UKB candidate filing starts Aug. 1; Voters encouraged to update info
Updated: Aug 8
BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
TAHLEQUAH – Candidates wishing to have their name on the ballot for the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Election in November can declare their candidacy to the Election Board starting Aug. 1.
The full filing period runs on the business days between Aug. 1 and Aug. 14 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the UKB Election Board Office in the UKB Wellness Center.
This year’s Nov. 2 election will see all nine district representative seats and all four officer seats including the chief, assistant chief, secretary and treasurer positions up for election.
Candidates for Chief or Assistant Chief must be at least 35-years-old and be a resident of the Old Cherokee Nation and an exclusive UKB member for at least a year prior to filing. The filing fee for Chief is $500, while Assistant Chief is $400.
Candidates for Secretary or Treasurer must be at least 21-years-old and have been a resident of the Old Cherokee Nation and an exclusive UKB member at least a year prior to filing. The filing fee for Secretary or Treasurer position is $400.
Candidates for District Representative must be at least 21-years-old and have been a resident of the district to be represented and an exclusive UKB member at least a year prior to filing. The filing fee for District Representative is $250.
All filling fees must be paid by money order or cashier’s check and are non-refundable.
Candidates will also be required to sign documentation granting the board permission to run a Criminal History Record report with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Background checks will be completed within ten business days of the closing of the candidate filing period.
The Election Board will make a list available of all eligible candidates after background checks are completed. If a candidate is disqualified, the Election Board will not disclose the reason to the public.
Keetoowahs 21 and older are encouraged to update their voting information with Secretary Joyce Hawk in the UKB Enrollment Office by calling 918- 871-2800 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Preliminary voter lists are currently online at www.ukb-nsn.gov/electionboard. The last day to update voter information will be July 31.
“You must be on the Voter Registration list to be eligible to vote in the November election. Your ID card alone doesn’t make you eligible,” said Board Member Wyanetta Springwater. “If you have doubts, you must check with Enrollment to insure your eligibility.”
Keetoowahs who have updated their mailing information with the UKB Enrollment Office for their COVID-19 relief payment have already completed this step.
To be eligible to vote, Keetoowahs must be 21 or older by the Nov. 2 election day, have been an exclusive Keetoowah member for at least six months, be a resident or affiliated with a particular district and be listed in the official Voter List in the district of which the member wishes to vote. They must also present their Keetoowah ID on the day of the election to verify identity.
According to the Keetoowah Election Ordinance, an eligible voter residing in the territory known as the “Old Cherokee Nation” will be allowed to vote in the district in which they have resided for a period of three months prior to the election.
If the Keetoowah has changed residences in the three months prior to voting, they will “not be entitled to vote in the new district” until the next election. Instead, voters must vote in the old district of which their name appears on the Voters List.
No absentee voting shall be permitted. However, voters who live out of the Old Cherokee Nation boundaries can choose a district in which to vote if they can physically be present in that district to vote on election day. A written statement or email must be sent to the Tribal Secretary to declare which district the voter wishes to vote.
For voters with physical disabilities, precinct workers will be on hand at each polling place to assist with the voting process.
The Election Board invites Keetoowahs to attend its public meetings on the first Tuesday of every month at the UKB Wellness Center beginning at 6 p.m.
To view the full Election Ordinance, please click below.