The Osage Nation Congressional candidates chose their campsites on April 15, however five of the candidates did not turn in their paperwork on time.
Michael Bristow, Fi Davis, John Maker, RJ Walker and Maria Whitehorn failed to turn in their Campsite Request Form by the deadline of April 13. Election Supervisor Alexis Rencountre told the five candidates they had the option of camping with other candidates – but there would not be an additional drawing. She said deadlines were important and the campsite request form had been in the candidate’s packets when the 15 candidates filed for office.
Each election year the candidates have camps where they speak with voters, offer campaign material and feed their guests throughout Election Day.
In the 2012 election, then-assistant principal chief candidate Amanda Proctor had missed the deadline to file her campsite request form and was denied a chance to draw for a campsite. She filed an incident report with the Election Board. The board later held an additional drawing for those candidates who were not present at the campsite drawing however Proctor ended up camping with her uncle, Galen Crum, who won his re-election bid for the Third Osage Minerals Council.
Shannon Lockett, chair of the ON Election Board, was present at the April 15 drawing as were the other election board members. Lockett said that since all 15 candidates were present and the election board was there to weigh in, they would allow the five candidates to draw for campsites that day after the other 10 candidates who turned in their requests on time selected their campsites.
“It’s, frankly, disappointing it turns out to be as difficult as it does [the campsite drawing]. I would like to say something that we were all very pleased about. Not one of the candidates that failed to turn in their paperwork, all acknowledged it was an oversight, or their fault and owned it,” Lockett said. “To me that said a lot. Because if you have a packet and there is a one-page piece of paper with all deadlines on it. That should make it easy.”
Rencountre put all 10 names in a plastic container and drew the names one by one, allowing the candidates to pick a campsite on a map of the Campus Park. After the 10 candidates had chosen their spots she placed the five remaining candidates in the plastic container and drew their names.
The three coveted spots every election year are usually the three standing arbors in the Osage Nation Campus park. Those were the three spots that went first. The first person called was Joe Tillman who picked the main arbor. The second candidate called was Rebekah HorseChief and she picked the north arbor. Shannon Edwards was called third candidate called and she picked the south arbor. The rest of the candidates picked the remaining available spots.
When asked if the Election Office is going to do away with the campsite request form for future elections Lockett said she didn’t know what the board was going to do.
“The first election cycle [in 2010] the staff didn’t do that, [candidates] had to go through the election law and pull that information out and do it on their own. But we know it’s hectic and busy and they have a lot on their mind,” Lockett said. “But when Alexis [Rencountre] came on, she did a cheat sheet so the candidates could look over the deadlines. With that kind of tool, I don’t know if we could make it easier.”
Candidates are given a list of rules for their campsites. Candidates can begin setting up their campsites the day before the election on June 5. Security is provided by the Osage Nation Police Department. If there is a challenge to a campsite location from another candidate the election supervisor is the resolution authority.
Tents are allowed but can be no bigger than the allotted campsite space. Vehicles are allowed in the campsite area only during set up and tear down times, they are prohibited during election day. Campaign signage and materials have to stay within campsite boundaries and are not permitted anywhere else on the Osage campus. Candidates are responsible for all trash in and around their campsite during Election Day and must have it contained in bags.
Drugs and alcohol are prohibited on the Osage Nation campus.
Shannon Shaw Duty
Original Publish Date: 2016-05-18 00:00:00