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Tribal Election Board Exploring Electronic Tallying Machines

Presentation and Mock Election being held at 3:15 p.m. on May 7th

 

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe's Election Board is holding a presentation on electronic tallying machines at 3:15 p.m. on May 7th at the Office for the Aging. Pictured are tribal election board members (from left): Joseph Bowen-Brewer, Sheila Loran, Angela George, Konwahontsiawi, and Hope Wheelock.

(Onerahtokha/April 19, 2018) AKWESASNE-The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe's Election Board announced efforts are underway to introduce electronic tallying for the tribal elections being held on Saturday, Ohiarí:ha/June 2, 2018. A mock public election will be held at 3:15 p.m. on Monday, Onerahtohkó:wa/May 7, 2018 at the Office of the Aging (Senior Center) for tribal voters to become familiar with an electronic tallying system.

"We want tribal voters to participate in the May 7th mock election and learn about the benefits of using electronic machines," said Election Board Member Joseph Bowen-Brewer. He noted, "Members of the Election Board will be on hand to explain and assist individuals on the process to submit votes electronically. It's a process that some tribal voters are already familiar with using in the school board elections."

For the past year, the Election Board has been exploring options to enhance efficiency and voter confidence, as well as to reduce time and costs associated with conducting tribal elections. The most viable option is using Dominion-brand voting machines for in-person voting from the Franklin County Office of the Election Board. The County Election Board also provides the same machines to the Salmon River School Board for their board elections and budget vote.

The Tribal Election Board has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Franklin County Office of the Election Board to furnish the electronic machines at no cost. The only costs associated with using an electronic tally system is for purchasing voting ballots and sets of memory cards, as well as for labor and delivery; which is around $1,500 and represents a cost saving from previous elections.

"Electronic voting machines significantly reduce the number of people and time needed to manually count each ballot," said Election Board Member Hope Wheelock. She added, "Automating the voting process reduces the likelihood of human error and increases the integrity of the vote, as well as provides election results in a fraction of the time. What took hours to count by hand will now be performed in minutes."

Following the mock election, the Election Board has scheduled a presentation for tribal members that will be held at 5:30 p.m. on May 14th in the Tribe's Community Building Lobby. The mock election will be recorded and viewed at the beginning of the May 14th Public Meeting, as well as on Akwesasne TV.

 

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