Minerals Council

Proposed rule change to OMC elections would remove nearly all BIA involvement

The Department of Interior is proposing an update to a portion of the Code of Federal Regulations that deals with the Osage Minerals Council’s elections.

Published in the Dec. 4 edition of the Federal Register, the proposed rule change would condense Title 25, Part 90 of Code of Federal Regulations into two paragraphs that explicitly spell out the duties of the Osage Agency.

As printed, the proposed new rule reads: “The Superintendent of the Osage Agency must compile, at the request of the Chair of the Osage Minerals Council, a list of the voters of Osage descent who will be 18 years of age or over on the election day designated by the Osage Minerals Council and whose names appear on the quarterly annuity roll at the Osage Agency as of the last quarterly payment immediately preceding the date of the election. Such list must set forth only the name and last known address of each voter.

“For purposes of calculating votes, the Superintendent must furnish to the supervisor of the Osage Minerals Council Election Board a separate list containing the name and last known address of each eligible voter and including the voter's headright interest shown on the last quarterly annuity roll.”

All other language currently in Title 25, Part 90 regarding absentee ballots, election notice requirements, ballot canvassing, electioneering, challenges to voter eligibility and recounts would be deleted.

The comment period is scheduled to close on Feb. 2, 2021.

With the notice published just hours before the Osage Minerals Council’s Dec. 4 meeting, Chairman Andrew Yates deferred commenting on it until the council reconvenes on Dec. 16.

“I haven’t even had a chance to look at it yet,” he said.