Tribe members protest election of tribe's chairwoman

Wednesday, July 19th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Quapaw-AP) -- Members of the Quapaw Tribe's business committee walked out of the group's monthly meeting Saturday to protest the election of Tamara Martin as the tribe's chairwoman. The members allege that Martin engaged in questionable practices concerning absentee ballots and voter registration. Kim Carrigan, Jess McKibben, Lloyd Buffalo and Shirley Payton walked out of the meeting.

Payton says the ballots weren't locked in an office vault but instead taken home by the newly elected tribal secretary-treasurer. She also says after the ballots were cast, it took a verbal request along with a written request to have the ballots returned to the tribal office.

Martin disputes the allegations saying there was no fraud discovered even after a lengthy examination of ballots. The tribe's election committee will send a written recommendation to the U-S Bureau of Indian Affairs area office in Muskogee that a new election be held.