It’s official: Freedmen can vote in our new election, thanks to an agreement approved Wednesday by APCSJC, the Freedmen and the BIA. Significant in the deal is that the election ain’t over on Saturday: Freedmen get extra time to get their absentee ballots in (which makes sense since they didn’t get them as early) and they also get two extra days to go vote in-person, besides election day and the other early voting available to the rest of Cherokee citizens.
Oh, did we mention the best part? The federal court ruling seemingly trumps our Supreme Court by telling them that Cherokee law doesn’t count and that freedmen are citizens. So that whole referendum to gain signatures, and then the vote of the people and then the four year court challenge all meant jack squat, because it was tribal law. Freedmen are citizens as long as the judge in DC wants them to be, according to the court order.
Pretty harsh huh? The judge really handed it to us on that one. Oh wait, the judge didn’t decide that! Crittenden decided that himself by signing the agreement. Maybe he felt he needed to compromise and let the BIA have what it wanted and let the freedmen have what they wanted, but in doing so he ignored what the Cherokee people voted for in 2007, and he did so voluntarily. Ouch.
The election will go forward on Saturday. For the people who were Cherokee citizens on Monday, that’s their last chance to vote for chief. For the people APCSJC decided to make citizens on Tuesday, they have until October 8 to vote.
Let us make sure you understand what we're saying here: if you are Cherokee by Blood-- you can vote early in person Thursday in Tahlequah from 9-5, and in your assigned precinct on Saturday, the 24th. Your absentee ballot MUST be received by the Election Commission on Saturday. ONLY non-Indian Freedmen get extra days to vote. Check out the Cherokee Phoenix's online story today for all the hairy details.
P.S. Late tonight we heard that Baker and Chuck Hoskin, Jr. are accusing Smith of colluding with Barney Frank to somehow keep HUD money while Smith was Chief. When asked by Channel 6, they could produce no evidence, and Frank himself said it was bull BLEEP. Really. Only he didn’t say bleep! Watch the channel 6 story if you don’t believe us. This time Baker is getting busted by the media and a Congressman immediately when he’s not telling the truth. We’ll see if it slows him down.