AN ACT AMENDING LA-04-14 REVISING TITLE 26 ("ELECTIONS") OF THE CHEROKEE NATION CODE ANNOTATED
BE IT ENACTED BY THE CHEROKEE NATION:
Section 1. Title and Codification
Title 26 of the Cherokee Nation Code Annotated, Entitled "Elections" is hereby revised as entirety and is hereby enacted as follows:
§ 1. Purpose
This Title is adopted for the purpose of conducting all Cherokee Nation elections, for Principal Chief, Deputy Principal Chief, Council, Constitutional amendments, initiatives and referenda of the Cherokee Nation.
L.A. 9-85 Eff. July 13, 1985
L.A. 35-89 Eff. Sept. 9 1989
L.A. 6-91 Eff. March 9, 1991
L.A. 2-87 Eff. Feb. 14, 1987
L.A. 12-90 Eff. Nov. 13, 1990
L.A. 5-87 Eff. Feb. 14, 1987
L.A. 8-87 Eff. Feb. 26, 1987
L.A. 11-87 Eff. March 14, 1987
L.A. 6-87 Eff. Feb. 14, 1987
L.A. 9-87 Eff. Feb. 26, 1987
L.A. 14-87 Eff. March 14, 1987
L.A. 7-87 Eff. Feb. 14, 1987
LA. 12-87 Eff. May 11, 1987
L.A. 23-87 Eff. June I1, 1987
L.A. 3-87 Eff. February 14, 1987
L.A. 4-87 Eff. Feb. 14, 1987
L.A. 7-97 Eff. May 12, 1997
L.A. 39-05 Eff. Nov. 14, 2005
L.A. 06-10 Eff. Feb. 16, 2010
L.A. 46-12 Eff. Dec. 10, 2012
L.A. 04-14 Eff. Feb. 10, 2014
L.A. 26-14 Eff. Sept. 15, 2014
§ 3. Authority.
This Title is enacted pursuant to Article IX, Section 1, of the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation ruled effective by the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court on July 26, 2003.
§ 3.1-A. Definitions.
For purposes of this Title, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
A. At-Large Registered Voter. “At-Large registered voter” means a person who is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, under the age of twenty-five (25) residing outside of the jurisdictional boundaries of the Cherokee Nation, who has not previously registered to vote, and fails to choose a single district upon the time of their first registration; and citizens age twenty-five (25) and older-residing outside of the boundaries not registered to vote at the time of the first election to fill At-Large Council seats pursuant to Article VI § 3 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution.
B. Ballot Box. “Ballot Box” means the locked box or electronic counting device in which ballots are inserted when votes are cast or any transfer case used for ballots inserted in an electronic counting device.
C. Candidate. “Candidate” means a person who has raised funds and/or accepted in-kind contributions in excess of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00)filed or has filed and is qualified to run in an election to hold elective office in the Cherokee Nation, in accordance with Chapter 4 Sections 31-34 of this Act and in accordance with the Cherokee Nation Constitution.
D. Citizen of the Cherokee Nation. "Citizen of the Cherokee Nation" means a person enrolled as a citizen of the Cherokee Nation pursuant to 11 C.N.C.A. §§ 11-14.
E. Computer Technology. "Computer technology" shall include electronic hardware and software.
F. Constitutional Amendment. “Constitutional amendment” means Constitutional amendment(s) proposed by the Cherokee Nation Council that are submitted to the registered voters of the Cherokee Nation for the purposes of voting on said amendment(s) at a special or general election pursuant to Article XV Section 2 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution and Article XV Section 3 which gives the right of the people to propose Constitutional Amendments.
G. Council. "Council" means the Council of the Cherokee Nation.
H. Council Member. "Council member" means a member of the Council of the Cherokee Nation.
I. Counting Device. "Counting device" means an electronic device used for the purpose of accepting and counting ballots and for all other legitimate purposes related to the conduct of an election.
J. Election Commission. "Election Commission" means the Cherokee Nation Election Commission created pursuant to Article IX, Section 1 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution.
K. Election Outcome. “Election Outcome” means the determination of the candidate winning an election for office; and the determination of the passage or failure of an initiative or referendum question.
L. Election Results. “Election Results” means the number of votes in favor of each candidate for office; and the number of votes in favor of and opposed to each constitutional amendment or initiative or referendum question.
M. Election ServicesCommission Office. “Election Services Commission Office” means the Cherokee Nation Election Services Commission Office established under Section 14 of this Title and when Election Services Commission Office is in any of the following sections, it is referencing the Election Office.
N. Elective Office. "Elective office" means the office of Principal Chief, Deputy Principal Chief, and Tribal Council.
O. Election Period. “Election Period” shall include the primary election and the runoff election through the completion of any applicable challenge and/or certification proceedings.
P. General Election. "General Election" means a regular election for offices of the Principal Chief and Deputy Principal Chief and for seats on the Cherokee Nation Council as provided by law on a date Certain; provided that elections for the following purposes may also occur during a general election: consideration of referendum and initiative petitions pursuant to Article XV, Sections 3 and 4 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution, and consideration of constitutional amendments pursuant to Article XV, Section 2 and Section 3 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution.
Q. Initiative Petition. "Initiative petition" means a petition submitted by the registered voters of the Cherokee Nation for purposes of proposing any legislative measure and constitutional amendment pursuant to Article XV, Sections 1, 3, 5 and 6 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution.
R. Jurisdictional Boundaries. ”Jurisdictional Boundaries” means the boundaries described by the patents of 1838 and 1846 diminished only by the Treaty of July 19, 1866, and the Act of March 3, 1893, which encompasses all or portions of the northeastern fourteen counties of Oklahoma.
S. Officer. "Officer" means the Principal Chief and Deputy Principal Chief.
T. Original Enrollee. "Original enrollee" is as defined by 11 C.N.C.A. § 3 (L)4 .1, derived only through proof of Cherokee blood based on the final rolls.
U. Precinct. “Precinct” shall mean an official voting place within a district, as designated by the Election Commission.
V. Precinct Board. "Precinct Board" means a Cherokee Nation Election Precinct Board for each precinct, appointed by the Election Commission and exercising the duties set forth in Section 12 C of this Title.
W. Primary Election. “Primary Election” means the initial submission of candidates or measures to a vote of the people during a general election or a special election, prior to a runoff election.
X. Referendum Petition. “Referendum Petition” means a petition submitted by registered voters of the Cherokee Nation for purposes of submitting to a vote of the people all or a portion of a Council enactment pursuant to Article XV, Sections 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution.
