Plans are set for the 2015 Hominy Indian Village Five-Man Board election scheduled for the evenings of Nov. 2 and 3.
The Osage Nation Election Board will be conducting the two-day elections that will take place during both of those nights at the Hominy Community Building with voting from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 and from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. on Nov. 3.
The Election Board will start the first night by taking board nominations from the voters who arrive by 6 p.m. Once board nominations are made, the list will be locked and village voters will choose members from that list of nominees.
On the second day, the Election Board will count votes and announce the results after voting ceases at 7 p.m.
On Oct. 13, the Election Board met to discuss and plan the Hominy village Election Day activities in response to Executive Order 15-03 issued by Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear calling for the Hominy village election, which has not taken place in several years.
The ON Election Board is also conducting the election after hearing requests for assistance from village residents. ON Assistant Attorney General Clint Patterson, who represents the Election Board, referred to the Nation’s election code, which states “villages or Village Committees (Five-Man Boards) may seek the assistance of other government entities to conduct their election…” Patterson said the AG’s office opinion is the election law may be interpreted to include village residents (who are not board members) as those who may request assistance with village elections.
Hominy village resident Frances Wetselline attended the meeting and said this is the first board election she’s aware of since moving back to the village about five years ago. Wetselline, along with fellow attendees Lauren Wetselline, Mary Wetselline and April Mitts, came to the meeting to learn about the village election plans. Afterward, the group volunteered to help the Election Office develop a resident/ voter registry list for the Hominy village, which will help the Election Board verify voters’ identification when they come to vote at the community building.
Election Supervisor Alexis Rencountre said village voters must be enrolled Osages and election officials will ask to see photo identification to confirm whether they are on the resident/ registry list. Although the executive order for the Hominy election states eligible voters must be at least 21 years old, village residents must be at least 18 years old (per current federal law and the Osage Constitution).
Election Board chairwoman Shannon Lockett said the board research noted the Hominy constitution was approved during the time when the voting minimum age was 21. According to history.com, the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed in 1971, which lowered the current voting age to 18.
The current Hominy Indian Village constitution was developed and approved in March 1964 by the Osage Tribal Council at the time and is signed by Principal Chief Paul Pitts. According to the village constitution, the village committee is organized “to provide for the health, safety and welfare of its inhabitants; to provide for the maintenance of tribal property; and to serve as custodian and manager of tribal property and improvements located within said village.”
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The ON Election Office can be reached at (918) 287-5286 or email@example.com