Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Tribal Code
CHAPTER 5 ELECTION PROCEDURES
Section 9-5-1. NOTICE
Section 9-5-2. BALLOTS REQUIRED
Section 9-5-3. MANNER OF VOTING
Section 9-5-4. POLL BOOK
Section 9-5-5. OBSERVERS
Section 9-5-6. BALLOTS
Section 9-5-7. MAILING OUT BALLOTS
Section 9-5-8. BALLOT INSTRUCTIONS AND CERTIFICATION
Section 9-5-9. REPLACEMENT BALLOT
Section 9-5-10. RECEIVING BALLOTS
Section 9-5-11. POLL CLOSING
Section 9-5-12. COUNTING BALLOTS
Section 9-5-13. CERTIFICATION
Section 9-5-14. POSTING RESULTS
Section 9-5-15. RECORDS
Section 9-5-16. CHALLENGES TO ELECTION RESULTS
The Election Board shall be responsible for providing notices as required by and in accordance with this Ordinance to all Ponca Tribal members entitled to receive notice under this Ordinance.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-1, PTN Code § 9-5-1
All determinations of the sufficiency of the number of ballots cast shall be based upon the number of registered voters.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-2, PTN Code § 9-5-2
All voting under this Ordinance, including Tribal Council elections, recall elections, special elections, and elections for referendum and initiative, shall be by mail-in ballots as defined in Section 9-1-4.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-3, PTN Code § 9-5-3
A Poll Book, a simple ledger with bound and numbered pages, for each election shall be created. Information regarding all aspects of the particular election will be noted, including dates, times, and any untoward circumstances. The Election Committee Members will sign in and out, as will any observers or visitors. Anyone may write personal comments in the Poll Book. The Poll Book shall be part of the official record for the election and secured in the same manner as the counted valid ballots.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-4, PTN Code § 9-5-4
The Election Board shall encourage observers throughout the election process. A code of conduct for all observers shall be prepared and posted. An observation area shall be set aside to allow adequate viewing of the process, but not compromise the security of the ballots or any sensitive election related materials. Observer questions regarding the process can be directed to the Election Board Chairperson.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-5, PTN Code § 9-5-5
(A) The Election Board shall prepare and be responsible for all Tribal Council election ballots throughout the election process.
(B) The ballots shall:
1) Be prepared clearly and simply so it is easy for the voters to indicate a choice between candidates.
2) Consist of a separate ballot for each vacant position which shall declare the position and the district (if applicable) and the names of each individual certified as a candidate for that office.
3) Be printed on different color of paper for each district and a different color of paper for Chairperson, with black ink.
4) Be stamped in red ink on its face and in the same place “Official Ballot.”
(C) If a printed ballot is defaced or ruined prior to the mailing, it shall be marked invalid by crossing through with an X, its number and the type of ballot recorded and secured in an envelope marked invalid printed ballots.
(D) After printing, the master copies of the ballot forms shall be marked through to render invalid and secured with other voter sensitive materials.
(E) The ballots and other election sensitive materials, including the official ballot stamp and red ink, invalid printed ballots, master ballot forms, shall be secured in a locked box at all times in the process when the Election Board is not present. The Election Board Chairperson shall have custody of the key to the ballot box.
(F) Ballots for recall elections and elections for referendum and initiative shall comply with the rules set out in Chapters 8, 9, and 10 of this Ordinance.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-6, PTN Code § 9-5-6
(A) The Election Board or its designee shall send out all ballot packets to all registered voters from the voter registration lists. All registered voters are to be in receipt of their ballots a minimum of thirty (30) days prior to the election.
(B) The Election Board shall make a record of all ballots mailed, to whom mailed, the date of the mailing, and the address on the envelope.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-7, PTN Code § 9-5-7
(A) The following shall accompany each ballot(s) mailed out:
1) An inner envelope bearing on the outside the words “Official Ballot;”
2) Instructions for completion of the ballot;
3) Notice concerning the deadline for returning and receiving ballots; and
4) A certificate form containing the following language:
I, (name of voter), hereby certify that I am a Member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska; that I have registered to vote in this election as required by the Ponca Election Ordinance and am entitled to vote in the election to be held(date of election); and I further certify that I marked the enclosed ballot in secret.
Signed:____________________ (voter's signature)
5) A return identification outer envelope in which the ballot in the sealed “OFFICIAL BALLOT” envelope and the certificate shall be inserted. The district number of the voter will be marked on the outside on this envelope. This envelope will be pre-addressed to the Ponca Tribe Office in care of a designated Post Office Box in Niobrara, NE.
(B) The time and date that the ballots were placed in the post office shall be recorded.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-8, PTN Code § 9-5-8
If a ballot is destroyed, defaced, lost or not received by the registered voter, the registered voter may obtain a replacement ballot from the Election Board by signing a statement verified on oath or affirmation on a form prescribed by the Election Board that the ballot was destroyed, defaced, lost or not received. The statement must be received by the Election Board at least five (5) working days prior to the election. After the Election Board receives a statement meeting the requirements of this Section, they shall mail a replacement ballot to the registered voter at the address shown on the statement by express mail or other rapid delivery to ensure receipt and return of the replacement ballot for the election. The Election Board shall keep a record of all replacement ballots.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-9, PTN Code § 9-5-9
(A) The Tribal Council shall authorize that the Election Board open a post office box at Niobrara, Nebraska, for the receipt of voters' ballots.