Y. Registration. “Registration” means the act of registering to vote in a resident voter's home district, or in the case of a non-resident voter, the act of registering in the district of choice, in accordance with Article VI Section 3 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution.
Z. Re-register. “Re-register” means the act of changing a voter registration as a result of a change in residency for purposes of changing voting district or for other legitimate purposes.
AA. Resident Registered Voter. "Resident Registered Voter" means a person whose residence is inside of the jurisdictional boundaries of the Cherokee Nation at the time he or she registers to vote.
BB. Runoff Election. “Runoff Election” means the election of one of the two candidates for an executive office or Council seat who had the highest number of votes at the primary election; a runoff election may occur during a general or special election.
CC. Special Election. “Special Election” means an election specially set on a date other than the date certain established for general elections, for one or more of the following purposes: consideration of referendum and initiative petitions when special election is required by the Council or Principal Chief pursuant to Article XV, Section 4 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution, consideration of constitutional amendments when special election is required by the Council pursuant to Article XV, Sections 2 and 4 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution, election by the Council to fill Council vacancies pursuant to Article VI, § 13 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution, election of the Principal Chief pursuant to Article VII, Section 5 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution.
DD. Political Purposes. “Political Purposes” means actions or activities designed to influence the success or defeat of a candidate or elective office or any ballot measure.
§ 4. Tenure of Elected Officials.
Tenure of the Principal Chief, Deputy Principal Chief, and Council members shall be a term of four (4) years pursuant to Article VI, Section 3 and Article VII Section 1 of the Constitution, except for vacancies that are filled in accordance with Article VI Section 13 and Article VII Section 5 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution.
§ 5. Reserved.
§ 6 - 10 Reserved for Future Use.
Supervisory Bodies and ElectionServices Commission Office
§ 11. Cherokee Nation Election Commission.
Election Commission: Establishment and Appointment. There shall be a Cherokee Nation Election Commission. The Election Commission shall be composed of five (5) members, two (2) appointed by the Council, two (2) appointed by the Principal Chief and one (1) selected by those four appointees who shall be confirmed by the Principal Chief and the Council. The Election Commission shall have the sole responsibility and explicit authority for the conduct of all Cherokee Nation elections, including activities described in Sub-section D of this Section. Pursuant to the constitution of the Cherokee Nation, Article IX, Section 1, the Election Commission shall be an autonomous and permanent entity, which shall be an independent commission in the performance of its statutory authority to govern the conduct of all elections and in the performance of such authority shall not be subject to direction, supervision, intervention or interference or of any other type of influence by the Executive Office or the Cherokee Nation Council. The Election Commission shall be subject to the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation and laws of the Cherokee Nation pursuant to its Constitutional independent and autonomous status. The Election Commission shall develop policies and procedures concerning personnel, contracting and meeting requirements which shall be exclusive and controlling as to the Election Commission. Such policies must include provisions relating to Cherokee preference in contracting, hiring and promotion. Such policies and procedures shall be implemented within 90 days of the passage of this Act.
A. Term. Each Election Commissioner shall serve a term as set forth below. Term. The Election Commission shall be appointed as soon as practical, preferably within six months following the expiration of the term of the Election Commission which served the prior general election. Each Election Commission member shall serve a term commencing with the day of appointment, and ending on October 1 of the general election year for which he or she served as an Election Commissioner. A person appointed or selected to fill a vacancy on the Election Commission shall serve only the remaining term of the vacant position.
1. Staggered Terms: Beginning with the appointment of an Election Commissioner in October 2011, the Tribal Council shall appoint one (1) member to a four (4) year term and
one (1) member to a six (6) year term. The Principal Chief shall appoint one (1) member for
a four (4) year term and one (1) member for a six (6) year term. The members shall then select a person to be the fifth member of the Election Commission for a four (4) year term to be confirmed by the Principal Chief and Tribal Council. Thereafter all appointments shall be
for a four (4) year term.
2. Holdover Clause: Members of the Election Commission shall remain in office until their
successor is duly appointed and confirmed.
3. Vacancies. In the case of death, removal or resignation of a Commissioner the Branch of
Government which made the appointment shall select the replacement, who shallwill serve the remainder of the term.
B. Qualifications. No elected official of the Cherokee Nation, no person who is related within the third degree by either consanguinity or affinity to an elected official, no employee of the Cherokee Nation, including any corporation, agency or other entity which is at least fifty-one percent owned by the Cherokee Nation, no person who has been convicted of a felony, no person who has ever plead no contest or guilty to a felony without said matter being expunged from court records, or convicted of a crime in any Tribal Court of any Federally recognized Indian Tribe that would be considered a Felony in State or Federal Court shall serve on the Election Commission. No candidate or regular employee of a candidate for office or person who is related within the third degree by either consanguinity or affinity to a candidate for office shall serve on the Election Commission.
C. Duties. The Election Commission shall have the responsibility of conducting all general and special elections. The Election Commission shall also engage in the following activities in the performance of its responsibilities:
1. Elect a chairperson, vice-chairperson/parliamentarian, and a secretary/treasurer from its own membership;
2. Publish a schedule for its regular meetings, establish an agenda for each meeting in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, approve and maintain correct and accurate minutes of its deliberations, and rules and regulations of the Commission which shall be regularly posted on the Cherokee Nation website;
3. Hire independent legal counsel as needed, who shall not be employed in any other manner by the Cherokee Nation or any agency or enterprise of the Cherokee Nation;
4. Use available technology, including without limitation facsimile machines and computer technology; provided that computer technology may include any necessary accompanying consultant services related thereto, in the conduct of elections; and provided further that selection of computer hardware, computer software and computer consultant services and related costs shall be approved by the Principal Chief and the Council;
5. Oversee the registration of voters, provided that nothing herein shall affect the Validity of registration of voters during any period between expiration of the term of one Election Commission and the seating of the next Election Commission;
6. Maintain current voter lists and shall use all efforts to diligently use certified sources; such as 911, County Treasurer’s and the County Assessor’s web sites, Cherokee Nation Registrar’s office and the Cherokee Nation tag office to update said list with correct address and phone numbers where the Election Commission does not currently have an accurate address.
7. Develop rules and regulations necessary to conduct Cherokee Nation elections, provided that such rules and regulations shall be published and transmitted to the Council no later than 90 days before the first day of filing for the election for which said rules and regulations are intended to apply, unless a shorter time is prescribed by the Council for purposes of a special election; Said rules are to be published in the Cherokee Phoenix and on the official web site of the Cherokee Nation as soon as practicable after transmittal to the Council.
