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Minnesota Chippewa Tribe - Leech Lake Band - Tribal Code

 

Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Election Ordinance No. 10
Chapter I. Candidates and Voting

Section 1. Primary Elections

Section 2. Elections: Scheduling and Announcements

Section 3. Candidates for Office

Section 4. Districts and Polling Places

Section 5. Election Notice

Section 6. Voter Eligibility

Section 7. Reservation Election Boards and Election Contest Judges

Section 8. Cost of Election

Section 9. Counting of Days

Section 10. Beginning of New Terms

MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 1
Section 1. Primary Elections

A. In the event only two candidates are certified for an office, there will be no Primary Election for that position. If more than two (2) persons are certified under this Ordinance as candidates for any one office in either a Regular or Special Election, there must be a Primary Election (“Primary”) prior to the Regular or Special Election. The General Reservation Election Board will certify the two candidates with the most votes in the Primary for the office at issue as the only candidates in the Regular or Special Election. The candidate with the most votes in the Regular or Special Election will be the winning candidate and will be entitled to assume the duties of office.

B. The purpose of primaries will be to determine two candidates for the Regular or Special Election, unless a candidate receives more than one-half (1/2) of the votes counted for that position in the Primary Election in which case that candidate will be the winning candidate. If two candidates tie with the greatest number of votes in a Primary Election, they will advance as the only two candidates in the Regular or Special Election. If two candidates tie with the second greatest number of votes in a Primary, the General Reservation Election Board will conduct a recount within twenty-four (24) hours. If the Recount results in a tie, the candidate advancing to the General or Special Election (as contestant with the candidate receiving the highest number of votes) will be determined by lot. The General Reservation Election Board will draw the lots within twenty-four (24) hours after the recount in a forum accessible to Reservation voters.

Revised December 8, 2009.

MN Chippewa Tribe Elec. Ord.. Ch. I, § 1, MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 1



MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 2
Section 2. Elections: Scheduling and Announcements

A. Regular Elections.

1. The Tribal Executive Committee will set the second Tuesday in June of even numbered years for Regular Elections.

2. The Tribal Executive Committee will set the tenth Tuesday prior to the Regular Election date as the date for Primary Elections, if a Primary is required under this Ordinance. The Tribal Executive Committee shall approve an Election Calendar establishing the dates of events required by this Ordinance.

3. Not less than one-hundred and thirty-four (134) days prior to the date of Regular Elections the Tribal Executive Committee will prepare the Election Announcement of each Regular Election and its associated Primary. Each Band governing body* will post the Announcements at locations designated by such Band on its respective Reservation on the day of, or following, receipt of the Announcement.

* “Band governing body” means a Reservation Business Committee, Reservation Tribal Council, or other entity recognized by the Tribal Executive Committee as the lawful governing body of a constituent Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

B. Special Elections.

1. If a vacancy due to death, removal, or resignation occurs on the Band governing body more than 365 days before the next Regular election, the Band governing body must call a Special Election to fill such vacancy. The Special Election will be held within one-hundred and forty-one (141) days after the date the vacancy occurs. A Primary Election, if required under this Ordinance, will be held at least sixty (60) days before the date of the Special Election.

2. If a vacancy due to death, removal, or resignation occurs on the Band governing body less than three hundred sixty-five (365) days, but more than one hundred eighty (180) days, before the next Regular Election, the Band governing body may call a Special Election, or appoint a person who is qualified to serve under Chapter I, Section 3 to fill the vacancy and serve until the next Regular Election is held and the successful candidate is seated. If a Special Election is called, it will be held within one-hundred and forty-one (141) days after the date the vacancy occurs. A Primary Election, if required under this Ordinance, will be held at least sixty (60) days before the date of the Special Election.

3. If a vacancy due to death, removal, or resignation occurs on the Band governing body less than one hundred eighty (180) days before the next Regular Election, the Band governing body may call a Special Election, appoint a person who is qualified to serve under Chapter I, Section 3 to fill the vacancy, or leave the vacancy unfilled for the remainder of the term.

4. Whenever a Special Election is called the Band governing body shall, within ten (10) days after the date the vacancy occurs, prepare an Election Announcement and Election Calendar and post it at locations designated by it.