(B) The Election Board shall accept sealed ballot packets from Federal Express, United Parcel Service, or other accepted mailing services at the Ponca Tribal Office Headquarters. Ballot packets will be secured until the close of the polls. Opened packets or those indicating tampering will not be accepted by the Election Board. Records shall be kept of all such ballots received, from whom, and the postmark. The official ballot must be returned in the return identification envelope.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-10, PTN Code § 9-5-10
The election polls shall officially be closed upon the day of the election by the closing of business hours of the Niobrara, Nebraska Post Office. General Elections shall be held on the first Tuesday in the month of November on even numbered years in accordance with the Constitution.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-11, PTN Code § 9-5-11
(A) Upon the poll closing, the Election Board shall count the ballots and place the results thereof on previously prepared tally sheets. The Election Board may delegate the authority to the District Board(s) to count the ballots for their district(s) and the Election Board shall verify and certify the results accordingly. The Election Board shall count the ballots for Tribal Chairperson and may delegate the authority to the District Board members to verify and certify the results.
(B) The process for counting ballots shall include procedures that promote efficiency yet ensure honest and fair counting of the election results. The Election Board may establish additional procedures provided that each additional procedure shall be supplementary and in addition to the requirements of this Ordinance.
(C) The Election Board shall:
1) Gather the ballots from the post office into secure, locked ballot boxes and transport to location where ballots shall be counted.
2) Unlock the ballot box, count the return identification envelopes received and sort by districts.
3) Throughout the counting process, keep envelopes, ballots and other election related materials in a secure area accessible to the Election Board only.
4) By districts, open envelopes.
5) Verify the names on the certificates of those who returned ballots against those on the voter registration list.
6) Create a record of all returned ballots, from whom received, and the postmark.
7) If a voter's name and registration is valid, place sealed, official ballots in marked separate containers, one for each district and one single container for the Chairperson.
8) If a voter's name is not on the voter registration list, if the information on the certificate is not readable, or if the return identification envelope is missing either/or the ballot or the certificate, set the ballot and certificate aside in its return identification envelope so it is not counted in the official tally.
9) If the valid official ballot envelope contains only one ballot when one or more ballots may be allowable, the number of missing ballots should be noted to justify the counting process of valid ballots and the return identification envelopes.
10) Count and record the number of valid returned ballots and the number of invalid returned ballots for each district. Tally all districts together. This number should equal the total return identification envelopes received.
(D) The Election Board shall conduct separate tallies of the valid ballots for each District Election and for the Chairperson. If so delegated, the District Boards may assist the Election Board.
1) The Chairperson or designee of the Election Board shall read aloud the name of the candidate selected on each ballot. Two (2) members of the Election Board or its designee shall record the votes cast on separate, previously prepared tally sheets for each District Election and for the Chairperson. The tally numbers from each recorder must match and if they do not, the ballots will be recounted.
2) The Election Board will tally and verify total number of votes cast for each District Election. The number of votes cast, plus the number of spoiled ballots, must equal the number of valid returned ballots for each district.
3) The Election Board, unless the authority has been delegated to the District Board, will tally and verify the total number of votes cast for the Chairperson election. The number of votes cast, plus the number of spoiled ballots, must equal the number of valid returned ballots for the Chairperson election and if they do not, the ballots will be recounted.
4) Any spoiled ballot shall be counted only for the purpose of determining whether the required number of voters have cast their votes. Any spoiled ballots will be counted only as a spoiled ballot.
(E) The Election Board will prepare official information sheets to record all data as required in Sections 9-5-6, 9-5-7, and 9-5-9, to ensure the security of the ballots, and in Section 9-5-12 to ensure that the number of ballots cast is equal to the number of ballots returned minus those invalid in the return identification envelopes and those cast but spoiled.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-12, PTN Code § 9-5-12
The Election Board or its designee shall prepare election results sheets prior to the counting of the ballots. For Tribal Council elections, there shall be a separate sheet for each position and the names of each candidate for that position shall appear thereon. The number of votes for each candidate shall be placed on the sheet and the winner of that position shall be noted on the top of that sheet. There shall also be a line for spoiled ballots. The members of the Election Board shall certify the results by their signature and date at the bottom of each form.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-13, PTN Code § 9-5-13
The results of all elections shall be released and posted in the most timely manner in all Ponca Tribal Offices by hand delivery, fax, or sent through the world wide web. Notices of the election results shall also be mailed to all registered voters within ten (10) working days of the date of the election.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-14, PTN Code § 9-5-14
The Election Board shall ensure that the records of the results of each election and all ballots returned are properly secured and safeguarded. Records of elections shall be maintained at the Ponca Tribal headquarters for a period of at least four (4) years.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-15, PTN Code § 9-5-15
(A) Any eligible voter, within three (3) working days of posting the election results, may challenge the election results by filing with the Election Board grounds for the challenge, together with substantiating evidence.
(B) The Election Board may hold a hearing to give the challenger an opportunity to present their grievances. The hearing, if scheduled, shall be held within five (5) working days of the filing of the challenge. The Election Board may summarily deny the challenge without a hearing if upon the filing of grievance, there is insufficient evidence to support the grievance.
(C) If, in the opinion of the Election Board, the objections are valid and warrant a recount or new election, the Election Board shall order a recount or new election.
(D) In the case of a new election, the Election Board shall notify the affected candidate(s) that a new election shall be held within forty-five (45) working days after the Election Board issues the order for a new election or recount.
(E) With the exception of the time frame in which the new election shall be held, all other election procedures prescribed herein shall apply to the new election.
(F) In the case of a recount, the Election Board shall notify the affected candidate(s) that a recount shall be held in five (5) working days.
(G) The results of the recount or new election shall be the final order of the Election Board.
(H) The final order of the Election Board may be appealed to the Ponca Tribal Court within three (3) working days of the issuance of the Election Board's final order.
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Code § 9-5-16, PTN Code § 9-5-16