8. Approve the number and location of precincts at least forty-five (45) days in advance of the election, and said locations shall be published in the Cherokee Phoenix and shall be posted on the official web site of the Cherokee Nation after their selection.
9. Provide the various Precinct Board officials with the proper instruction and training for performing their duties. All Precinct Board Officials are required to attend the mandatory training to work in any election.
10. Determine the eligibility of all candidates for office pursuant to Section 36 C of this Title and have the first authority to consider challenges to candidate eligibility
11. Conduct all election recounts pursuant to Section 9493 of this Title;
12. Conduct all general and special elections by secret ballot, provided that elections by the Council to fill vacant Council seats shall be by public roll call vote;
a. Prepare and order the official ballot or ballots prior to the applicable election;
b. Issue ballots and all support materials to hold an election;
c. Be responsible for the storage and safekeeping of all election ballots and related documents after the close of the election pursuant to procedures established by the Election Commission;
d. Engage in any other activities for the performance of its responsibilities as required by the provisions of this Title.
e. Provide written reports and recommendations not less than a monthly basis to the Council and Principal Chief through the Rules Committee on activities of the Commission related to the conduct of elections. The Chairman or his/her designee shall give said report no less than on a monthly basis.
f. AInvestigate and udit all financial reports and disclosures required by this Act, and to report any violations to the Cherokee Nation Attorney General and/or Cherokee Nation law enforcement. Further the Election Commission has the authority to assess any fines,penalties or other sanctions authorized by this Act. Any accusations concerning campaign activities shall be reported to the Cherokee Nation Attorney General for investigation. Should the Cherokee Nation Attorney General find merit, a report to the Cherokee Nation Election Commission will be made for possible assessment of penalties and/or disqualification under procedures found at Title 26 § 38 of the Cherokee Nation Code Annotated.
D. Meetings. The Election Commission shall conduct business in open meetings at the Election Service Commission Office or other public location designated by the Commission, pursuant to policies and procedures developed by the Election Commission, provided that the Commission may attend work sessions in which the duties of the commission are performed, such as reviewing candidate eligibility packets, financial filings, locating and securing precincts, registering voters, assisting in day-to-day operations of the Election Commission Office, preparing election supplies and other miscellaneous duties and may engage in work sessions where no policy decisions were required by a vote of the commission that any action requiring the vote of the body shall be referred to the Commission in an open meeting.
E. Compensation. The Election Commission members shall receive stipends or compensation for their services in accordance with their itemized budget approved by the Council.
F. Removal of Election Commission Members. An Election Commission member may be
removed from office for committing any of the following acts:
1. willful neglect of the duties prescribed in this act;
2. corruption in office;
3. Habitual drunkennessacting in his or her official capacity while under the influence of alcohol or un-prescribed narcotics;
4. incompetency, misfeasance, or malfeasance of office;
5. for any conviction involving moral turpitude committed while in office;
6. for campaigning for any candidate or measure or who otherwise improperly interferes with or attempts to improperly interfere with the conduct of any election;
7. violation of any law of the Cherokee Nation that would be a felony in the State of Oklahoma;
A petition for removal of an Election Commissioner may be brought by a majority vote of the Tribal Council or the Principal Chief. An Election Commissioner accused of violating the provisions of this Act shall be given notice of the hearing and charges and an opportunity to respond to the charges. The hearing shall be before the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court in accordance with its Rules and Procedures. If the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court finds that a commissioner has committed an act that would warrant removal that member shall be removed as a Commissioner.
§ 12. Precinct Boards.
A. Establishment of Precinct Boards. There shall be a Precinct Board consisting of not more
than twelve (12) people but, adequate in number to carry out the provision of this Act for each
precinct defined in Section 3.1(V)-A (19) of this Title, and for any other places specified by the
Election Commission. Each Precinct Board shall be appointed by the Election Commission. The responsibilities of each Precinct Board official shall be established by the Election Commission, and may include titles such as inspector, judge, clerk and any others position titles deemed necessary by the Election Commission.
B. Qualifications. No elected official of the Cherokee Nation, no person who is related within the first degree by either consanguinity or affinity to an elected official, and no employee of the Cherokee Nation, including any corporation, agency or other entity which is at least fifty-one percent owned by the Cherokee Nation, shall serve on a Precinct Board. No candidate or regular employee of a candidate for office or person who is related within the first degree by either consanguinity or affinity to a candidate for office shall serve on a Precinct Board.
C. Duties. Each Precinct Board shall attend a mandatory training to be held by the Commission prior to the election. The Precinct Board shall oversee the conduct of elections at its assigned precinct within a district, including the following specific duties:
1. Ensure that the identity of each person attempting to vote is established either through personal knowledge, or photo ID or by viewing some current form of government issued ID card or the voter’s ID card issued by the Cherokee Nation Election Commission or other methods of identification.
2. Ensure that the name of each person attempting to vote is on the Precinct Voters Signature Book at the particular precinct where each person is attempting to vote;
3. Ensure that the voter countersigns his name or makes his mark on the Precinct Voters Signature book of persons voting, provided that the mark of a voter who makes his or her mark on the register shall be witnessed by the Precinct Inspector and one other Precinct Official who shall write his or her initials beside the mark;
4. Ensure that only one ballot is cast by the voter at the precinct;
5. Make a final decision for the Election Commission regarding questions of eligibility of a person to vote pursuant to the procedure for challenged ballots set forth in Section 64 of this Title;
6. Ensure that the ballot boxes are locked at all times except when the ballots are being counted; or if counting devices are used, to ensure that said devices are not subject to tampering and that transfer cases are secured;
7. Count the ballots cast and make a tally thereof, provided that counting and tallying may be made manually or by an electronic counting device as directed by the Election Commission;
8. Make precinct certified election returns to include the number of votes cast in that precinct and a vote tally, and post a copy thereof on the exterior of the precinct; or, if there is a machine malfunction, ballots may be secured, brought to the Election Commission Office and manually counted before the Election Commission and results shall be posted at the Election Services Commission Office.
9. Preserve mutilated ballots;
10. Return all of the ballot transfer cases after counting and lock, seal, and mark the ballot transfer cases with the name of the precinct and date of election;
11. Return the unused ballots, spoiled and mutilated ballot envelope, locked and sealed ballot transfer cases to the Election Services Commission Office immediately following the election; and
12. Report conduct which, based on actual observation or information from another person, appears to the precinct Board Member to violate Section 52 of this Act to the Cherokee Nation Election Commission and the CNEC will report the Incident to the appropriate Cherokee Nation authorities.
D. Presence During Voting Hours. No member of a Precinct Board shall leave the precinct during voting hours. If it becomes necessary for any Precinct Board Member to leave the precinct or premises, said member cannot return to the precinct.