C. “Run-Off” Elections.

In case of a tie vote in a Regular or Special Election the General Reservation Election Board will perform a recount within twenty-four (24) hours. If the Recount results in a tie, a “Run-Off” election will be held within sixty (60) days following the deadline for determining contests and appeals of such elections.

Revised December 8, 2009.

MN Chippewa Tribe Elec. Ord.. Ch. I, § 2, MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 2




MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 3
Section 3. Candidates for Office

A. Eligibility.

A candidate for office must: (1) be an enrolled member of the Tribe; (2) be enrolled with the Reservation of his/her candidacy; (3) reside on the Reservation of his/her candidacy and enrollment; and (4) meet the requirements of Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution, as set forth in subsection D of this Section. A candidate for Committeeperson to represent a district established pursuant to Chapter I, Section 4.1, below, must reside in the district of his/her candidacy and enrollment. Requirements (1), (2) and (3) must be met for at least the twelve-month period immediately preceding the date established for the Primary election. No member of the Tribe will be eligible to hold office, either as a Committeeperson or Officer, unless he or she will reach his/her twenty-first (21st) birthday on or before the date of the election. A candidate may file for only one (1) position.

B. Reservation Definition.

A Reservation is defined as all lands within the exterior boundaries of the reservation. A Band governing body, by formal action, may define “reservation” to include specified lands outside the boundaries of the reservation, as may be defined by treaty, statute, executive order, or other document considered sufficient authority by the Band governing body, including all lands considered Indian Country under the governmental authority of that Reservation.

C. Filing of Notice of Candidacy.

1. For Regular Elections, eligible candidates must file their notice of candidacy for Chairperson, Secretary/Treasurer, or Committeeperson, with the Secretary/Treasurer of the Band governing body or his/her designee beginning on the next business day after the Tribal Executive Committee prepares the election announcement. The filing period shall end not less than ten (10) days after it begins.

2. For Special Elections, eligible candidates must file their notice of candidacy for such offices beginning the next business day after the Band governing body prepares and posts the election announcement. The filing period shall end not less than ten (10) days after it begins.

3. The Notice of Candidacy must be in writing, have the original signature of the candidate, comply with the requirements of subsection D, below, and be filed by the candidate in person. A filing fee will accompany each notice of candidacy. The amount of the fee will be five dollars ($5.00) for Officers (Chairperson, Secretary/Treasurer) and two dollars and fifty cents ($2.50) for Committeeperson.

4. Each Band governing body will certify eligible candidates for office in accordance with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Constitution, the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Election Ordinance and the dates and guidelines established for Minnesota Chippewa Tribe elections. Within twenty-one (21) days after the filing deadline the Band governing body must notify the Tribal Executive Committee of the eligible and ineligible candidates and the positions for which they have filed. Certification decisions must adhere to the requirements of the Constitution and this Ordinance. The Band governing body shall make its certification decision based on all information available at the time for determination including information provided by the person who filed the Notice of Candidacy.

Any person who has filed a Notice of Candidacy has standing to challenge the certification or non-certification of a person who has filed a Notice of Candidacy. Any challenge of such a decision must be filed with the Executive Director of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe within forty-right (48) hours of receipt by the Tribal Executive Committee of the notice of certification or non-certification. Any challenge must state the reason(s) why the decision of the Band governing body did not comply with the requirements of the Constitution. Immediately upon receipt of a challenge, the Executive Director shall: (1) notify the Band governing body of the challenge and advise it that a complete record of all documents related to the challenged determination must be submitted to the Executive Director on the next business day; and (2) notify the Tribal Election Court of Appeals that a challenge has been filed. Notwithstanding any provision of this Ordinance, the Tribal Election Court of Appeals shall convene within twenty-four (24) hours of said notice and decide the issue of certification or non-certification based on the record provided by the Band governing body. The decision of the Tribal Election Court of Appeals shall be final.

5. If a member serving in any position on an existing Band governing body, and whose term does not end with the current election, desires to file for a different office on that Committee, he/she may do so. However, at least fifteen (15) days prior to the day that the Election Announcement is posted pursuant to this Chapter, such member will file with the Band governing body or its designee and serve upon each of its other members a notice of resignation from that member's current position. Said resignation shall be irrevocable upon certification of the tribal member who has resigned as a candidate, and will be effective upon the successful candidate's assumption of authority of the position for which such member has filed.

