Election Board updates ballot printing system to prevent waste
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Election Board announced their on-demand ballot printing system in conjunction with the amendment to allow early voting, which passed Aug. 25 during the National Council regular session.
Ballot on demand would apply to in-person voting only in an effort by the MCNEB to reduce paper waste during an election.
In previous Mvskoke Media coverage, the board announced plans to have ballots printed on-site once a voter’s identification is verified.
According to MCNEB Manager Nelson Harjo Jr., the computer program used will be in compliance with MCN Code Annotated Title 19 ‘Elections,’ Section 6 ‘Ballots,’ 105 that states the order of names printed on the ballots will rotate.
“[It] will rotate the names as they appear on the ballot in the same manner as the computer program used when ballots are pre-printed,” Harjo said.
He said the polling sites would be provided with blank ballot sheets to be printed in real time at the voters’ request. Any left over blank sheets will be used the next election.
Under subsection 6-109, at least one ballot is to be printed for each voter eligible to cast such ballot in each precinct.
When asked about the effect voter turnout would have on the on-demand ballot system as it relates to this section, Harjo said each eligible voter would continue to have the right to cast a ballot.
“In years past, the most practical way to achieve this was by pre-printing ballots for every registered voter tied to a particular precinct,” he said. “We will still cause one ballot to be printed for each voter that exercises their right to cast a ballot, the only difference being is it will be in real time instead of pre-printed.”
Section 6-111 states sample ballots marked as such will be printed except without the stubs that are attached to regular ballots.
He said ballot stubs are used to count the amount of ballots that are issued in order to reconcile ballot usage at the end of election day. He said this is a way to trace the number of ballots if something does not add up on paper.
“We will be able to do this very same exercise with the ballot printing system, the only difference being it will be done electronically by the system’s tracking capabilities,” Harjo said.
He said there are still some adjustments that need to be addressed in Title 19, Section 6 for ballot on demand.
Section 6-108 orders the ballots to be bound in books with the intended precinct identified on the cover. Harjo said this is now obsolete due to at-large voting.
“This is not as major of a requirement and the Council needs to reflect this with an amendment, more than likely they are unaware that this needs to be performed,” Harjo said.
For more information about MCNEB and elections visit: www.mcn-nsn.gov/services/election-board/.