Published August 16, 2017
Bureau of Indian Affairs conducting Secretarial Election through Sept. 8th
LAWTON, OKLAHOMA – Comanche Nation voters are casting their ballots on a constitutional amendment designed to bring stability to the tribal government. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is conducting a Secretarial Election via mail-in ballot regarding an amendment which seeks to raise the number of signatures needed for a recall petition.
“The recall process has been abused and that abuse is threatening our Nation,” says Comanche Tribal Chairman William Nelson. “The current Comanche Business Committee strives to operate with transparency and accountability but we also need stability. Stability is a critical element of any successful tribal government but our stability is in jeopardy because of our Constitution’s outdated process for recall petitions.”
The Comanche Constitution allows a tribal member to file a recall petition against an elected leader with just 200 signatures. The amendment would raise the threshold to 10 percent of eligible voters which is still significantly lower than other prominent Oklahoma tribes.
The Chickasaw Nation requires signatures from 25 percent of voters of the district area in which the official was elected, the Kiowa Tribe requires 30 percent, and the Choctaw Nation requires 40 percent.
“One person alone has filed 27 recall petitions, often on the same topic,” Chairman Nelson says. “Those 27 recall petitions cost the Comanche Nation almost $500,000. Think of all the social services we could have provided. Instead, we spent that money entertaining the same unfounded complaints over and over. Our recall petition process has to change. I’m encouraging every Comanche to vote yes on the amendment.”
Eligible voters must register for this election by August 18th and return their ballots to the BIA by September 8th.
Members who need a registration form and/or ballot should contact the BIA at (405) 247-1534.
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