E. Compensation. Precinct Board Members shall receive such stipends or compensation for his or her services as prescribed by the Election Commission.
§ 13. Oath.
Each Election Commission member, each member of the Election Services Commission Office staff and each Precinct Board Member, before entering upon the duties of his or her respective positions, shall take and subscribe to the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear, or affirm that I will faithfully execute the duties of the Election Commission [or Election Services or Precinct Board] of the Cherokee Nation in a responsible, impartial and unbiased manner, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitutions of the Cherokee Nation, and the United States of America. I swear or affirm further, that I will do everything within my power to promote the culture, heritage and traditions of the Cherokee Nation."
§ 14. Election Services Commission Office.
A. Permanent Office. The Election Commission Office shall be maintained on a full-time basis with a permanent staff and /or temporary staff as necessary to conduct every election. The site of the Election Commission Office shall be at a location apart from the Cherokee Nation Building and shall maintain strong security measures.
B. Staff. All Election staff, excluding members of the Election Commission, shall be deemed employees of the Election Commission and shall be interviewed and hired by the Election Commission and shall be under the direct supervision of the Election Commission all of which are subject to policies and procedures created by the Election Commission, and will receive the same benefits as Cherokee Nation employees by way of a MOU between the Election Commission and the Cherokee Nation.
C. Director of Election Services Commission Office. The Director of the Election Services Commission Office shall be hired independently by Election Commission and shall be experienced in conducting elections and the use of modern, reliable technology, and secure voting.
D. Administrator. The Administrator of the Election Commission Office shall be a Cherokee Tribal citizen who is independently hired by the Election Commission using objective standards
developed by the Election Commission The Administrator shall be under the direct supervision of the Election Commission.
E. Other Staff Members. All other employees as determined needed by the Election Commission to conduct their Cconstitutionally required duties.
§ 15. Record Retention
The Election Commission Office, at the direction of the Election Commission, shall develop policies and procedures with respect to record retention. Said policies shall:
A. Permit the destruction of paper records relating to the conduct of an election not less than
one (1) year after the disposition of a final appeal arising out of any election held under this title, including but not limited to ballots, provided: Original election certification records shall be maintained for a period of at least five (5) years after said disposition of a final appeal and may be maintained longer at the direction of the Election Commission.
B. Require said destruction of paper records to occur only after public notice of said destruction is given by the commission at a regular or special Election Commission meeting.
§16 - 20 Reserved for Future Use.
Qualifications and Registration of Voters
§ 21. Eligibility to Vote.
A. Basic Requirements. Subject to the limitations contained herein, any person who meets the following requirements shall be entitled to vote in any election held by the Cherokee Nation:
1. The person shall be a citizen of the Cherokee Nation eighteen (18) years of age or older as of the date of any election; and
2. A person shall be registered to vote no later than the last business day in March of the election year. Provided that Tribal citizens that are seventeen (17) years old and can show that their birth date is on or prior to the date of the primary election shall be allowed to register to vote. (except for Original Enrollees as provided in this Chapter.);
a. If said person is a resident voter as defined herein he/she shall affiliate with the district in which he or she resides.
b. If said person is an At-Large voter as defined herein he/she shall be affiliated with a district pursuant to Article VI § 3 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution.
3. Any person who voted in the last primary, general or special election shall be deemed eligible to vote unless the Commission has notice that they have relinquished their citizenship. The Election Commission shall maintain the list of eligible voters.
B. Original Enrollees. An original enrollee who is not on the Voter List at a precinct but who appears at the precinct with proof that he or she is an original enrollee and that his or her place of residence was within that district prior to the date of the election complete a voter registration form and maybe allowed to cast a ballot immediately thereafter.
C. Voting by Districts.
1. Resident Registered Voters. Every resident registered voter shall be registered to vote in the district of his or her residence. A resident registered voter shall have the right to vote only for the candidate for a Council seat for the district in which the voter resides, and cannot vote for a candidate for a Council seat for any other district except as provided for in
Section 21 (C) 4.
2. At-Large Registered Voters. Every At-Large Registered Voter shall be registered to vote in the At-Large District, unless said voter has elected to remain a voter in a district pursuant to Article VI Section 3 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution. Provided, when redistricting occurs, At-Large Registered Voters who elected to remain a voter within a district pursuant to Article VI Section 3 of the Cherokee Nation Constitution, shall be notified by regular mail notifying the voter of his/her right to choose a new district that was part of their original district. The At-Large Registered Voter shall have ninety (90) days from the date of the notice to notify the Election Commission of their choice of a new district. If, after the expiration of the ninety (90) day period, the voter shall be assigned to the appropriate district based on the precinct chosen at the time of registration.
3. Re-registration for Purposes of Changing District and/or Precinct. A resident registered voter who has moved to a new district and who wishes to change precinct within their district, shall re-register for a new district and/or precinct on or before, but not after, the last business day in March of the election year, in order to effect a change of voting district and/or precinct for said election year; provided that the new registration form shall be delivered to the Election Services Commission Office by 5:00 p.m. on or before said day in order to be valid for said election year.
4. Effect of Failure to Re-register. Any registered voter who fails to change his or her voting district and/or precinct by re-registering with a new district and/or a new precinct on or before the last business day in March of the election year must vote during the current election year for the candidate for Council within the district in which the person was registered to vote as of said date.
5. At-Large Voters who have previously chosen districts. At-Large registered voters who have previously selected a district within the jurisdictional boundaries in accordance with the Cherokee Nation Constitution (Art. VI, Se. 3,) may select, at the time of the 2013 election, a district that was subsequently part of their original district.
D. Voter Address. Voters giving a Post Office Box Address or a Rural Route Address must
include driving directions and/or location of residence that is sufficient to allow the Election
Commission to determine their district of residence.
§22. Registration Process.
A. Ongoing Process. The Election Services Commission Office shall conduct registration of voters on an ongoing basis. This process shall include periodic publicity and community outreach efforts by the Election Services Commission Office. The Election ServiceCommission Office shall publish information promoting voter registration at least four (4) times annually, in the Cherokee Phoenix and Cherokee Nation web sites.
B. Cards. The Election Services Office shall issue voter identification cards to registered voters. Whenever possible, the card should be in a picture ID format. The card may be used as a convenient means of identification of person whose names appear on the voters list.
§ 23. Voter Data Base; Coordination with Registrar; Preparation of List of Voters.
