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Tribal Code - Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Enacted July 5, 1995. Including Updates Through 2004.

CHAPTER 10: ELECTION ORDINANCE

CONTENTS:

Subchapter I: General Elections
Subchapter II: Special Advisory Elections


HISTORY NOTE:


Current Ordinance:

Resolution 2003-175, adopted December 16, 2003, adopts Tribal Code Chapter 10: Election Ordinance, effective December 16, 2003, and rescinds all earlier Election Ordinances.

Resolution 98-18, adopted February 18, 1998, adopts Tribal Code Chapter 10: Election Ordinance, effective February 18, 1998, and rescinds all earlier Election Ordinances.

Prior Ordinances:

Enacted January 15, 1996, Resolution 96-06, effective 12:00 a.m. January 16, 1996.

Reenacted in Tribal Code format as part of the Tribal Code on July 5, 1995, Resolution No. 95-89, effective immediately.

Enacted February 22, 1978. Resolution 2-22-78B, effective immediately.

Amendments:

Resolution 2003-114, adopted September 2, 2003 amends Election Ordinance by adding Subchapter II, Special Advisory Elections.

Resolution 2-20-80A, adopted February 20, 1980, amended §§10.106(2), 10.107(1) and 10.107(2)(j). §10.104(1) was first amended to add the quarter blood requirement by Board motion on December 15, 1982. The current provision was adopted by Board motion on April 24, 1984.

Resolution 2-5-82A, adopted February 24, 1982, amended §§10.103(1) and (2), 10.015(1), 10.107(2)(a), and 10.108(2).

Tribal Resolution 11-17-87, adopted November 17, 1987, amended §§10.104(2), by adding the last sentence.

Resolution 96-38, adopted February 20, 1996, amended §10.109(6) by changing the word certification to intent.

Resolution 96-74, adopted April 16, 1996, amended §10.108 Candidates for Election.

Resolution 98-58, adopted April 21, 1998, amended §10.111 (e), replaced §10.109 (7) and added §10.109 (8).

Resolution 2000-11, adopted February 9, 2000, amended §10.111 (2) Campaigning.

Resolution 2003-6, adopted January 21, 2003, repealed § 10.109 and enacted in place thereof a new §10.109, effective immediately.

Resolution 2003-7, adopted January 21, 2003, repealed §10.114 and enacted in place thereof a new §10.114 and repealed §10.115 and enacted in place thereof a new §10.115, effective immediately.


[SUBCHAPTER I: GENERAL ELECTIONS]

10.101 Purpose and Authority.

(1) The purpose of this Chapter is to establish procedures for conducting tribal elections. The regulations and procedures contained in this Chapter shall be administered in such a way as to accomplish this purpose and intent. Authority for this Chapter is Article V, §6 of the Tribal Constitution.

(2) In cases of disputes as to compliance with these regulations, substantial, rather than complete compliance with these regulations shall be deemed adequate.

(3) Each of the numbered sections and subsections of this Chapter shall be deemed to be discrete and severable. If any provision of this Chapter shall be held to violate the Constitution and By-law of the Tribe, the validity of each and every other provision shall be unaffected thereby and all such other provisions shall remain in full force and effect.


10.102 Scope.

This Chapter shall govern tribal elections for the Board of Directors pursuant to Article IV and V of the Tribal Constitution and shall be subordinate to the Tribal Constitution and By-laws.


10.103 Definitions.

For the purpose of this Chapter, certain terms are defined in this Section. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the singular number, include the plural number, words in the plural include words in the singular, and words in the masculine gender include the feminine gender. The word shall is always mandatory and not merely directory.

(1) “Adult” member shall mean a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians whom is at least the age of 18 years on the date of election as determined in §10.105.

(2) “Ballot” shall mean the official form issued by the Tribe listing candidates running for various positions from which members may choose.

(3) “Board of Directors” shall mean the governing body of the Tribe.

(4) “Candidate” shall mean a person who has filed a Letter of Intent pursuant to §10.111(1).

