top of page

Special Message from CN Tribal Council Rep. Julia Coates

Special Referendum to Call Constitutional Convention

Julia Coates Cherokee Nation

" On March 11, the Tribal Council affirmed a special referendum on whether or not to call a Constitutional Convention to consider amendments that would be out on the ballot in 2025 during the regular mid-term election. That vote (on whether to call the convention) will be taken on June 15, 2024. 

If one is not already registered to vote in CN elections, the deadline to do so is this coming Thursday, March 28. I am attaching the voter registration form.

If one is registered to vote already, an absentee ballot just be requested for this referendum. The deadline to do that is Friday, April 5. I am also attaching the ballot request form. 

If one is registering to vote at this time, you should also request the absentee ballot at the same time.

Filled forms may be mailed in, scanned and emailed, emailed as a photo, or faxed. Electronic signatures are not accepted, so make sure the form has your actual signature on it. All addresses/fax numbers for whatever way you are submitting it are included on the forms.

Some Background

Our Constitution has a requirement that every 20 years, the Cherokee Nation will put to the voters the question of whether or not they want to call a convention to consider constitutional amendments. The last time this was done was in 1999. The Constitution that was developed out of that convention was placed to the vote of the people in 2003 who approved it. It languished for three years awaiting the sign-off by the BIA, but in 2006, our Judicial Appeals Tribunal (now called our "Supreme Count") directed the Cherokee Nation government to go ahead and implement the Constitution approved by the voters. Because of the weirdness of the last constitutional vote and the failure of the BIA to approve it in timely fashion, there has been confusion as to when the 20 years deadline was. We may or may not be past deadline, but at any rate, we are doing it now.

The BIA signed off on the Constitution in2009, and part of that new constitution was the removal of BIA approval on any future constitutional changes. So going forward, we will be able to do this in timely fashion and under our own auspices. If the voters approve or disapprove amendments, then that's it, No more BIA involvement. The 20 year deadline should be much clearer moving forward.

For Clarification...

This vote is on whether or not we should call a convention to consider amendments. A yes vote means that we should, and one might cast a yes vote if they believe there are changes that should be made to our current document. A no vote, means that we should not, and one might cast a no vote if they believe our current document is working well and does not need amendment at this time.

I am attaching the present Cherokee Nation Constitution as well. The link to the Election Commission is also below."

Best wishes!


Cherokee Nation VR
Download PDF • 6.75MB

Download PDF • 495KB

Cherokee Nation 1999 Constitution
Download PDF • 126KB

Download PDF • 192KB

30 views0 comments


bottom of page