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Comanches to vote on amendments

Comanche Nation voters have received registration packets for a March special election conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to determine the fate of three constitutional amendments.

Voters received the packets in the past few weeks. The election was approved and authorized Jan. 18 by the BIA's Southern Plains Region's acting director. Sherry Lovin, tribal government officer, was appointed the chairperson of the Comanche Nation Secretarial Election Board. The election date is March 21.

Only tribal members 18 and older who are registered for the election will be entitled to vote on the proposed amendments. Voter registration forms are to be returned to the Secretarial Election Board by March 2 to be considered valid, according to a letter from Lovin that was included in the packet. 

Voter registration lists will be available March 5 at the Southern Plains Regional Office, 100 Riverside Drive, Anadarko; and the Comanche Nation Tribal Complex, 584 NW Bingo Road, 9 miles north of Lawton. Disputes for those who may not appear on the lists must present a written claim by March 12 to the Secretarial Election Board. 

Packets were to be mailed to all adults 18 and older registered on the tribe's current membership rolls. Registration must be mailed back to the Secretarial Election Board.

Ballots will be mailed shortly after registration is received. Ballots must arrive back to the Secretarial Election Board by mail by March 21. Ballots will be counted at 1 p.m. March 21 at the Comanche Nation Tribal Complex. Individuals present for the counting are asked not to distract or interact with the election officials or workers during the counting process or they will be asked to leave. 

Election results will be posted at the Anadarko Agency, Comanche Nation Tribal Complex, Comanche Nation Outreach Offices in Anadarko, Oklahoma City and in Dallas, Texas. 

Contests to the results must be filed by March 26.

According to the letter, "the proposed constitutional amendments shall be considered ratified and become effective immediately, if the majority vote in favor of ratification; provided at least 30 percent of the registered voters have cast ballots in the election."

The Comanche Business Committee approved the three amendments during its December meeting:

nAmendment A removes section 6 from the constitution's Article V  Tribal Concil/Powers Clause. The section currently reads: "No action shall be taken by the tribal council unless a quorum is present, quorum shall consist of 150 voters."

The Lawton Constitution

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