(5) "Complaint" shall mean a complaint alleging a violation of the Election Ordinance by a candidate or any other person, filed with the Election Committee pursuant to Section 10.115 (2).

(6) “Constitution” shall mean the Constitution of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

(7) "Contest" shall mean a challenge to an action of the Election Committee raised pursuant to Section 10.115 (1).

(8) “Contribution” shall mean money or in-kind donations.

(9) “Election Committee” shall mean the governing body over tribal elections which derives its power from the Constitution and By-laws and this Chapter.

(10) “Election process” shall mean the steps necessary to conduct the election and shall include the election announcement, verifying petitions and counting of ballots.

(11) “Election units” shall mean the area within the seven county service area which is divided into five (5) Units as defined in Article IV of the Constitution.

(12) “Immediate family member” shall mean, for the purposes of this Chapter, a parent, step parent, spouse, sibling and stepsibling and child.

(13) “Letter of Intent” shall mean the letter a person submits to the Election Secretary stating his intent to become a candidate for an elected position on the Board of Directors.

(14) “Member” shall mean a person enrolled in the Tribe as certified by the Tribal Registrar.

(15) “Non-Candidate Registrants” shall mean individual tribal members who have registered pursuant to §10.112 to expend money on the election.

(16) “Registered” shall mean certification from the Election Committee that a person may vote in the election.

(17) “Seven county service area” shall mean the area in which the Tribe provides direct services in the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, consisting of the counties: Chippewa, Mackinac, Luce, Schoolcraft, Marquette, Delta and Alger.

(18) “Tribal Offices” shall mean the offices of the Tribe, located at:

Unit 1: 523 Ashmun St., Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
Unit 2: Nopaming Drive and 3 Mile Rd., Hessel, MI 49745
Unit 3: 225 Waseh Dr., St. Ignace, MI 49781
Unit 4: 153 Mukwa, Manistique, MI 49854
Unit 5: M-28 East, Wetmore, MI 49895

(19) “Tribe” shall mean the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

(20) “Unit of Government” shall mean the State of Michigan and its political subdivisions and the Federal Government.

(21) “Write in vote” shall mean the filling in of a provided blank spot on the ballot of a person’s name that is not listed as a candidate.


10.104 Computation of Time.

In computing a period of time for purposes of this Chapter, the last day of the period is counted unless that day is a Saturday, a Sunday, legal holiday or a holiday in which the Tribal Offices are closed. In that event, the period runs until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, a Sunday, legal holiday or a day in which the Tribal Offices are closed.


10.105 Date of Election.

Elections for the Board of Directors of the Tribe shall be held on the fourth Thursday in June of each election year at intervals as provided in Article IV, §4 of the Tribal Constitution.


10.106 Election Announcement.

The Board of Directors shall approve and cause to be posted at each tribal office an election announcement which shall give the date of election, the manner by which the vote is to be taken, the officers to be elected, the procedures for the nomination of candidates, the time limit for each stage of the election procedure and the voting requirements for the election. It shall provide information on the election to eligible voters by means of letter, and shall also publicize the election information throughout the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula.


10.107 Tribal Election Committee.

(1) All elections for the Board of Directors shall be administered by the Election Committee. The Board of Directors shall appoint a tribal Election Committee. The Election committee shall consist of thirteen (13) members and the Board of Directors shall appoint a chairperson of the Election Committee from the Committee’s own membership. No person shall be appointed who is currently holding elective office. Any member of the Election Committee shall be ineligible for tribal elective office unless he resigns said Election Committee at least six (6) months before the election deadline. The Election Committee shall establish its own procedures and may delegate its authority as it sees fit consistent with the Constitution or this Chapter.

(2) Members of the Election Committee serve staggered terms of four (4) years. Six (6) members of the initial committee shall serve two (2) year terms. The remaining seven (7) members shall serve a term of four (4) years. Each member of the Election Committee is eligible for reappointment.

(3) If an immediate family member of an Election Committee member files as a candidate, that Committee member shall be disqualified from participating in any action of the Election Committee relating to the office for which the immediate family member has filed.

(4) In the event of a vacancy on the Election Committee, the Board of Directors may appoint a qualified replacement for the remainder of the term of service.