6. In the event another incumbent member desires to file for the office for which a notice of resignation has been filed and served, he/she must file and serve a notice of resignation as least three (3) days prior to the date that the Election Announcement is prepared.

7. Each office for which a notice of resignation has been filed and served in accordance with this section will be included in the Election Announcement, and a Special Election for those positions will be held contemporaneously with the Regular Election.

D. Ineligibility by Reason of Criminal Conviction.

1. General. No member of the Tribe shall be eligible as a candidate or be able to hold office if he or she has ever been convicted of any felony of any kind or if he or she has ever been convicted of a lesser crime if that crime involved the theft, misappropriation or embezzlement of money, funds, assets or property belonging to an Indian tribe or a tribal organization.

2. Definitions. As used in this subsection:

a. “Lesser crime” means a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or other equivalent offenses under applicable law, but shall not include petty offenses or misdemeanors punishable only by a fine under applicable law.

b. “Felony” means a crime defined as a felony by applicable law.

c. “Applicable law” means the law of the jurisdiction in which a crime was prosecuted.

d. “Indian tribe” means any federally-recognized Indian tribe, band, group or community.

e. “Tribal organization” means the recognized governing body of any Indian tribe and any legally established organization or subordinate entity which is owned or controlled by an Indian tribe or tribes.

f. “Theft” means taking of another's personal property with the intent of depriving the true owner of it.

g. “Misappropriation” means the application or conversion of another's personal property dishonestly to one's own use.

h. “Embezzlement” means the fraudulent taking of personal property with which one has been entrusted.

3. Certification of Eligibility. Each person filing for office shall at the time of filing execute before a notary a representation that he or she is eligible to be a candidate and has not been convicted of a crime which would disqualify him or her under this subsection D. The Tribal Executive Committee shall prescribe the form of the certification.

4. Authorization and Consent to Disclosure. Each person filing for office shall at the time of filing execute before a notary an authorization to release and consent to disclosure in favor of the Band governing body for the purpose of conducting a criminal history check. The authorization shall be on a form prescribed by the TEC (or on a form that is required by the responding jurisdiction) and shall require such information as may be reasonably necessary to conduct the criminal history check, including all jurisdictions in which the person has resided or has been convicted of a felony or lesser crime as an adult and all names the person has used.

5. Conducting Criminal History Check. Each Band governing body shall designate the entity responsible for conducting the criminal history check. Criminal history checks shall commence immediately upon filing and execution of the required forms by persons seeking to be candidates and be completed prior to the date the notice of certification of candidates is due, provided that a late response shall not preclude a later determination of non-eligibility. The scope of each criminal history check shall be sufficient to reasonably verify the eligibility of each candidate under this section.

6. “A Band governing body may charge a reasonable fee for the cost of a criminal history check required by the Ordinance.”

E. Write-In Candidates.

No write-in candidate will be recognized.

Revised December 8, 2009.

MN Chippewa Tribe Elec. Ord.. Ch. I, § 3, MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 3




MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 4
Section 4. Districts and Polling Places

A. Each Band governing body by formal action may divide its reservation area into districts for the purpose of electing members to the positions of Committeeperson on the Band governing body.

B. Each Band governing body by formal action will designate polling places for its respective reservation and, on the day when the Tribal Executive Committee is notified of eligible candidates under Chapter I, Section 3.C.4., will notify the Tribal Executive Committee of the districts and designated polling places, and the time for the opening and closing of the polls.

C. Each Band governing body will have the option, by formal action, to establish voting precincts in those off-reservation areas where it deems it has sufficient eligible voters to warrant such a voting polling place.

D. Each Band governing body is authorized to establish alternative polling places in the event of an emergency unavailability of the polling places established under Chapter I, Section 4.2. Notice shall be provided of such emergency relocation.

Revised December 8, 2009.

MN Chippewa Tribe Elec. Ord.. Ch. I, § 4, MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 4




MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 5
Section 5. Election Notice

A. Regular Elections without an Associated Primary.

At least sixty-four (64) days before the day of the Regular Elections the Tribal Executive Committee will prepare for each Band governing body a Notice of Regular election. This notice will contain: the date of the Regular Election; a list of duly certified candidates for positions on the Band governing body; the designated polling places; the time for opening and closing of polling places; and, the voting requirements. Each Band governing body will post the Notice on the day following distribution of the Notice at locations designated by the Band governing body on its respective Reservation.