A. Data Base. The Cherokee Nation Election Services Commission Office shall establish and maintain an independent database. The Election Services Commission Office shall have access to information maintained by the Cherokee Nation Registrar by computer modem, including without limitation the following information: citizenship verification, deaths, new citizens, and address changes.
B. Lists. The Election Services Commission Office database shall include the: Voters List, that includes the names and the district and precinct of each registered voter who is eligible to vote in an upcoming election. Said list may be separated into a listing of such persons who have applied for absentee ballots and those who have not applied for absentee ballots. The Election Commission shall designate those addresses on the lists that do not appear to be the current addresses for designated voters.
C. List Information. Each list specified in Sub-section 2 of this Section shall contain the following information for each voter listed: name, last known registered address, date of birth,
last known phone number, social security number or other identifying number, date of citizenship enrollment, dates of voter registration and re-registration, voting district and precinct, the voter’s participation in past elections and any other information deemed relevant by the Election Services Commission Office; provided that any list released pursuant to Section 25 of this Title shall exclude the voter’s date of birth, social security number or any other identifying number.
D. Maintenance. Each list as it existed as of a specific election date shall be maintained by the Election Services Commission Office for at least five (5) years following December 31 of the year the specific election occurred.
§ 24. Removal of Names from the Voter Lists.
Deceased Relinquished and Disenrolled Persons. The Election Services Commission Office shall remove the names of any deceased citizens and persons who have been disenrolled from the Voter List, upon receipt of satisfactory evidence of the death or disenrollment as specified by the Cherokee Nation Registration Department.
§ 25. Obtaining List; Duplication of List.
The most recent voter list shall be made available to all citizens of the Cherokee Nation, subject to the provisions of the Cherokee Nation Freedom of Information Act. The voter list shall be made available on paper, computer diskette, gummed labels, electronically, or any other method available. The Election Commission may charge a nominal fee to cover the costs of duplication of the voter list, provided that the voter list shall be subject to inspection free of charge during the business hours of the Election Commission.
§ 26 through 30. Reserved.
Qualifications of and Filing by Candidates
§ 31. General Qualifications of Candidates for Elective Office - Generally; Certifications and Acknowledgments.
A. General Qualifications. Each candidate who desires to run for the elective Cherokee Nation office of Principal Chief, Deputy Principal Chief or Council Member shall meet the following general eligibility requirements consistent with the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation, Article VI, Section 3, Article VII, Sections 2 and 3, and Article IX, Section 2:
1. The candidate shall be a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, in accordance with Article IV of the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation and shall be a citizen by blood of the Cherokee Nation.
2. The candidate shall not have been convicted of or have pled guilty or no defense to a felony charge under the laws of the United States of America, or of any state, territory or possession thereof, or convicted of a crime in any Tribal Court of any Federally recognized Indian Tribe that would be considered a felony in State or Federal
Court, unless such person has received a pardon from an authorized official of the jurisdiction in which the candidate was convicted or pled guilty or no defense to said felony charge; provided that for purposes of this Section, a deferred sentence and/or an expungement of a felony record shall not constitute a pardon or affect or erase the felony conviction, a guilty plea to a felony charge, or a plea of no defense to a felony charge.
3 The candidate shall not hold any office of honor, profit or trust in any other tribe of Indians, either elective or appointive, if elected to the Cherokee Nation office which he
or she is seeking.
4. Any outstanding fines imposed by the Election Commission during a previous Cherokee Nation Election must be paid before a person can be eligible to run as a candidate for an elective office in a subsequent election.
B. Prerequisites for Filing. In addition to the general eligibility qualifications set forth in subsection A herein, a candidate must not be in violation of any of the following at the time of filing:
1. The candidate shall not be an employee of the Cherokee Nation, including any corporation, agency or other entity which is at least fifty-one percent owned by the Cherokee Nation, as of the date of filing or at any time thereafter if elected provided, that an incumbent serving in an elective office shall not be deemed to be an employee for purposes of this Section.
2. The candidate may not file to run for an office if he or she has already filed to run for another office in the same election, unless the prior filing is withdrawn.
3. Other Qualifications. In addition to the requirements set forth in this Section, each candidate shall meet any other applicable requirements as set forth in the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation and this Chapter.
§ 32. Special Qualifications for Principal Chief and Deputy Principal Chief.
In addition to the general qualifications set forth in Section 31 of this Title, the qualifications for Principal Chief and Deputy Principal Chief as set forth in Article VII of the Constitution shall be as follows:
A. Age. The candidate shall have obtained the age of thirty (30) years at the time of the election.
B. Residence. The candidate shall have established a bona fide permanent residence within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Cherokee Nation for no less than 270 days immediately preceding the day of the general election in which he or she is seeking election. Proof of a bona fide permanent residence shall be regulated by the Election Commission. If elected to office, the candidate shall continuously maintain a bona fide permanent residence within the jurisdictional boundaries. Failure to meet this requirement shall subject the person to disqualification and removal from office.
§ 33. Special Qualifications for Council.
In addition to the general qualifications set forth in Section 31 of this Title, the qualifications for Council member shall be as follows:
A. Age. The candidate shall have obtained the age of twenty-five (25) years of age at the time of the election.
B. Residence. The candidate shall have established a bona fide permanent residence in the district for which he or she is a candidate for no less than 270 days immediately preceding the day of the general election in which he or she is seeking election. Proof of a bona fide permanent residence shall be regulated by the Election Commission. If elected to office, the candidate shall maintain a bona fide permanent residence in the district which he or she represents. Failure to meet this requirement shall subject the person to disqualification and removal from office. This section shall apply to "At-Large" district candidates, and thereby shall require that they establish a bona fide permanent residence located outside the jurisdictional boundaries of the Cherokee Nation no less than 270 days immediately preceding the day of the general election to which he or she is seeking election.
§ 34. Establishment of Residency.
Proof of a bona fide permanent residence, necessary to qualify as a candidate for Council, Principal Chief and Deputy Principal Chief shall be regulated by the Election Commission, subject to the following definitions and requirements:
A. Definition. Residence is synonymous with the term domicile or abode and means a place where the candidate has a true, fixed and permanent home, and to which, whenever absent, the candidate has the intention to return.
B. Verification. Verification of residence may be shown by at least three (3) of the following documents, provided always that such documents show one or more addresses within the required geographic area for a continuous period of 270 days for the time-period outlined in the requirements for each elective office.
1. Current driver's license(s), Utility bill or bills.
2. Income tax return from the preceding year.
3. State or county voter’s registration.
4. Homestead exemption.
5. A bona fide document evidencing such verification.
§ 35. Filing fees generally.