(5) It shall be the duty of the tribal Election Committee to conduct the tribal election. The tribal Election Committee shall:

(a) Register eligible tribal members residing outside the seven (7) county service area in the Eastern Upper Peninsula to vote in tribal elections.

(b) Prepare a roll of registered voters indicating the name, address and election unit of each.

(c) Prepare blank nominating petitions and make them available to the candidate.

(d) Prepare and post at each tribal office a list of eligible nominatedcandidates within seven (7) days after the deadline for receiving petitions.

(e) Prepare ballots and distribute them to all registered voters, and account for all ballots both before and after the election.

(f) Receive ballots from the United States Post Office at the close ofvoting.

(g) Hear and decide all disputes which arise under this Chapter, as is hereafter set forth.

(i) Certify the results of the election to the Board of Directors after all contests have been resolved.

(j) Retain the ballots and other election material securely for a period of ninety (90) days following an election.

(k) In the event of a tie vote for any office, the Election Committee shall decide the election by drawing lots.

(6) All Election Committee members shall refrain from making any public comment regarding the election procedures unless authorized by the Election Committee. It shall be cause for removal from the Election Committee if any member violates this section.


10.108 Registration of Voters.

(1) Any person, eighteen (18) years of age or older at the date of the election asdetermined in §10.105, who is a member of the Tribe, shall be eligible to vote in the tribal election. Members residing within the Tribe’s five (5) election units (the seven county service area within the Eastern Upper Peninsula) shall be deemed registered to vote. Members residing outside of the election units must register to vote as provided herein.

(2) The tribal Election Committee shall conduct a voter registration of non-resident members at four-year intervals, as provided in Article V, Section I of the Constitution. Each non-resident shall register in the unit of his choice for a four-year term. Non-resident members who have not registered to vote may register prior to any election, subject to the requirement of Subsection 10.108 (3). Registration is by mailing out a voter registration form to each non-resident adult member at his most recent address as shown on tribal records. Only those non-resident members who are registered to vote shall receive ballots and be allowed to vote.

(3) The voter registration must be received by the Tribe not later than three months prior to the election.

(4) A roll of registered voters shall be made available for inspection at the tribaloffices not later than three months prior to the election.


10.109 Candidates for Election.

(1) Any registered tribal voter shall be eligible for election to the Board of Directors or the office of Tribal Chairperson, who otherwise meets the requirements of this Section 10.109.

(2) A candidate for the Board of Directors must reside within the unit he seeks to represent. A candidate for the office of Chairperson must reside within one of the five (5) election units. A person resides within an election unit for purposes of this Section, and of Article IV, §2 of the Tribal Constitution, if the makes his home within the election unit for a period of one year prior to the date of the election.

(3) No individual who holds elective office in another unit of government shall be eligible to take office as a member of the Board of Directors, nor shall any member of the Board of Directors continue to hold such office who is elected or appointed to elective office in another unit of government.

(4) A board member may not be a candidate for a Board of Directors seat whose term conflicts with his current term of office, unless he resigns his board seat prior to filing his letter of intent. A board member may be a candidate for the office of Chairperson during his current term of office, provided that he shall not assume the office of the Chairperson unless he first resigns his board seat.

(5) No individual who has been removed from office as a member of the Board of Directors, pursuant to Article VI of the Tribal Constitution, shall be eligible for election to office.

(6) No individual shall be eligible for election to the Board of Directors who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of Michigan, any other, state, an Indian Tribe or the United States, or of a misdemeanor involving gambling, theft, dishonesty, or fraud in any state, or Tribal jurisdiction, or a local ordinance violation in any state or Indian Tribe involving gambling, theft, dishonesty, or fraud that substantially corresponds to a misdemeanor in that jurisdiction. Further, conviction of an offense enumerated in this section shall constitute grounds for removal from office as member of the Board of Directors. This section is intended to be interpreted consistent with Section 432.206 (4) (A) and (B) of the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act, PA 69 of 1997.

(7) No individual who has been convicted of election fraud shall be eligible for election to office.

