PCI election hinges on voter turnout

Published 7:27 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Advance Staff Writer
Saturday is Election Day at Poarch. Thirteen candidates will vie for five PCI Tribal Council seats.
This year's election is rife with rumors regarding certain campaign tactics. According to the PCI Constitution, one-third of eligible voters on the tribal roll must vote in order for the election to be valid. This year, at least 582 votes are needed. For several weeks, rumors have circulated that some tribal members are encouraging other tribal members and family members not to vote in order to keep the council as is. Rather than have an incumbent(s) face possible defeat, they are trying to ensure that the seats remain the same, which is the result of an invalid election.
Mal McGhee is running for a seat on the council.
Events are planned by the Election Board to encourage tribal members to vote.
Linda Parker, acting chairperson of the Election Board, said this year's plans include children's activities, free dinners for tribal members, and gospel singing throughout the day.
Elections are held on Saturday for the voters' convenience, and the polls are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. This year, voting will be done at the gym rather than the old SAIL Center.
A past invalid election has created five vacancies on the council. Normally there are three seats which become vacant each year.
Those are the seats of David Gehman, Lavan Martin, Tribal Chairman Fred McGhee, Pearline McGhee and Terri Watkins. Members not up for reelection are Eddie Tullis, Daniel McGhee, Buford Rolin and Ronnie Jackson.
The 13 candidates on this Saturday's ballot are Amy Bryan, Peggy Couch, David Gehman, Lavan Martin, Fred Lee McGhee, John A. McGhee, Mal McGhee, Pearline McGhee, Keesha O'Barr, Carolyn Rackard, Timothy Ramer, Teresa O'Barr Thomas and Terri Watkins.

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