A. Amount; Payment. A filing fee shall be charged each candidate filing for an elected office of the Cherokee Nation. Such fees are to be filed and paid to the Election Commission by cash, cashier's check, money order, or valid check at the Cherokee Nation Election Services Commission Office, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The fees shall be as follows:
Office of the Principal Chief $2,500.00
Office of the Deputy Principal Chief $2,000.00
Office of the Council $ 500.00
B. No Refund. No refund of filing fee shall be permitted for any reason, even if the candidate withdraws voluntarily or is disqualified under the provisions of this law.
§ 36. Filing of Candidacy; Withdrawal of Candidacy.
A. Filing Period. The filing date shall be for a four (4) day period commencing at 8:00 a.m.
on the first Monday of February of the election year and ending at 5:00 p.m. on the first Thursday following the first Monday of February. The deadline for filing for an elective office of the Cherokee Nation shall be publicized by the Election Commission.
B. Certifications and Acknowledgments. To be eligible to run for elective office, each prospective candidate shall submit an application established by the Election Commission, which at a minimum shall contain the following:
1. Proof of citizenship and membership by Indian blood consisting of his or her certificate of degree of Indian blood card and a Cherokee Nation citizenship card issued in his or her name in accordance with Articles IV, VI, VII of the Constitution. and Title 11 of the Cherokee Nation Code AnnotatedC.N.C.A. Title 11;
2. Proof of residency;
3. Proof of age;
4. Certification that at time of filing that he or she is not an employee, voting board member or a voting commission member of the Cherokee Nation, including any corporation, agency or other entity which is at least fifty-one percent owned by the Cherokee Nation, and acknowledgment that he or she understands that should he or she become an employee during the election process, he or she shall be automatically disqualified as a candidate;
5. Certification that if elected to office, said candidate shall resolve all conflicts of interest as defined by Title 28 of the Cherokee Nation Code Annotated;
6. Acknowledgment that said candidate shall be automatically disqualified in the event that any false or misleading information or statements are made in filing for office; and
7. Such other documents, certifications and acknowledgments required by regulation of the Election Commission.
C. Background Checks and Eligibility Certification. The Election Commission shall conduct background checks and review all information necessary for a determination of eligibility pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Commission. The Election Commission shall issue an official letter certifying the eligibility of each candidate or denying said eligibility within twelve (12) working days after the close of the filing period.
D. Withdrawal of Candidacy. Any candidate who wishes to withdraw from the election shall have the opportunity to do so by providing a formal written notice to the Election Commission ten (10) working days after the deadline for filing.
E. A person who has become a candidate according to Section 3.1 (C) of this Title, and fails to actually file as a candidate for office, shall be assessed a civil penalty equal to the filing fee of said office unless said civil penalty is waived by the Election Commission for good cause.
§ 37. Challenges.
A. Third Party Challenge of Eligibility. Any citizen of the Cherokee Nation registered to vote shall have the right to contest the eligibility of any candidate to run for office. The protest shall be received by the Election Commission in writing within five (5) business days after the close of the filing period. The hearing shall be conducted in conformance with rules and regulations adopted by the Election Commission for said proceedings. Said rules and regulations shall provide the candidate reasonable notice of the challenge and the opportunity to respond at a hearing before the Election Commission.
B. Candidate Eligibility Determination Appeals to Cherokee Nation Supreme Court. An appeal of any decision of the Election Commission concerning a candidate’s eligibility shall be filed with the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court in writing no later than five (5) business days after receipt of Election Commission’s notice of denial or approval of eligibility for candidacy. Only the person denied eligibility or the person who originally filed a protest challenging the person's eligibility shall be permitted to file an appeal. The Election Commission chairperson shall deliver copies of each notice of appeal and all related documents to the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court in a timely manner as directed by the Court.
C. Notice and Scheduling of Hearing. The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court shall issue notice of a hearing date within three (3) business days of the Court’s receipt of an appeal of an Election Commission finding of a candidate’s eligibility or ineligibility. The hearing shall be held no later than ten (10) business days from date of issuance of said notice. The hearing may be continued to a later designated date for good cause, provided that said date shall not be more than ten (10) business days from date of the originally scheduled hearing.
D. Conduct of Hearing; Decision. At the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court hearing, the candidate who is the subject of the challenge, the third party challenging the finding of eligibility and the Election Commission may each present testimony of witnesses, evidence and legal arguments. The Election Commission may be represented by the Election Commission's independent counsel. No other attorney shall appear on behalf of the Cherokee Nation or the executive or legislative branches at the government’s expense. The other parties to the proceedings may be represented by counsel at their own expense. The decision of the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court shall be served on the parties no later than five (5) business days following the date of the hearing. The decision of the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court regarding a candidate’s eligibility shall be final.
§ 38. Interference with and improper influences of the Election Commission and Violation of Contribution and Expenditure Requirements.
A. After a hearing held in conformance with the regulations adopted by the Election Commission, any candidate found to be directly or indirectly interfering or attempting to interfere with the Election Commission’s performance of its duties, or improperly influencing or attempting to influence the Election Commission while it is performing its duties, shall be disqualified by the Election Commission from running for elected office of the Cherokee Nation for the duration of the upcoming election period.
B. After a hearing held in conformance with the regulations adopted by the Election Commission, any person who is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation or a member of any other federally recognized Indian Tribe found to be directly or indirectly interfering or attempting to interfere with the Election Commission’s performance of its duties, or improperly influencing or attempting to influence the Election Commission while it is performing its duties, shall be deemed to have committed a crime and may be referred to the Attorney General of the Cherokee Nation for prosecution.
C. Said regulations shall provide the candidate and/or citizen with reasonable notice of the charges and the opportunity to respond at a hearing before the Election Commission, and shall specify the manner in which the charges shall be presented and by whom. Any candidate disqualified from holding office and/or citizen referred for prosecution pursuant to this Section may appeal the Election Commission's disqualification decision and/or referral for prosecution decision by filing a written appeal with the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court in conformance with the requirements of Section 37 2(B) of this Title.
§ 39 and 40. Reserved.
Disclosure of Campaign Finances
§ 41. Definitions.
For purposes of this Chapter of Title 26, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
A. Campaign contribution. "Campaign contribution" means a contribution in money or goods or services to a candidate or political committee that is offered or given with the intent that it be used in connection with a campaign for elective office or on behalf of a ballot measure. Whether a contribution is made before, during, or after an election does not affect its status as a campaign contribution. A candidate that withdraws from an election or fails to file, must report their contributions, any excess contributions beyond expenses must be forwarded to the Election Commission or returned to contributors by the end of the applicable election period.
