District map

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma announced when the filing period will be for three area tribal council seats.

Area council seats up for election in July are Districts Six, 10, and 12.

The current incumbents are District Six Councilwoman Jennifer Woods of Hartshorne, District 10 Councilman Anthony Dillard of Caney, and District 12 Councilman James Frazier, of Coalgate.

Other council seats within the tribe’s 12-person council that are up for election this year are Districts Four, Seven, and Nine.

This year’s election filing period will begin Monday, April 19 and will run through Wednesday, April 21, 2021 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on each day.

Eligible persons who wish to file must do so at the Ibaiachvffa (Membership) Room #1251 at the Choctaw Nation Headquarters located at 1802 Chukka Hina in Durant.

According to the Choctaw Nation’s Election Code, a person may become a prospective candidate for an office by filing a notarized Declaration of Candidacy with the tribe’s Election Board Secretary on the designated filing days.

“At the time a Declaration of Candidacy is submitted it must be accompanied by a non-refundable filing fee of $2,500.00 for the office of Chief or $500.00 for the office of Tribal Council Member. The fee must be paid in the form of a cashier’s check or money order. Personal checks or cash are not accepted. The fee shall be made by certified check or money order payable to the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma,” according to the code.

Along with the $500 payment for tribal council, a person must also meet five qualifiers to run for tribal council.

Must be a tribal member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Be at least 21 years of age at the time he/she files for candidacy.

Possess no less than one quarter degree of Choctaw Indian blood as certified by an official Tribal Membership card.

Must have been a Resident in their respective districts for one year immediately preceding the election and if elected must remain a resident of the district from which they were elected during the tenure of office.

Never have been convicted of a felony by a court of competent jurisdiction.

“Employees of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and all its entities or anyone who serves as a contract employee or consultant, who meet eligibility requirements, may seek elective office. Prior to filing for candidacy for any election, such person must take a leave of absence or resign from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and may not return to work for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma for the duration of the campaign or tenure of the office. If the employee wins the election, the employee must resign from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma,” according to the election code.

Mail-in ballots will begin to be mailed to registered voters on Sat. June 19 with the early voting on July 9 and the general election scheduled for July 10.

More information for prospective candidates and how to register to vote can be found by visiting www.choctawnation.com/elections.

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