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Election Board certifies Special Election results

The Osage Nation Election Board certified the results of the March 20 Special Election ten days after Osage voters approved amending tribal law to recognize same-sex marriages and a Constitutional amendment regarding the annual budgets.

Election Supervisor Alexis Rencountre said no one requested a recount or challenged the results as of March 30. That day, the Election Board held a special meeting to take action on the results. Board member Belle Wilson motioned to certify the results and board member Terry Hazen and Chairwoman Shannon Lockett voted with her to certify the results.

Lockett commended Rencountre and Assistant Election Supervisor Courtney Piearcy for their work efforts in coordinating and setting up the election, which included two early voting days March 17-18. Alternate Election Board Member Anita Fields also helped with the election efforts and attended the meetings to stay informed of the election plans. Alternate board members serve as voting board members in the event a sitting board member must recuse his/herself due to any conflicts with an election.

According to the non-certified results, 1,470 Osages voted in the special election out of 15,007 who are eligible or 9.8 percent.

On the same-sex marriage question, 770 (52.38 percent) voted “yes” and 694 (47.21 percent) voted “no.” Also on this question six people undervoted or did not mark a “yes” or “no” vote. Those six votes came from absentee voters.

Voters also passed a Constitutional amendment question regarding the budgets with an 82.18 percent “yes” vote from 1,208 Osages and 252 (17.14 percent) voted “no.” This amendment changes the Constitution to add: “the annual budget of the Osage Nation shall be governed by the principles of transparency and accountability, and the budgetary process encompassing those principles shall be set forth in Osage law.”

On the Constitutional amendment question, 10 people undervoted with nine coming from absentee voters and one Election Day voter.

A total of 1,123 absentee ballots that were received by March 20 were counted in the election. The absentee ballots came from across the United States and one even came postmarked from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, according to a March 20 Election Office Facebook update.


Benny Polacca

Original Publish Date: 2017-03-31 00:00:00


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Benny Polacca
Benny Polacca started at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter and has covered various stories and events impacting the Osage Nation and Osage people. Polacca is part of the News team awarded the Native American Journalist Association’s Elias Boudinot Free Press Award in 2014 and other NAJA Media Awards and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter awards for news coverage and photography. Polacca is an Arizona State University graduate and participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. He previously worked at The Forum newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. region as the weeknight reporter.

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