B. Regular Elections with an Associated Primary.

At least thirty (30) days before the day of the Primary Elections, but not before the Band governing body certifies the candidates, the Tribal Executive Committee will prepare for each Band governing body a Notice of Primary Election. This notice will contain: the dates of the Primary Election; a list of duly certified candidates for positions on the Band governing body; the designated polling places; the time for opening and closing of polling places; and the voting requirements. Each Band governing body will post the Notice on the day following distribution of the Notice at locations designated by the Band governing body on its respective Reservation. At least thirty (30) days before the Regular Election, but not before the expiration of the contest period in the associated Primary Election, the Tribal Executive Committee will prepare for each Band governing body a Notice of Regular Election. This notice will contain: the date of the Regular Election; a list of the candidates for positions on the Band governing body resulting from the associated Primary Election; the designated polling places, the time for opening and closing of the polling places; and, the voting requirements.

C. Special Elections.

Within five (5) days after the deadline for filing notice of candidacy, the Band governing body calling the Special Election will prepare and post a Notice of Special Election, giving the dates of the Special Election and any associated Primary Election; a list of the duly certified candidates for vacant positions on the Band governing body; the designated polling places; the time for opening and closing of the polling places; and, the voting requirements. The Band governing body will post the Notice at locations designated by the Band governing body on its reservation. Within five (5) days after the deadline for the decision on the contest of the Primary Election associated with a Special Election, the Band governing body will prepare and post another Special Election Notice containing: the date of the Special Election; a list of the candidates for positions on the Band governing body resulting from the associated Primary Election; the designated polling places; the time for opening and closing of the polling places; and, the voting requirements.

Revised December 8, 2009.

MN Chippewa Tribe Elec. Ord.. Ch. I, § 5, MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 5




MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 6
Section 6. Voter Eligibility

A. Judging Qualifications.

Each Band governing body will be the sole judge of the constitutional qualifications of its voters and may, by formal action, delegate this responsibility to its General Reservation Election Board.

B. Eligibility to Vote: Generally.

Eligible voters are enrolled members of the Tribe, eighteen (18) years of age or over. All eligible voters will be entitled to vote by secret ballot on Election Day. To be eligible to cast a ballot a voter must meet all constitutional requirements. In addition, to be eligible to cast a vote for Committeeperson, a voter must have resided within that district for at least thirty (30) days immediately preceding the election, unless the voter casts an absentee ballot as permitted by this Ordinance.

C. Eligibility to Vote: Absentee.

Whenever, due to absence from the reservation, illness or physical disability, an eligible voter is not able to vote at the polls and notifies the General Election Board consistent with this Ordinance, he/she will be entitled to vote by absentee ballot in the manner and under the procedures as provided by Chapter II, Section 2.B. of this Ordinance. To cast an absentee ballot for Committeeperson, an eligible voter must have resided within that district for a period of at least thirty (30) days as his/her last reservation residence. In the event an eligible voter has never resided on the reservation of his/her enrollment, he/she must declare in his/her request which district has been selected in which to cast the ballot for Committeeperson. A voter may not thereafter change his/her district for absentee voting purposes without actually residing within a different district on his/her reservation of enrollment for thirty (30) consecutive days.

Revised December 8, 2009.

MN Chippewa Tribe Elec. Ord.. Ch. I, § 6, MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 6




MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 7
Section 7. Reservation Election Boards and Election Contest Judges

A. General Reservation Election Board.

Within three (3) business days following the notice of certification of candidates for either a Regular Election or Special Election, the Band governing body will appoint at least four (4) eligible voters of the reservation as the General Reservation Election Board. One member of the Board will be appointed the Chair. The appointments will be made either directly by the Band governing body, or through another process established by the Band governing body. Each appointee to the Board must have a thorough understanding of this Ordinance. The General Reservation Election Board will also be the District Election Board where reservations have only one voting precinct. The General Reservation Election Board will be responsible for the overall conduct of the election. In addition, it will perform, in a nonpartisan fashion, all duties assigned to it by this Ordinance, including the processing and counting of absentee ballots, the certification of election results, the posting of election results, the safekeeping of election materials, and the consideration of recount requests.

