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General Election and OMC election candidates pick June 6 Election Day campsites

There will be at least 21 candidate campsites for voters to choose from at the Osage Nation Campus Park on Election Day.

On June 6, there will be at least 21 Election Day candidate campsites at the Osage Nation campus park where candidates seeking Executive Branch, Congressional or Osage Minerals Council office will greet in-person voters, friends and families.

The day-long Election Day campsite tradition continues again where candidates will greet, as well as provide food, refreshments and fellowship to the voters coming to Pawhuska to mark their ballots, as well as await the results announced after the polling places close and the ballot counting process is completed in each respective election.

In preparation for Election Day, the Wahzhazhe Elections office, along with OMC Election Office participation, held an April 14 drawing for the campsite spots at the outdoor campus park.

Alexis Rencountre, Election Supervisor for the Nation, said General Election candidates were provided forms to submit, if interested in having a campsite, and a similar form was provided to OMC candidates so they too would take part in the drawing. OMC Election Designee Billie Ponca was also present, along with the candidates or their representatives to pick campsites on their behalf.

A map provided by the Wahzhazhe Elections office shows the locations of candidate camps for 25 candidates on Election Day, June 6. Courtesy Photo

Rencountre placed folded pieces of paper printed with the candidates’ names into a clear plastic rotating hopper, which was rotated several times before she and Assistant Election Supervisor Courtney Piearcy started drawing names. Once a candidate’s name was drawn, then that person picked a desired campsite location from 29 total sites marked on a park map.

Among the 29 campsite locations are three permanent arbors with picnic tables, which are usually picked by the first three candidates drawn in past election years.

The first name drawn was OMC candidate Melissa Currey, who selected the south arbor for her campsite. Congressional candidate Jacque Jones was the next candidate to pick and she selected the main arbor where the drawing was held. Aside from being the largest, the main arbor is also closest to the campus road and parking areas.

OMC candidate Margo Gray’s name was the third one drawn and her brother Louis Gray appeared on her behalf to select a campsite while she attended the Osage Oil and Gas Summit in Tulsa. Louis Gray selected the north arbor with the remaining campsite locations in open spaces or near trees.

The drawing continued with the remaining General Election and OMC candidates selecting campsite locations, which measure 20 feet by 20 feet each.

Principal Chief candidate Joe Tillman and OMC candidate Dana Maker-Murrell will share a campsite while others will have individual campsites or opted to select campsite locations close to fellow candidates.

Rencountre said candidates who were not present for the campsite drawing will have an opportunity to pick from remaining campsite locations.

June 6 Election Day voting polling places are:

  • ON General Election voting is at the ON Civic Center located at 1449 W. Main St. In Pawhuska.
  • OMC in-person voting is at the Minerals Council Chambers Building, 813 Grandview, on the ON Government Campus next to the Museum. Only Osage shareholders are permitted to vote in the OMC election.
  • All Election Day voting hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
  • Both OMC Election and ON General Election results will be announced when ready in front of the Chambers Building that night.

The Minerals Council election office is also in the OMC Chamber offices. Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information on the Minerals Council election, call (918) 287-0010.

ON General Election voters can visit the Wahzhazhe Elections Office at 608 Kihekah Ave. in Pawhuska, email office staff at electionoffice@osagenation-nsn.gov or call toll-free (877) 560-5286 for more information.

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Benny Polaccahttps://osagenews.org
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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