Lani Hansen/Senior Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — The Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council held an Emergency Session Oct. 18 by teleconference.
All passed legislation will go before the full Council during the regular session Oct. 30.
Emergency session addressed the following legislation, the interpretation of which is attributed to language in the bills:
NCR 21-011 Approving the terms of engagement with Barnes & Thornburg, LLP. Representative Randall Hicks sponsored the resolution, which passed 14-0-1. Rep. Travis Scott abstained.
The NC desires to utilize Barnes & Thornburg as representation after being sued.
TR 21-142 Authorizing the Principal Chief to submit a grant application to the Department of Housing and Urban Development 2021 Indian Community Development Block grant program for Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages for construction of a public facility library/Native American Studies hall. Rep. James Jennings sponsored the legislation, which passed 15-0.
The Nation is in need of a Public Facility Library/Native American Studies Hall at the College of Muscogee Nation. The Nation meets the eligibility criteria of 24 CFR 1003.5 as an Indian tribe, an entity and possesses the legal authority to apply for a Housing and Urban Development Indian Community Development Block Grant and execute the program.
Present budget controls within the Executive Branch would be applied to the construction. Citizen Participation requirements of 24 CFR 1003.604 will be applied by the Nation and met.
A leveraged resource match in the amount of $3,300,000.00 will be committed by the Nation through an appropriation. For the construction of the new facilities, NC authorizes the Principal Chief to prepare, execute and submit a grant application in the amount of $1,000,000.00.
NCA 21-114 Amending MCNCA Title 19 Subchapter 1-102, 3-108, 6-101, 7-303, 8-106, 8-108, 8-201, 8-209, 10-102, 10-103, 10-105, 10-108, 10-109 and 10-111, Entitled “General elections,” “Dissemination of information,” “Appearance of candidate’s name,” “Absentee ballot affidavit,” “Time for issuing lists or certificates,” “Lighthorseman to provide security for ballot boxes,” “Time for filing contest or recount,” “Petition for fraud or irregularities,” “Request for absentee ballot,” “Transmittal of ballot to voter,” “Return of ballots,” “Handling of returned absentee ballot,” “Examination of signatures: removal of outer envelope” and “Counting procedures.” Rep. William Lowe sponsored the resolution, which passed 9-4-2. Rep. Thomasene Yahola Osborn, Rep. Mark Randolph, Rep. Travis Scott and Rep. Robert Hufft voted no. Abstained by Rep. Jennings and Rep. Adam Jones.
MCN 2021 Primary Election was September 18, 2021. As of 11 a.m. on Sept. 18 the total absentee ballots accepted was approximately 905; approximately 1,248 additional absentee ballots were received a week and a half after the election. There is a need to provide a solution so that Muscogee (Creek) voters are not disenfranchised and every legally cast absentee ballot is counted for the 2021 General Election.
The date for the 2021 General election, subject to any court orders issued by the District Court or the Supreme Court, shall be Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021.
Dissemination of information shall be the duty of the Election Board to disseminate information about any subsequent changes of dates and times, polling locations up to the Election Day. Appearance of candidate’s name shall have any prefix, or title placed before the candidate’s name. The letter (I) shall be listed beside the incumbent.
Absentee ballot affidavit an absentee ballot not already submitted to be casted. Under 8-106 through 8-209 changes the time slot from the Friday next following an election to 10 days. All absentee ballot requests must be in writing by the registered voter and received at least 30 days prior to any scheduled election.
Absentee ballots may not be mailed more than 26 days prior to election, except ballots outside continental limits to be mailed 40 days prior election. Returned ballots must be postmarked no later than two days prior election day. Two Election Board members and a member of Lighthorse administration shall pick up absentee ballot boxes from the post office at 4 p.m.
For video of committee meetings and full legislation, visit: www.mcnnc.com
Editor’s note: An Emergency Session was held by National Council via teleconference on Oct. 23 which addressed NCA 21-116 amending Title 19 subsection 1-102 entitled “General Elections” and appropriating funds to expedite the return of absentee ballots. Rep. Darrell Proctor sponsored the legislation, which was adopted 15-0.
The legislation would move the General Election to be Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 with early voting dates Nov. 9 & 10, 2021.
The date was extended in order to ensure there is adequate time for the Election Board to prepare for and hold the 2021 General Election.
Council also appropriated $215,000 to expedite the return of absentee ballots.