(8) Each candidate shall file a background investigation disclosure report with the Election Committee within seven days of filing a letter of intent. The disclosure report shall be made on forms provided by the committee, notarized, and shall contain such information and include such releases and consents as the Election Committee deems necessary to verify the absence of a disqualifying conviction pursuant to subsection 10.109 (5). Failure to submit a background investigation disclosure report by the deadline will result in disqualification of potential candidates.

(9) The Election Committee shall compile a complete list of eligible nominatedcandidates. Said list shall be posted in each tribal office and shall be available for inspection.


10.110 Nomination of Candidates.

(1) A candidate may be nominated to office by filing with the Election Committee a valid nominating petition containing the signatures of members registered to vote in the election unit which the candidate seeks to represent or, in the case of a petition for Chairperson, any unit. Nominating petitions for Chairperson and for Unit I and Unit III Board members require fifty (50) valid signatures; petitions for Units II, IV and V require forty (40) signatures.

(2) Each page of the nominating petitions must clearly state the full name of thecandidate, to include Jr., Sr., I, II or III, etc., the office which is sought, the election unit which the office represents, if applicable, and the name of the person circulating the petition.

(3) No member shall sign more nominating petitions for the Board of Directors than there are seats to be elected from his or her unit, nor more than one petition for Chairperson. In the event that any member shall sign more than the allowed number of petitions, his or her name shall be struck from all petitions.

(4) All nominating petitions must be received at the Sault Ste. Marie TribalAdministration Office, located at 523 Ashmun St., Sault Ste. Marie, MI addressed to the Election Committee, not later than fifty-five (55) days before the election deadline as determined in §10.105.

(5) All nominating petitions shall be on forms provided by the Election Committee for that purpose.

(6) Nominated candidates must present the letter of intent to receive the lists ofregistered voters in their unit and other information that may be available to candidates.


10.111 Campaigning.

(1) Each candidate shall submit to the Election Committee, a Letter of Intent prior to receiving nominating petitions to run for a particular office. The letter must be received not less than 75 days prior to the date of election and shall include the following:

(a) The full name of the candidate along with the candidates date of birth and social security number and the office which is being sought.

(b) The unit in which the candidate resides.

(c) A specific statement indicating the intent to seek an elected position within tribal government.

(d) An address and phone number where the candidate can be reached.

(e) A certification under oath, that the candidate meets the requirementscontained in Section 10.109.

(f) Release of information for background investigation purposes.

(2) No candidate may file a Letter of Intent until after the Election Announcement is posted pursuant to §10.106. No candidate may file a Letter of Intent for more than one office in any election.

(3) No campaigning shall take place in any of the tribal offices or any tribalenterprises, except as allowed in (6) of this section.

(4) Candidates who are tribal employees shall not campaign during office hours.

(5) Lists of tribal members registered to vote shall be available only to certifiedcandidates. For candidates seeking a position on the Board of Directors, the lists shall contain only the names and addresses of the voters within their respective unit. Candidates who are running for the office of Chairperson shall be given a list of registered voters, containing only names and addresses for the entire Tribe. The Committee may establish a fee per page to be charged for each list. Each list shall be given out upon production of the candidate’s letter of certification and can only be received by the candidate.

(6) A candidate may post (1) campaign sign on each designated public bulletin board at the various tribal offices and enterprises. No sign placed on a tribal bulletin board may exceed eight and one-half (8 1/2) inches in width and eleven (11) inches in length. Any sign not meeting the requirements of §10.111 shall be removed.

(7) Campaign signs may not be posted or erected on any tribal property except for signs on residential property with the owner/tenants permission, or as allowed in (6) of this section.

(8) Outdoor signs on residential tribal property may not exceed five (5) feet in width or five (5) feet in height.

(9) Campaigning shall be monitored by the Election Committee. Any infraction, by any person associated with a campaign, of the campaign regulations shall be brought before the Election Committee.


