the corruption surrounding the absentee ballots. Current Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin and Principal Chief Bill John Baker voted against proposed reform when they were on tribal council.
Individuals that continue to vote against absentee ballot reform are the ones profiting from the absentee ballot swindle. The Baker/Hoskin administration has been doing this since they swung the 2011 election with absentee ballots.
The Cherokee Nation Election Commission continues to turn a blind eye to the high numbers of absentee ballots cast in districts, such as District 7. In 2017 Hargis won 93% of the absentee ballots for District 7. The election commission should be doing everything they can to protect the integrity of our votes and sanctity or our elections. However, the CNEC is firmly in the Baker/ Hoskin aka Democratic party pocket.
As Cherokee Nations citizens we should be screaming for evidentiary hearings because we have a right to fair elections.
Bennett, Brittney. “Hargis Retains Dist. 7 Seat.” Cherokee Phoenix, www.cherokeephoenix.org/contents/details/11295.