B. District Election Board.

1. Within three (3) business days following the notice of certification of candidates for either a Regular Election or Special Election, the Band governing body will appoint a District Election Board of at least three eligible voters from each voting district, and at least one alternate from that district. The appointments will be made either directly by the Band governing body, or through another process established by the Band governing body. One member of the District Election Board will be designated as the Chair, one as Clerk, and one as Teller. The Band governing body may also appoint one or more additional eligible voters from the reservation to serve as alternates in case any of the original appointees become unable or unwilling to serve. Each appointee as a board member or alternate must have training in this Ordinance. The Tribe will provide training in the application of this Ordinance to the Boards.

2. It will be the duty of the District Election Board to maintain orderly conduct within the surroundings of the polling places and prohibit any person from electioneering in a public place within two hundred (200) feet of the voting building.

C. Vacancy on Election Boards.

Vacancies will be filled by appointed alternates to the Board.

D. Reservation Election Contest Judge.

Within three (3) business days following the notice of certification of candidates for either a Regular Election or Special Election, the Band governing body will appoint an Election Contest Judge and an Alternate Election Contest Judge, and notify the MCT of such appointment. These appointments will be made either directly by the Band governing body or through another process established by the Band governing body. If the Election Contest Judge becomes unable or unwilling to serve, the Alternate Election Contest Judge will take his/her place. The Election Contest Judge and Alternate Election Contest Judge will have a thorough understanding of this Ordinance. The qualifications of the Election Contest Judge and Alternate Election Contest Judge will be left to the discretion of the Band governing body. The Election Contest Judge will perform the duties described in this Ordinance for the election that is the subject of the Announcement. The beginning and ending dates of the term of such Judge will be determined by the Band governing body, provided that the Judge will be appointed and will be available during the times this Ordinance may require action by him/her.

E. No Immediate Family Members.

No candidate for election, no members of a Candidate's immediate family, not any member of the Band governing body will be appointed to serve on any election board or as an Election Contest Judge or Alternate Election Contest Judge. The term “immediate family” as used herein will be determined by the Band governing body.

Revised December 8, 2009.

MN Chippewa Tribe Elec. Ord.. Ch. I, § 7, MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 7




MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 8
Section 8. Cost of Election

Compensation of election board members and all costs of administering all elections will be borne by the Band governing body of the reservation holding the election.

Revised December 8, 2009.

MN Chippewa Tribe Elec. Ord.. Ch. I, § 8, MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 8




MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 9
Section 9. Counting of Days

Whenever this Ordinance provides for a certain time period to be counted in days, such days will be calendar days, and if the last day when so counted falls on a Saturday or Sunday or legal holiday, the Ordinance will be construed so that the last day will be the next business day following such Saturday or Sunday or the first day following the legal holiday that is not a Saturday or Sunday.

Revised December 8, 2009.

MN Chippewa Tribe Elec. Ord.. Ch. I, § 9, MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 9




MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 10
Section 10. Beginning of New Terms

A. Action by a Band Governing Body.

A Band governing body by formal action may establish the time and process for newly elected candidates to assume the authority of their positions, however, such time and process must provide that all newly elected candidates will assume the authority of their positions at or before the times set out in part “B” of this Section, provided that if an election for a particular position is contested and the contest has not been finally ruled upon in accordance with this Ordinance the incumbent will remain in office pending a final decision, and until a new person takes office.

B. In the Absence of Action by a Band Governing Body.

1. In the absence of formal action by a Band governing body pursuant to part “A” of this Section, the winning candidates in Regular Elections will take office and assume all the authority of their positions at 12:01 a.m. on the second Tuesday in July following the elections; provided that if an election for a particular position is contested and the contest has not been finally ruled upon in accordance with this Ordinance the incumbent will remain in office pending a final decision, and until a new person takes office. The contest of the election for any one position will not affect the beginning of the new terms of other winning candidates. If the final ruling on the contest upholds the election, the winning candidate will take office and assume all the authority of the position at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the day the final order upholding the election is filed. If the final ruling orders a new election, the winning candidate of the ensuing special election will take office and assume all the authority of the position in accordance with the following paragraph.

2. For special elections, the winning candidate will take office and assume all the authority of the position at 12:01 a.m. on the tenth day following the day of the election. If a special election is contested, and the contest has not been finally ruled upon by such time, the winning candidate will take office and assume all the authority of the position at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the final order upholding the election.

MN Chippewa Tribe Elec. Ord.. Ch. I, § 10, MN Chippewa EO Ch. I, § 10

 

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