One Cherokee, One Vote … With Valid ID, Just like Post-Apartheid South Africa Requires


Who knew Cherokees+Elections could be trending hot regarding election integrity this year. The Carter Center, perhaps the most prestigious of the international election monitoring groups, founded by former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, with 91 election monitoring experiences in 36 countries, which provides independent expert inspections of the integrity of voter registration and voting protocols around the world, recommended in 1999 that Cherokee voters provide Photo Identification to enhance trust in “the elections process of the Cherokee Nation.”

Cherokees, being dispersed through many states, need a reliable yet simple election protocol to capture as many legitimate blood-line Cherokees as determined by “Blue Card” tribal registration to vote, while barring opportunistic folks who just claim they are Cherokee without any proof, from voting in important Cherokee Nation elections.

Carter Center Postelection Statement on Cherokee National Elections, June 1, 1999
“ATLANTA, GA….Before going into details, we would once again like to congratulate you on your dedication to well-run tribal elections and to the professionalism and unflappability of your staff. If you accomplished nothing else in this election, your voters can feel confident they have a truly secret ballot which should go a long way toward building their trust in the elections process of the Cherokee Nation.

Consistent with what was said in the opening above and …. the Cherokee Nation wishes to continue choosing its leadership through open elections, we suggest the Commission consider the following options:

Eliminate registration entirely. This can be done in several ways: Voting on the basis of tribal registration (blue card) with no permanent voter registration list maintained. Multiple voting in different precincts would be eliminated by checking tribal registration numbers against the master list; Allowing day-of-election registration (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine). The voter simply appears with the blue tribal registration card and a picture ID, casts a ballot and is logged into the system…. Key to this system is a method of ensuring the voter does not vote in several precincts …

Converting the blue card into a permanent ID card would facilitate either of the above options.”

http://www.cartercenter.org/news/documents/doc254.html

South Africa knows a thing or two about racism and discrimination. What do they require for citizens to vote in their Apartheid-Free democracy?

 SOUTHAFRICA Electoral Act, 73 of 1998  SECTION 38
“Voting procedure(1) A voter may only vote once in an election, and may vote only at the voting station in the voting district for which that voter is registered. (2) A voter is entitled to vote at a voting station — (a) on production of that voter’s identity document to the presiding officer or a voting officer at the voting station; and (b) if that voter’s name is in the certified segment of the voters’ roll for the voting district concerned.
(3) When a voter produces an identity document to a presiding officer or voting officer as required by subsection (2) (a), the presiding officer or voting officer must examine the identity document and determine whether –
Electoral Act 73 of 1998 (ss 36-38) 29
(a) the voter is the person described in that identity document; (b) the voter’s name is in the certified segment of the voters’ roll for the voting district concerned; and (c) that voter has not already voted in the election.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3) (a), the presiding officer or voting officer may require that the voter’s fingerprints be taken. (5) If the presiding officer or voting officer is satisfied in respect of all the matters mentioned in subsection (3), that officer must— (a) record that the voter is regarded to have voted in the election; (aA) mark the voter’s identity document in the prescribed manner; [Para. (aA) inserted by s. 11 of Act 34 of 2003.]
(b) mark the hand of the voter in the prescribed manner;”

The Carter Center, noted in their Executive Summary of the October 31, 1991 National Elections in Zambia, this approving observation about the Zambia elections:

 “On October 31, 1991, Zambia elected a new president and 150-member National Assembly in the nation’s first multiparty elections since 1968 … a four-month comprehensive election monitoring effort of the Zambia Voting Observation Team (Z-Vote), the Carter Center of Emory University and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) organized a 40-member international observer delegation for the elections …The delegation’s principal findings … are as follows …”

 E. Voter Cards
The electoral law required only that a prospective voter be listed on the electoral roll and be properly identified. To ensure that only eligible voters cast ballots, however, the Electoral Commission, as in previous elections, promulgated regulations providing additional safeguards: voters were required to produce both national identity and voter registration cards and to have their thumbs marked with indelible ink.”

Well, maybe it’s a Black African continental cultural thang to require Black, Brown and White voters to produce identification to vote … how does voter ID go over in a Hispanic Nation?

Carter Center Postelection Statement on Dominican Republic Elections, May 18, 2000: SUMMARY
“On May 16, the Dominican people successfully exercised their right to vote for their nation’s next president. In a process marked with enthusiasm and dedication, Dominican voters went to the polls in large numbers. This commitment was echoed by fellow citizens serving as election officials, political party delegates and nonpartisan election monitors who brought intelligence, dedication and common sense to the process. The administration of the elections was enhanced by a new, modernized electoral registry that helped safeguard the process and by an unprecedented “verification exercise” to check the voter registry to prevent problems on election day…

A successful election. Though reactions to the results by candidates, parties and the public are still emerging, it appears at this point that the election has been successful overall. The Dominican people demonstrated great enthusiasm, patience and fortitude on May 16, as they went to the polls to cast their votes for a new president. Turnout was high, at about 74 percent, … Independent nonpartisan observers, both national and international, enjoyed full access to every phase of the process … Some widely anticipated problems, such as inconsistencies in the voter registry, did not materialize.

Indeed, the voter registry containing color photos of virtually all voters provided a degree of certitude about the identity of voters that should, as it is perfected in future years, provide a substantial new degree of security and confidence in the electoral process.”

Perhaps Congress can invite former President Jimmy Carter to provide expert testimony to support states voter ID laws because  it appears by their copious years of reporting, that it has been his Carter Center’s decades-long international experience that voters adequately identifying themselves to election officials provides “additional safeguards”, “a substantial degree of security and confidence in the electoral” system, no matter what country, what race, what color, what language.

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Zambia: http://www.cartercenter.org/documents/electionreports/democracy/FinalReportZambia1991.pdf

Zambia http://www.elections.org.za/content/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=989

Carter Center Election monitoring: http://www.cartercenter.org/peace/democracy/index.html

Carter Center Dominican Republic: http://www.cartercenter.org/news/documents/doc248.html

Cherokee Nation Election: http://www.cartercenter.org/news/documents/doc254.html

SOUTHAFRICA Electoral Act, 73 of 1998

http://www.eisa.org.za/WEP/comlaw.htm  links to various African country-by-country  election laws

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