10.112 Campaign Financing and Solicitation.

(1) No person shall expend money in support of or opposition to any candidate, unless that person has first either: filed a letter of intent as a candidate pursuant to §10.111(1) hereof or if not a candidate, registered with the Election Committee, on forms provided by the Committee for that purpose. Non-Candidate Registrants:

(a) Must comply with §10.111(6), (7) and (8).

(b) May not expend more than $1,000.00 (one thousand dollars) on any election.

(c) May not solicit or receive funds from other people for election purposes.

(d) Must report expenditures to the Election Committee as provided in §10.113.

(e) Only Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa tribal members may be Non-Candidate Registrants.

(2) A candidate may solicit for campaign contributions provided:

(a) It does not take place in a tribal office or tribal enterprise.

(b) Candidates maynot solicit persons under their direct supervision.

(c) A record of all contributions is kept. The record must contain information on who made the contribution and the amount which was donated. All records must be reported to the Election Committee as provided herein.

(d) No campaign funds are used for anything other than campaign costs.

(e) The aggregate of contributions by any individual person to a single candidacy shall not exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00).

(f) The candidate shall accept no contribution in excess of the limitations provided in this section.

(g) Only individuals may make contributions to campaigns.

(3) No candidate for Chairman shall spend more than fifty thousand dollars($50,000.00) on his campaign. No candidate for a Board member shall spend more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000.00) on his campaign. This includes expenditures from any contributions.

(4) Monies expended in order to solicit for contributions shall be considered campaign expenditures and added to the aggregate spending limit.

(5) There shall be no expenditure of campaign funds prior to the filing of the Letter of Intent pursuant to §10.111.

(6) There shall be filed with the Election Committee a monthly report of all receipts and expenditures on the forms provided by the Committee for that purpose. Copies of all receipts must be submitted with the monthly report.

(7) Any unobligated balance of contributions at the date of the election shall besubmitted to the Tribe.


10.113 Reports and Report Filing.

Pursuant to §10.112(6), each candidate and non-candidate registrant shall report to the Election Committee contributions and expenditures. Each shall file a report within five days (5) after submission of the Letter of Intent. Reports shall include all individual contributions, listing the name and address of those who contributed and the amount they contributed. The report shall also contain a list of all expenditures and copies of all receipts related to any campaign. Following the initial report, a monthly interim report shall be submitted to the Election Committee no later than the fifth day following the end of each month. Candidates and registrants shall send a final report no later than the deadline set for contests relating to vote count. All reports shall contain the same required information listed for the initial report and shall be original copies; no duplicates or faxed copies will be accepted. Failure to report to the Election Committee within the required time shall result in a fine of $10.00 per day.


10.114 Election Procedures.

(1) This section provides procedures for the conduct of tribal elections under this chapter. It also provides for conducting primary elections when appropriate and procedures for such purpose.

(2) The following procedures are applicable to all elections.

(a) Tribal elections will be conducted by first class mail. Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters by the Election Committee at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the election deadline as determined in §10.105.

(b) Marked ballots must be received in the mail at the designated United States Post Office Box, as indicated on the ballot, by closing of the Post Office on the day of the election.

(c) Ballots which do not clearly express the voting choice will be regarded as spoiled ballots and will not be counted. In the event that a ballot clearly expresses choice with regard to one office, but fails to so with regard to another office, the vote which is clearly expressed shall be counted. Ballots that fail to meet the security measures adopted by the Election Committee will be regarded as spoiled ballots and will not be counted.

(d) Each registered voter may vote for as many candidates for the Board of Directors as there are seats to be filled from his unit or for any lesser number of candidates, and for one (1) candidate for Chairperson.

(e) Write in votes are permitted when the number of nominated candidates is less than or equal to the number of positions to be filled for any office. In such case, space for one or more write in votes shall be included on the ballot so that one more voting choice is offered than the number of positions to be filled. A voter may cast his vote by writing the name of any person who satisfies the eligibility requirements for office stated in §10.109.

(f) Candidate representatives and other observers shall not be allowed to participate in the count. Any disturbance from either may result in that person being dismissed from the count room.

(3) This section provides for Primary Elections in certain circumstances and provides procedures in conducting Primary Elections.

