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ON Candidates correct campaign report deficiencies


Benny Polacca

The Osage Nation Election Board certified 11 campaign-reporting statements on June 1 after the Congressional candidates corrected the deficiencies.

Board members Terry Hazen, Belle Wilson and Chairwoman Shannon Lockett reviewed the submitted first campaign reporting statements on May 24 and voted for the Election Office to notify those candidates found to have deficiencies in their submitted statements. Those deficiencies were minor and included missing documentation or incorrect or missing information on the submitted forms.

The campaign reporting statement includes donations to the candidates’ campaigns and must be deposited into separate bank accounts designated for campaign purposes, according to the ON election code. Campaign expenditures typically include costs for holding candidate meet-and-greets, travel to campaign events, mailing campaign literature, filing fees, purchasing additional voter registry lists from the Election Office, campaign yard signs/ banners, newspaper advertising costs and Election Day campsite costs.

With election time nearing, the Election Office is still encouraging those who have absentee ballots to mail them in before the June 6 general election. Election Supervisor Alexis Rencountre said 899 absentee ballots have been mailed back as of June 2.

During early voting (June 3-4) at the Election Office and the general election with the polling place at the Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center, there will be designated signs where electioneering is prohibited. Electioneering involves activities intended to persuade voters’ decisions while they are voting at the polls.

Rencountre said there will be a 25-foot perimeter set at the Election Office during early voting days. At the Cultural Center, there will be a 300-foot perimeter on June 6. ON police officers will be present to enforce order during the election hours, she said.

Lockett said the Election Office will provide any official comments or updates on the election day activities on the ON Election Office Facebook page. She said those updates will be provided when necessary and are the sole official comments on the election process. Lockett said this avenue of communication will be used to curtail rumors, false statements or misconstruing of facts regarding the election.

For election-related updates between now and Election Day, check back to or follow the Osage News on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Election Office is also on Facebook and is located at 608 Kihekah north of the Triangle Building in Pawhuska.

Original Publish Date: 2016-06-02 00:00:00

Benny Polacca

Title: Senior Reporter


Instagram: @bpolacca

Topic Expertise: Government, Tribal Government, Community

Languages spoken: English, basic knowledge of Spanish and French

Benny Polacca (Hopi/ Havasupai/ Pima/ Tohono O’odham) started working at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter in Pawhuska, Okla., where he’s covered various stories and events that impact the Osage Nation and Osage people. Those newspaper contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics and issues from tribal government matters to features. As a result, Polacca has gained an immeasurable amount of experience in covering Native American affairs, government issues and features so the Osage readership can be better informed about the tribal current affairs the newspaper covers.

Polacca is part of the Osage News team that was awarded the Native American Journalists Association's Elias Boudinet Free Press Award in 2014 and has won numerous NAJA media awards, as well as awards from the Oklahoma Press Association and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter, for storytelling coverage and photography.

Polacca earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and also participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota where he was introduced to the basics of journalism and worked with seasoned journalists there and later at The Forum daily newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. area where he worked as the weeknight reporter.


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