B. Campaign expenditure. "Campaign expenditure" means an expenditure of money or services incurred by any person in connection with a campaign for an elective office or on behalf of a ballot measure. Whether an expenditure is incurred before, during or after an election does not affect its status as a campaign expenditure. A candidate that withdraws from an election or fails to file must report their contributions, any excess contributions beyond expenses must be forwarded to the Election Commission or returned to the contributors by the end of the applicable election period.
C. Financial Agent. "Financial agent" means the person or persons designated and authorized by a candidate to accept contributions and pay obligations related to the candidate's campaign pursuant to Section 42 of this Title.
D. Report. "Report" means a financial disclosure report required by this Chapter.
E. Legal Entity. "Legal Entity" means any associations or groups comprised of any combination of individuals or corporations that expresses interest by political activities, financial contributions or other methods of either support for or opposition to any candidate for any office in any Cherokee Nation Election.
F. Loans. “Loan” shall be any payment made from the candidate’s own funds for campaign purposes, or any funds obtained by loan to the candidate from a bank, savings and loan association or credit union on his or her own behalf, and shall be considered as contributions.
G. In-Kind Contribution. “In-Kind Contribution” shall mean any campaign contribution of a good or service rather than a money donation. In-Kind contributions shall be reported as such, and the report shall include the name of the donor, his or her address, employer and occupation, and the fair market value of the good or service contributed.
§ 42. Designation of Financial Agent Filing; Penalty.
A. No later than the filing date for an election, each candidate shall file with the Election Commission a statement of designation, containing the names and addresses of every person authorized as the candidate's financial agent by or through whom said candidate has expended or proposes to expend money in defraying the expenses of his or her campaign, or a statement that the candidate has not authorized and will not authorize any person to act for him or her, but that the candidate will account for all money or other things of value expended in the interest of his or her candidacy. The candidate will be allowed to amend the designation any time prior to the opening of the polls on the day set for the election. Should the candidate fail to file said statement, the Election Commission shall find the candidate in violation of this Section and shall assess the candidate a fine in an amount no less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) and no more than five hundred dollars ($500.00).
B. Any person, person or entity who files a ballot measure which shall include but not be limited to initiative question, referendum questions or constitutional amendments shall register a financial agent with the Election Commission and shall follow the financial disclosure requirements set forth in this Title.
C. The Election Commission may, at their discretion, hold a training session for all candidates and all financial agents and make it mandatory.
§ 43. Restrictions Related to Contributions.
A. Contributors Limited to Individual Natural Persons. Contributions may only be made by individual natural persons. No corporation, partnership, and/or any other legal entity shall contribute to any Cherokee Nation campaign or candidate.
B. Contribution Amount Limits. No person shall contribute more than five-thousand dollars ($5000.00) in cash or in kind to any one candidate during an election period. Personal funds of a candidate expended for campaign purposes are not subject to a Five Thousand Dollar ($5,000.00) limit but should be included in the expense report of the candidate.
C. Contributions on Behalf of Another; Contributions in Name of Minor: Reimbursements. No person shall knowingly make or authorize a campaign contribution or political expenditure in the name of or on behalf of another person. , unless the other person’s name is provided in order for the proper disclosure to be made. No contributions shall be made in the name of a minor. No person shall directly or indirectly reimburse another for a contribution to a candidate.
D. Prohibition Against Intimidation. No person, corporation or other legal entity shall use or threaten to use physical force, job discrimination, employment reprisal, employment reward, or financial reprisal to obtain money or any other thing of value for the purpose of influencing the result of an election or to assist an office holder.
E. Every person shall provide their name, address, telephone number, type of employment and occupation employers name with every contribution made to a candidate or on behalf of a ballot measure. The Candidate or his or her financial agent shall forward this information to the Election Commission.
§ 44. Candidate Requirements related to Acceptance of Campaign Contributions and
A. Period for Acceptance of Campaign Contributions. No officeholder, no candidate, no potential candidate for elective office and no financial agent shall receive campaign contributions prior to the beginning of the six month period immediately preceding the primary or special election date for the office sought by said candidate or potential candidate, or past the date which is six months immediately following said primary or special election date. Unless otherwise provided all campaign contributions shall include the name, address, occupation and the amount given by the individual.
B. No Personal Use of Contributions. No candidate or financial agent who receives a campaign contribution may convert the contribution to personal use, including any use that primarily furthers individual or family purposes not connected with the performance of duties or activities as a candidate for elective office. Left over contributions will be placed in an escrow account to be reserved for the cost of subsequent Cherokee Nation Elections.
C. Prohibition against Intimidation. No candidate or financial agent shall knowingly solicit or accept a contribution or make any expenditure by using anything of value secured by actual or threat of physical force, job discrimination, employment reprisal, employment reward, or financial reprisals.
D. Prohibition related to Cherokee Nation Employees. No candidate or financial agent shall solicit a contribution from an employee of the Cherokee Nation, including an employee of any corporation, agency or other entity that is at least fifty-one percent owned by the Cherokee Nation, in exchange for any advantage or promise of an advantage conditioned on making a contribution, or based on reprisal or threat of reprisal related to the failure to make a contribution.
E. Anonymous Contributions. No candidate or financial agent shall accept anonymous contributions exceeding one thousand dollars ($1000.00) in aggregate per election period. The recipient of total anonymous contributions of more than one thousand dollars ($1000.00) shall not keep the amount which is in excess of one thousand dollars ($1000.00) but shall, within two (2) business days of receipt of the contribution that causes the total anonymous contributions to exceed one thousand dollars ($1000.00), turn it over the Election Commission for immediate deposit to an escrow account to be reserved for the cost of subsequent Cherokee Nation Elections.
F. Expenditure Records and Receipts. An expenditure of more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) for campaign purposes shall be made by written instrument drawn upon the campaign account containing the name of the candidate and the name of the recipient.
G. General Prohibition. No candidate or financial agent shall knowingly accept a campaign contribution or knowingly make or authorize political expenditures that the candidate or his or her financial agent knows to have been made in violation of this Section or Section 43 of this Title; nor shall any candidate, financial agent or citizen offer or provide something of value intended to influence the vote of a voter of the Cherokee Nation; and no candidate, financial agent or citizen shall solicit or accept campaign funds or contributions that violates Sections 43 and 44 of this Title.
§ 45. Sanctions for Violations of Contribution and Expenditure Requirements and
A. Criminal Sanctions. Any candidate or other person who is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation or a member of any other federally recognized Indian tribe who has violated any requirement or prohibition in Sections 43 and 44 of this Title shall be guilty of a crime and subject to disqualification by the Election Commission as provided under Section 38 of this Title.