(a) In the event that the number of eligible nominated candidates for any office exceeds twice the number of offices to be filled, the Election Committee shall conduct a Primary Election. The purpose of the Primary Election shall be to reduce the number of candidates so that the number of candidates for each office shall be twice the number of offices to be filled.

(b) Primary Elections shall be conducted under the procedures generallyapplicable to elections conducted under this chapter.

(c) Primary Election ballots shall be mailed to registered voters not later than 58 days before the election pursuant to Section 10.105. Marked ballots must be received by the Election Committee not later than the close of business 37 days before the date of the election pursuant to Section 10.105.

(d) The candidates in the Primary Election equal in number to twice thenumber of offices to be filled in the general election, who receive the greater number of votes, shall be named as candidates on the general election ballot.


10.115 Election Contests and Complaints.

(1) Any member may contest an action of the Election Committee or the results of the election as provided in this Section. A contest shall begin by presenting to the Chairperson of the Election Committee a written statement which sets forth the grounds for the contest.

(a) All contests relating to voter registration, nominating petitions ornominating and eligibility of candidates shall begin not later than three (3) days after the list of eligible nominated candidates is posted at the tribal office.

(b) All contests relating to the tabulation of votes and the results of theelection shall begin not later than three (3) days following posting of the results of the election. Contests calling for a recount must be submitted to the Election Committee in writing, signed, and must include a payment of twenty-five dollars ($25.00). If the recount changes the outcome of the election, the recount fee shall be refunded; otherwise the fee is forfeited.

(c) The Election Committee shall honor a request for a recount provided the vote differential does not exceed fifty (50) votes. No candidate may request more than one recount.

(d) The Election Committee shall hear and decide all election contests, in accordance with its own rules. In hearing and deciding contest, it shall be guided by the principle of fairness, consistent with the goal of expediting a fair election.

(2) This subsection governs complaints of violations of the Election Ordinance filed with the Election Committee.

(a) Any member may file a complaint of a violation of the Election Ordinance by any other person as provided in this section. A complaint proceeding is begun by presenting to the chairperson of the Election Committee a signed, written statement setting forth the grounds for the complaint.

(b) The parties to an election complaint proceeding shall be the person filing the complaint (the "complainant") and the person accused of an Election Ordinance violation (the "respondent"). The complainant and the respondent may be represented by another person, provided that any attorney representing a party must be admitted to practice before the Tribal Court.

(c) Proceedings under this subsection are civil administrative proceedings. Violations must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.

(d) The Election Committee shall adjudicate all complaints. It may conduct its own investigations, utilize other tribal resources, conduct evidentiary hearings, and may issue summary dispositions. It shall decide complaint proceedings by a simply majority vote of those members present and voting.

(e) A record shall be made of all election complaint proceedings. Testimony at a hearing on an election complaint shall be given under oath administered by the Chairperson of the Election Committee.

(f) At the request of the Chairperson of the Election Committee, the Tribal Court shall issue process to compel testimony or the production of evidence at an election complaint proceeding.

(g) The Election Committee shall provide notice to the respondentby furnishing a copy of the complaint by first class mail.

(h) If a violation of the Election Ordinance is shown in a proceeding under this subsection, the Election Committee may impose a civil fine not to exceed $1,000 for each violation. In determining the fine, the committee shall consider the seriousness of the violation, the respondent's culpability, and such other factors as it sees fit. The Election Committee may also issue injunctive and declaratory relief in appropriate cases, including preliminary relief.

(i) Civil fines and injunctive relief imposed under this subsection shall have the same force and effect as if issued by the Tribal Court and shall be enforceable by the Tribal Court.

(j) The Election Committee shall hear and decide all election complaints in accordance with its own rules. In hearing and deciding complaints, it shall be guided by the principle of fairness, consistent with the goal of expediting a fair election.

(k) The remedies provided herein are supplementary to and not in derogation of other remedies available under the Tribal Constitution, ordinances and resolutions.


10.116 Certification of Election Results.

The Election Committee shall post the uncertified election results immediately following the tabulation of votes. The Election Committee shall certify the election results to the Board of Directors when the period for contests has lapsed and all contests have been resolved.


