By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Almost 39 percent (38.97 percent) of registered voters of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) cast a ballot in the Primary Election held Thursday, June 6. Of the 6,767 registered voters, a total of 2,637 voted according to figures provided by the EBCI Board of Elections.
The Birdtown and Wolftown communities tied for the highest voter turn-out with 43.49 percent each. Cherokee County reported the lowest rate at 22.43 percent.
A break-down of voting rates per community is as follows:
- Big Cove: 317 voters casting ballots out of 772 eligible voters (41.06 percent)
- Birdtown: 761 out of 1,750 (43.49 percent)
- Yellowhill: 294 out of 923 (31.85 percent)
- Painttown: 338 out of 814 (41.52 percent)
- Wolftown: 511 out of 1,175 (43.49 percent)
- Cherokee County: 96 out of 428 (22.43 percent)
- Snowbird: 156 out of 498 (31.33 percent)
- Big Y: 164 out of 407 (40.29 percent)
Those numbers are down slightly from the 2017 Primary Election which saw a rate of 43.23 percent (2,938 out of 6,796). Snowbird led the way in that primary with 52.20 percent followed by Painttown 46.99 percent, Birdtown 46.30 percent, Wolftown 44.46 percent, Big Y 42.36 percent, Big Cove 41.79 percent, Yellowhill 37.88 percent, and Cherokee County 26.00 percent.
The 2017 General Election saw an almost identical turn-out with a rate of 43.33 percent. Snowbird led the way again with 52.12 percent followed by Big Y 46.31 percent, Birdtown 45.49 percent, Wolftown 44.63 percent, Big Cove 44.58 percent, Painttown 40.82 percent, Yellowhill 37.16 percent, and Cherokee County 34.15 percent.
In other voting news, the Board of Elections related they conducted a recount in the Painttown Community on the evening of Tuesday, June 11 with the exact outcome of the Primary Election as follows: Dike Sneed 169, Tommye Saunooke 151, Cherie Bird Rose 105, Pamela Sneed 104, and Lisa Taylor 103.
Voter registration is now ongoing at the EBCI Board of Elections at the Ginger Lynn Welch Complex Monday through Friday 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration is open now until Friday, Aug. 9. Requests for absentee applications via phone or mail is open from July 1 to Aug. 15, and requests made in-person is open from July 1 until Friday, Aug. 30 at 4 p.m. Early voting will be held Aug. 12-26 (regular hours) including Saturday, Aug. 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Board of Elections office. The General Election will be held Thursday, Sept. 5 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.