Saturday, July 30, 2011

Election Limbo Day 35: That’s Your Opinion

Opinions are like uvulas: everybody’s got one.  But when the Attorney General trots out her opinion about the rules for the next election, we guess we best take notice.

New yesterday, but kinda drowned out by the new election, is the idea that newly registered voters won’t get to elect the Principal Chief.  The only voters who were eligible to vote last time around will get to vote in September. 

On several occasions in this election, we’ve heard Baker and Smith both tell us that every vote counts.  We found out of course, during the recount and court process, that there were some votes that weren’t counted, (challenge ballots) and some votes that Baker didn’t want counted (the mysteriously vanishing votes from the recount).

The election commission apparently has more than 3,000 voters who want to vote, but registered after the deadline of March 31.  The Attorney General of the Cherokee Nation interprets the election law to read that the end of March is the deadline for the whole election year, not just for the general election.  So if you are one of those folks who got their voter registration forms in a day late, April Fools.  You still can’t vote this time around.

The other opinion said that campaign finance rules from the first election still apply.  That should make Baker happy, since he asked the Supreme Court to decide things that way a couple of weeks ago.  Both candidates had their share of donors who reached the $5000 contribution limit  (see our campaign finance blogs), but this is arguably worse for Smith, because there are no limitations on what Baker’s biggest contributor can give:  Baker has sunk more than $115,000 cash into his campaign.   

At least we know some of the rules for the upcoming election.  Now its our job as citizens to go vote.

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