MVSKOKE RESERVATION -The Primary Election for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief, Second Chief and National Council Representatives Seat A will be held on Sept. 16.
The primary election will determine who will proceed to the general election later in November.
Community-hosted candidate forums held across the reservation have offered MCN citizens the chance to be involved vocally in the election process. At the forums, citizens have been able to ask candidates questions directly as they each take turns answering. Over the course of the forums, citizens have grown comfortable with asking candidates harder questions.
The current chief’s administration has undertaken a new role as the nation experienced one of the biggest changes in its history: the McGirt Decision.
While Native American issues continue to settle at the U.S. Supreme Court level, tribal citizen representation is growing, as well as the need for representation.
According to the Native Vote website, all elections have an impact on Indian Country. Whether it is a tribal runoff or presidential race, Native votes have an influence in each outcome. According to the following statement from the website,
“Increasing Native representation in the election process is key to growing our political power. Each civic role plays a significant part in creating a better future for the next generation. And with the youngest Native voters now entering the political process, the Native vote will continue to create and inspire change.”
The chartered community forums started shortly after candidates signed up. Candidacies were declared at the end of July. Since then, campaigns have been running for contested positions.
MCN Community and Research Development Director J.R. Wind said that a young man from one of the communities had expressed gratitude for the forums. “The citizens are becoming more involved,” Wind said.
Questions of housing, elders, and economic development opportunities in the southern regions have been frequently asked and discussed.
The Native Vote website claims self education is key to making voting decisions.
Individuals will benefit most by understanding candidates’ platforms and considering the needs of the community and families within.
According to the MCN Election Board Manager Nelson Harjo Jr., the nation has a voter registration of around 20 percent. The exact number of registered voters is 18,029 as of Aug. 1. However, participation is actually much lower according to Harjo.
The results of the last MCN Primary Election in 2021 had a participation level of less than 2,000 voters in one contest. Many contests were much lower than that. With total tribal membership reaching nearly 90,000, the MCN Election Board would like that number to increase. However, data collected from past elections shows an upward trend in participation. The Election Board Facebook has been posting relevant and current information for page followers. For more information, visit http://www.nativevote.org/ or https://www.muscogeenation.com/election-board/.