10.117 Notification and Installation.

(1) Elected candidates shall immediately be notified of the election by mail and/or telephone, if possible.

(2) Elected candidates shall assume the duties of office at the first Board of Directors meeting following the certification of the election results pursuant to §10.107(5)(i).


10.118 Oath of Office.

Each member of the Board of Directors shall take an oath of office prior to assuming the duties of a Board member. Said oath shall pledge the members to support and defend the Constitution and Law of the Tribe and of the United States of America. The oath shall be administered by the Chairperson of the Election Committee.


SUBCHAPTER II: SPECIAL ADVISORY ELECTIONS


10.201 Purpose and Authority.

The Tribal Constitution in Article VI, Section 2 provides that the Board of Directors shall, by majority vote, fill Board vacancies by appointment of a voting member of the Tribe to fill the unexpired term of the departed official.

The Board of Directors has determined to conduct Special Advisory Elections to assist it in performing its responsibilities under Article VI. The results of any Special Advisory Election conducted pursuant to this Chapter are advisory only and are not binding on the Board of Directors. The purpose of this Subchapter is to establish procedures for conducting Special Advisory Elections. The regulations and procedures contained in this Chapter shall be administered in such a way as to accomplish this purpose and intent. The authority for this Subchapter is Article VI, Section 2 and Article V, Section 6 of the Tribal Constitution.


10.202 Scope.

This Subchapter shall govern Special Advisory Elections for the Board of Directors conducted by the Board of Directors to assist it in filling vacant Board seats. It shall be subordinate to the Tribal Constitution and By-laws.


10.203 Date of Election.

The Board of Directors shall establish a date for any Special Advisory Election held hereunder. The date of the election shall not be earlier than 90 days after the Notice of Election. No Special Advisory Election shall be held if the date of said election shall be later than the posting of the Notice of Election for the next general election.


10.204 Election Announcement.

The Board of Directors shall prepare and post at each tribal office an election announcement ("Notice of Election") which shall explain the purpose of the Special Advisory Election, give date of election, the manner by which the vote is to be taken, the office to be filled, the procedures for the nomination of candidates, the time limit for each stage of the election procedure and the voting requirements for the elections. It shall provide information on the election to eligible non-resident voters by means of letter, and shall also publicize the election information throughout the election unit affected.


10.205 Tribal Election Committee.

(1) The Tribal Election Committee shall administer all elections conducted under this Subchapter. The Tribal Election Committee shall establish its own procedures and may delegate its authority as it sees fit consistent with the Constitution and this Subchapter.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Tribal Election Committee to conduct the SpecialAdvisory Election. The Tribal Election Committee shall:

(a) Establish roll of eligible voters for the Special Advisory Election consisting of all enrolled tribal members eighteen years of age or older on the date of election who meet either of the following criteria.

(i) Is shown upon the tribal membership roll to be a resident of the election unit for which the election is being held, or for the office of chairperson, any unit.

(ii) Registered to vote in the election unit for which the election is being held, or for the office of chairperson, in any unit, as a voter residing outside of any election unit for the immediately preceding Tribal general election pursuant to Article V, Section 5, of the Tribal Constitution and the Election Ordinance, Tribal Code Chapter 10.

(b) Prepare blank nominating petitions and make them available to the candidate.

(c) Prepare and post at each tribal office a list of eligible nominated candidates within seven (7) days after the deadline for receiving petitions.

(d) Prepare ballots and distribute them to all registered voters, and account for all ballots both before and after the election.

(e) Receive ballots from the United States Post Office at the close of voting.

(f) Hear and decide all disputes which arise under this Chapter, as is hereafter set forth.

(g) Certify the results of the election to the Board of Directors after all contests have been resolved.

(h) Retain the ballots and the other election material securely for a period of ninety (90) days following an election.

(i) In the event of a tie vote for any office, the Tribal Election Committee shall decide the election by drawing lots.

(3) All Tribal Election Committee members shall refrain from making any public comment regarding the election procedures unless authorized by the Tribal Election Committee. It shall be cause for removal from the Tribal Election Committee if any member violates this section.

