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Carter Center to Send Observers to Muscogee (Creek) Elections

Updated: Dec 10, 2019



ATLANTA (Oct. 28, 2019) — Following letters of invitation from the election board and principal chief, The Carter Center is preparing to deploy a small team of observers to the Nov. 2 primary election in Muscogee (Creek) Nation as well as a general election anticipated in December.


The Center respects the tribe’s sovereign status and is conducting this observation mission with the understanding that these are elections of a sovereign people for their government.

The Carter Center conducts its election observation work in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct for International Observers, which provide guidelines for professional and impartial methods of international election observation. As an international non-governmental organization, The Carter Center assesses electoral processes against the host nation’s constitution, election laws, and other pertinent legislation.


The Center’s limited mission will produce a report that focuses on the legal framework and election-day processes of voting, counting, and tabulation.

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 Read the full report:


ATLANTA — An internationally known non-profit is coming to observe an Oklahoma tribe’s election re-do.

On Monday, the Carter Center’s Democracy Program formally announced it would accept an invitation from Principal Chief James Floyd and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Election Board to observe the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s primary election on Saturday, as well as its general election on Dec. 14. On Oct. 2, the tribe’s Supreme Court nullified all results from the Sept. 21 primary election due to concerns over absentee ballot security, thus sending Creek voters back to the polls.

The Carter Center conducts its election observation work in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct for International Observers, which provide guidelines for professional and impartial methods of international election observation. As an international non- governmental organization, The Carter Center assesses electoral processes against the host nation’s constitution, election laws, and other pertinent legislation. The center’s limited mission to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation will produce a report that focuses on the tribe’s legal framework and election-day processes of voting, counting, and tabulation.

Since 1989, the Carter Center’s Democracy Program has observed 109 elections across almost 40 countries.  

            To date, it has only observed three domestic elections, all of which were in Oklahoma. Teams were sent to monitor the Cherokee Nation’s 1999 and 2011 elections, as well as the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes’ 2017 election. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council voted to invite the organization in as a third-party observer for the tribe’s 2015 election cycle, but Carter Center officials declined in part due to objections from then-Principal Chief George Tiger. 

Nine offices will be on Saturday’s primary ballot: Principal Chief, Second Chief and seven National Council seats. Of the 10 candidates who originally filed for Principal Chief, six remain on the ballot. Among them are National Council Second Speaker David Hill, former Tulsa

District representative Bim Stephen Bruner, National Council Speaker Lucian Tiger III, College of Muscogee (Creek) Nation dean Monte Randall, Thlopthlocco Tribal Town administrator Tim Good Voice and former Tulsa District representative Sam Alexander. 

Current Principal Chief James Floyd chose not to seek a second term. Original Principal Chief candidates Brenda Golden, Jackie Jackson and Joseph Rogers Jr. all opted to withdraw from the upcoming primary. A fourth candidate, former Principal Chief George Tiger, was disqualified after pleading guilty to one count of bribery in federal court on Sept. 13. The tribe’s constitution bars convicted felons from serving as chief. Tulsa District candidates Cynthia Tiger and Jerry Wilson withdrew, leaving the incumbent, Robert Hufft, unopposed.

Eighteen polling places across the tribe’s jurisidictional area will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Early walk-in voting is available Wednesday and Thursday in Tulsa, Okemah, Okmulgee and Eufaula.


Contact: In Atlanta, Soyia Ellison, soyia.ellison@cartercenter.org

The Carter Center

Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

Visit our website CarterCenter.org | Follow us on Twitter @CarterCenter | Follow us on Instagram @thecartercenter | Like us on Facebook Facebook.com/CarterCenter | Watch us on YouTube YouTube.com/CarterCenter

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