B. Civil Damages. Any candidate, other person, corporation or other legal entity who or which has knowingly made or accepted a campaign contribution or made a campaign expenditure on behalf of a candidate in violation of Sections 43 and 44 of this Title shall be liable to the Election Commission and to any party whose name appeared on the ballot in opposition to said candidate in the amount of double the value of the unlawful contribution or expenditure. Said damages shall be payable to each plaintiff filing suit in the Cherokee Nation District Court within six (6) months of the final election date, upon a finding of a violation(s) by said Court, plus reasonable attorneysattorney’s fees incurred in the suit. Reasonable attorneysattorney’s fees incurred in a suit brought under this subsection may be awarded to the defendant if judgment is rendered in defendant's favor.
§ 46. Financial Disclosure Report-Forms; Time of Filing; Corrections; Late Filing; Failure to File.
A. Report Forms; Certification. Each candidate filing for elective office of the Cherokee Nation shall file with the Election Commission, a certified monthly and final financial disclosure report on forms provided by the Election Commission. The report shall include information for each of the financial agents named by the candidate pursuant to Section 42 of this Title.
B. Time of Filing Monthly Report; Late Filing, Failure to File. Each candidate shall deliver a complete monthly financial disclosure report to the Election Commission Office at the Election Services Office beginning with a report for the month that the candidate filed for office. The report shall comprise of the entire previous month, beginning on the first day of the month and ending on the last. The report shall be due on the 15th day of the following month. In the event that the Election Commission has not received a monthly report by the 15th day of the month in which it was due, the Commission shall impose a fine in the amount of $100 on the candidate and shall send a notice of the failure to meet the deadline and notice of the fine to the candidate by certified mail return receipt requested. Unless the candidate can show extenuating circumstances for his or her failure to file a report or the filing of an incomplete report by the 15th day of the month following the month in which it was due; failure to meet the deadline for any two monthly reports; or failure to pay a fine by the date of election, the candidate shall be disqualified from the election by the Election Commission after notice and hearing. Said disqualification may be appealed to the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court. The Election Commission shall expedite all such proceedings.
C. Time of Filing Final Report; The candidate or his financial agent shall file a final financial disclosure report no later than five (5) days prior to the date for swearing in of the successful candidates. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes in any Cherokee Nation Election shall not be eligible to take office until his or her final report is filed.
D. Corrections: Revisions; Retention of Reports. The Election Commission shall give the candidate an opportunity to correct any deficiency or error in his or her reports. Any contributions received during the six months period following said election date shall be recorded on a revised final report to be filed no later than the first of the month following the expiration date of said six-month period. The reports shall be maintained by the Election Services Commission Office, which shall preserve the reports in a secure location for at least five years, during which time they shall be a public record available for inspection and copying for a reasonable fee for search and/or making copies of such reports.
§ 47. Financial Disclosure Report--Contents.
A. Contributions. With respect to contributions, the report shall include the name, occupation, and mailing address of the source of each contribution.
B. Expenditures. The report shall detail expenditures in categories set forth on the report form, excluding filing fees, any interest earned on contributions, candidate's costs for necessary personal travel within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation, and candidate's subsistence expenses. Payment made by a candidate or his or her financial agent from the candidate's own funds shall be included as expenditures for purposes of this subsection, and may be shown as a loan from the candidate or may include any funds loaned to the candidate by a bank, savings and loan association or credit union and on his or her own behalf, and shall not be considered as contributions. All expenditure from loans shall specify the name of the lending institution, the date and amount of the loans. The candidate may reimburse his or her personal funds from campaign contributions in the amount of the reported loan(s).
C. Radio and Television Time. Where radio and television time is donated or offered on an equal basis to all qualified candidates for any particular office, said donation shall be reported by or on behalf of each candidate receiving the same, without assigning any cash value thereto.
D. No Financial Activities. If there has been no financial activity subject to the reporting requirements of this Section for the reporting period, the candidate and/or his or her financial agents shall so certify on the report.
E. Certification; Criminal Sanctions for Misrepresentation. Each financial disclosure report shall be certified by the candidate or his or her financial agents. A candidate or a candidate's financial agent who certifies a report and therein knowingly fails to fully disclose the information required in this Section as to any gift, promise, treat, reward, favor, or anything of value given or expended, is guilty of a crime. If a person is convicted of a criminal violation under this subsection, then he or she shall not hold the office and shall be barred for a period of five (5) years from holding any elective office of the Cherokee Nation. Where any person who has received the highest number of votes for any office is disqualified from holding said office, a special election shall be held to elect another person to hold such office. If the candidate has been elected and sworn into office, such conviction may be grounds for removal under Article XI of the Cherokee Constitution.
§ 48 - 50. Reserved.
Conduct of Elections
ARTICLE I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 51. Official Election Dates; Notice.
A. General election. The general primary election for elective offices shall be the fourth first Saturday in June of the election year.
B. Runoff election. The runoff election for a general election shall be the fourth Saturday in July of the election year.
C. Special Election; Special Dates and Procedures. A special election shall be called in accordance with the Constitution for a specifically stated purpose or purposes. The Council shall determine the date for the primary election, and if necessary the date for a runoff election. Special elections shall be conducted in compliance with this Title, provided that the deadlines established in this Title for the following purposes may be changed and specially set by the Election Commission and confirmed by the Council to meet the particular needs related to a special election: the cut-off date for eligibility to vote in an election established in Section 21 of this Title, the deadline for providing voter lists to candidates established in Section 25 of this Title, the candidacy filing date established in §Section 36 of this Title, the swearing-in date established in Section 51 of this Title, the absentee ballot request deadline and absentee ballot issuance dates established in Section 73 of this Title, and any other date which requires special setting. Special elections for Constitutional provisions may be conducted, if authorized by the Council, by mail-in vote.
D. Notice. Notice of each election date shall be given by the Election Commission.
E. Swearing in of elected officials. The swearing in of the successful candidates for elective office shall be August 14 of the election year.
§ 52. Electioneering.
A. Electioneering Near Polling Area: No person shall be allowed to electioneer inside any precinct or within three hundred (300) feet outside of the entrance to any precinct while an election is in progress, nor shall any person or persons, except precinct officials and other persons authorized by law, be allowed to approach the ballot box while an election is in progress. Prohibited activities within the prescribed area by a candidate or other persons on election day which might reasonably be construed as electioneering shall include the following: wearing any article of clothing with any candidate's name or office on it or holding any article with any candidate's name or office on it; or distribution or display of any written materials, campaign literature or campaign items of any kind or nature within the prescribed area, other than that provided by the Election Commission.