(4) No Tribal Election Committee member shall be eligible to be a candidate in a Special Advisory Election unless he resigns from the committee effective upon posting of Notice of Election.


10.206 Applicability of General Election Rules.

Certain provisions of Chapter 10, Subchapter 1, to General Elections, are incorporated herein and made applicable to Special Advisory Elections, as follows:

(1) The provisions of Section 10.109, Candidates for Election, apply to SpecialAdvisory Elections held under this Subchapter and to candidates in such elections, provided that no Board Member whose term of office is concurrent with the term of office to be filled in a Special Advisory Election shall be eligible to be a candidate in such Special Advisory Election, unless he resigns his Board position effective upon the date of the Notice of Election. This provision does not prevent a Board Member with an unexpired term from being a candidate for Chairperson.

(2) The provisions of Section 10.110, Nomination of Candidates, apply to the nomination of candidates in Special Advisory Elections, provided that nominating petitions shall be received not later than 69 days before the date of the election.

(3) The provisions of Section 10.111. Campaigning, of this Chapter apply to Special Advisory Elections and to candidates in such elections.

(4) The provisions of Section 10.112, Campaign Financing and Solicitation, and Section 10.113, Reports and Report Filing, apply to candidates and others in connection with Special Advisory Elections. Candidates and other persons who spend money in support or opposition to a candidate in a Special Advisory Election shall comply with all of the requirements and limitations contained in Section 10.112.

(5) The provisions of Section 10.115, Election Contest, shall apply to Special Advisory Elections and to candidates in such elections.


10.207 Election Procedures.

(1) This section provides procedures for the conduct of Special Advisory Elections under this chapter. It also provides for conducting primary elections when appropriate and procedures for such purpose.

(2) The following procedures are applicable to all Special Advisory Elections.

(a) Tribal elections will be conducted by first class mail. Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters by the Tribal Election Committee at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the election deadline as determined in Section 10.105.

(b) Marked ballots must be received in the mail at the designated United States Post Office Box, as indicated on the ballot, by closing of the Post Office on the day of the election.

(c) Ballots which do not clearly express the voting choice will be regarded as spoiled ballots and will not be counted. In the event that a ballot clearly expresses a choice with regard to one office, but fails to with regard to another office, the vote which is clearly expressed shall be counted.

(d) Each registered voter may vote for as many candidates for the Board of Directors as there are seats to be filled from his unit or for any lesser number of candidates, and for one (1) candidate for Chairperson.

(e) Write in votes are permitted when the number of nominated candidates is less than or equal to the number of positions to be filled for any office. In such case, space for one or more write in votes shall be included on the ballot so that one more voting choice is offered than the number of positions to be filled. A voter may cast his vote by writing the name of any person who satisfies the eligibility requirements for office stated in Section 10.109.

(f) Observers shall not be allowed to participate in the count. Any disturbance from an observer may result in that person being dismissed from the count room and no further observer from that campaign will be allowed.

(3) This Section provides for Primary Elections in certain circumstances and provides procedures in conducting Primary Elections.

(a) In the event that the number of eligible nominated candidates for any office exceeds twice the number of offices to be filled, the Tribal Election Committee shall conduct a Primary Election. The purpose of the Primary Election shall be to reduce the number of candidates so that the number of candidates for each office shall be twice the number of offices to be filled.

(b) Primary Elections shall be conducted under the procedures generally applicable to elections conducted under this chapter.

(c) Marked Primary Election ballots must be received by the Tribal Election Committee not later than the close of business 28 days before the date of the Special Advisory Election established pursuant to Section 10.203.

(d) The candidates in the Primary Election equal in number to twice the number of offices to be filled in the general election, who receive the greater number of votes, shall be named as candidates on the general election ballot.


10.208 Certification of Election Results.

The Tribal Election Committee shall post the uncertified election results immediately following the tabulation of votes. The Tribal Election Committee shall certify the results of the Special Advisory Election to the Board of Directors when the period for contests has lapsed and all contests have been resolved.

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