Election Day has arrived and Osages are going to the poll to exercise their Constitutional right to vote.
Rick Luttrell and Sonya Holloway were the first two Osage voters to arrive, signing in promptly at 8 a.m. Others soon followed, all seeming to be in jovial moods.
The voting process goes like this: first you must sign in at the voter registry table, election staff will ask you for your government issued photo ID. If you are relinquishing your absentee ballot, or if you’re like me and didn’t get one, you’ll strike the words “received” and sign an affidavit that you either received or didn’t receive your absentee ballot and would like to vote in person.
Once your name has been checked and signed in the voter registry you will be handed a flash card with a scanned bar code sticker on it and you will hand the card to one of the TrueBallot Inc. workers sitting at a second table. They will scan your bar code (they scanned mine repeatedly after mine kept getting rejected) and once the computer registers the code it prints off your ballot.
The bar code on your ballot is supposed to match the bar code on your flash card.
Weather Déjà vu
Remarkably, just like in the 2010 election, there was a fierce thunder and lightning storm the night before the election. I woke up around 3 a.m. and rain was pelting the windows and the trees in my yard were being thrashed by the wind – not to mention the crackle of thunder overhead, causing my house to shake.
I arrived on the Osage campus the next morning around 7:40 a.m. and sure enough, a couple of candidate’s camps had been uprooted or smashed throughout the night. The most noticeable being Justin Mays camp, in which his father Paul teased me to put my camera away when I began to take pictures of it.
Also out and about before 8 a.m. was Principal Chief John Red Eagle and Assistant Chief Scott BigHorse, they were sitting in the congressional chambers speaking to election staff and checking out the election process.
I took a drive around the Osage campus yesterday evening around 6:30 p.m. to see if candidates were still setting up camp. I saw the Hamilton family for candidate Berbon Hamilton setting up; Jim Ryan was checking out his camp, he was by himself. I saw Becky Johnson with her brother and niece, RJ Walker with his campaign advisor Studie Red Corn and Red Corn’s father, Osage Congressman Raymond Red Corn, setting up Walker’s camp.
The election staff was setting up inside the congressional chambers and when I left Osage Nation Election Supervisor Alexis Rencountre and election board member Terry Hazen were coming in, arms loaded with Sonic drinks. In which Rencountre laughed and said they were taking a “Sonic drink break.” It looked like everything was going according to plan.
Voter poll closes at 8 p.m.
Now that all the preparations have been made, all the camps set up, all the mail outs and signs posted, Election Day has finally arrived.
I will agree with our regular Osage News blogger Charles Red Corn that Election Day in the Osage is a fun time. I myself have relatives and friends driving in from all over the state I can’t wait to see and they’re all excited about the candidate’s platforms and curious as to who will keep their promises if elected.
But, the day has just begun. The sun is out, Osages are happy and the rest of Election Day awaits.