There was no 'undue influence'

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2006

I am a member of Tlingit-Haida who decided to vote as an absentee using a piece of paper presented to me by a candidate who is running for a position on the Tlingit-Haida Community Council. I have been following your news stories in the paper and am very concerned my right to vote is in jeopardy.

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I was told by a candidate that I could go to the polls on March 16, or request a ballot by e-mail, phone or mail. Being a mother of two small children, I opted to request a ballot by mail using a little piece of paper that simply said, "Please send me an absentee ballot for Community Council."

I requested the ballot. When I received the ballot at home, I sat at my kitchen table and selected who to vote for out of all the candidates. I would like to respond to the allegation of "undue influence" raised by President Thomas (who is also a candidate) and questioning of absentee ballots like mine by letting the public and all tribal members know there was no undue influence placed upon me.

I also resent the assumption that I am not intelligent enough to exercise my right to vote in the way that I want to and in the manner that I decide to use.

Our Native people have fought and won the right to vote. I was proud to see members of the Community Council fighting for my vote.

Osce Robertson

Juneau



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