The Osage Nation Election Board certified the Aug. 13 Special Election results with the four proposed amendments failing after approximately 1,400 ballots were counted.
The four amendment questions concerning the Osage Minerals Estate in the 2006 Constitution failed to garner 65 percent of the “yes” vote required for constitutional amendments to take effect.
According to the Election Office, 1,024 absentee ballots were received and counted and 455 Osages voted in-person. The total number of ballots cast is 1,479.
Here is a breakdown of the voting results:
- ONCR 10-19: YES – 911 (61.75 percent); NO – 565 (38.28 percent)
This amendment would have prohibited the ON Congress from taxing the Osage Minerals Estate, taxing the production or transportation of materials extracted from the Osage Minerals Estate, as well as prohibiting the taxing of Osage mineral royalties.
- ONCR 11-12: YES – 803 (54.55 percent); NO – 669 (45.45 percent)
This amendment question asks voters whether Article VII, Section 5 should be amended to exclude the Nation’s legislative and judicial branches and the Osage Minerals Council from the Executive Branch’s composition.
- ONCR 11-13: YES – 815 (55.18 percent); NO – 662 (44.82 percent)
This amendment question asks whether Article XIII, Section 2 (election laws) should be amended to exclude the OMC election from the Nation’s government election code.
- ONCR 11-14: YES – 831 (56.22 percent); NO – 647 (43.78 percent)
This proposed constitutional amendment called for deleting and revising Article XV, which is “Management of the Osage Minerals Estate by the Osage Minerals Council.” If passed, the new section would have replace the existing section titled: “Natural Resources and Minerals Management.” The proposed amended section contains five sections, which define the Minerals Estate and OMC along with its powers and office qualifications.
Majority of ‘yes’ votes came from absentee voters
The counting of ballots took longer than some Osage voters expected amid a lower turnout compared to the June 4 general election. With the poll closing at 8 p.m., some Osages predicted the ballot count would take about one hour, but the announcement did not come until nearly two hours later.
Election Board Chairman Walter Hopper said the ballot count was carefully checked before the results were announced in front of the Congressional Chambers. The board hired True Ballot Inc. to conduct the election as the company did for the June 4 general election and the two elections held in 2010.
“We went through and double-checked to make sure all the counting was done correctly,” Hopper said shortly after the results were announced. Hopper said in-person votes made the difference in this special election with most of the absentee ballots showing a “yes” vote, but most of the “no” vote came from in-person voters, which brought the total “yes” vote percentage results below the 65 percent threshold.
Here is a breakdown of the voting results with in-person versus absentee ballots:
ONCR 10-19: YES - 737 (72.18 percent) from absentee voters; 174 (38.24 percent) from in-person voters; NO- 284 (27.82 percent) from absentee voters; 281 (61.76 percent) from in-person voters.
ONCR 11-12: YES – 649 (63.75 percent) from absentee voters; 154 (33.92 percent) from in-person voters; NO – 369 (36.25 percent) from absentee voters; 300 (66.08 percent) from in-person voters.
ONCR 11-13: YES – 656 (64.19 percent) from absentee voters; 159 (34.95 percent) from in-person voters; NO – 366 (35.81 percent) from absentee voters; 296 (65.05 percent) from in-person voters.
ONCR 11-14: YES – 670 (65.49 percent) from absentee voters; 161 (35.38 percent) from in-person voters; NO – 353 (34.51 percent) from absentee voters; 294 (64.62 percent) from in-person voters.
Election Supervisor Alexis Rencountre said the Election Office received seven provisional ballots, which were picked up from the post office Aug. 15 (48 hours after the special election). Only two of those ballots were qualified with the appropriate postmarked date stamp and the remaining five did not have one, she said.
Two provisional ballots are not enough to impact the special election unofficial results, so the results announced on election night did not change, Rencountre said.
The next Election Board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 6 at 2:30 p.m.