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Minnesota Chippewa Tribe - Leech Lake Band - Tribal Code

 

Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Election Ordinance No. 10
Chapter III. Recounts, Contests, and Appeals

Section 1. Recounts of Ballots

Section 2. Election Contest to Reservation Election Contest Judge

Section 3. Appeal of Reservation Election Contest Judge Decision

Section 4. Tribal Election Court of Appeals

MN Chippewa EO Ch. III, § 1
Section 1. Recounts of Ballots

A. A recount of ballots may be sought in any Regular or Special Election, and will be mandatory in case of tie votes in such elections. If two candidates tie with the second highest number of votes in a Primary, a recount will be mandatory.

B. Only a candidate for Band governing body position may seek a recount of ballots, and the recount may only involve the position for which he/she was a candidate. A candidate seeking a recount must prepare a written Request For Recount stating specific reasons for the need for a recount, and will file the Request with the General Reservation Election Board at its office by 5:00 p.m. on the third day following the day of the election. The General Reservation Election Board will consider the Request for Recount of the contesting candidate and will make a decision on the Request within five (5) days following the day the Request is filed with the Board. A recount will be ordered only if the General Reservation Election Board determines that the closeness of the vote makes a recount desirable, or that a material question exists as to whether the initial vote count was accurate. The decision of the General Reservation Election Board will be final without appeal as to the recount request.

Revised December 8, 2009.

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



MN Chippewa EO Ch. III, § 2
Section 2. Election Contest to Reservation Election Contest Judge

A. Contest of Primary, Regular or Special Elections.

Only a candidate for a Tribal Council position may contest an election, and the contest may only involve the position for which he/she was a candidate. A candidate contesting an election will prepare a written Notice of Contest stating specific reasons for his/her contest, and will file such Notice of Contest with the Reservation Election Contest Judge at the Judge's office by 5:00 p.m. of the seventh day following the day of the election. The Reservation Election Contest Judge may order such a hearing and such submissions as the Judge deems necessary, and will make a decision on the Contest within ten (10) days following the day the Notice of Contest was filed.

B. Rules and Procedures for Contests to the Reservation Election Contest Judge.

The following additional rules and procedures will govern the determination of election contests heard by the Reservation Election Contest Judge pursuant to this Ordinance:

1. The burden of proof of irregularities alleged rests with the contester. The Judge in his discretion may allow discovery relating to ballots if the Judge believes the contester has demonstrated the likelihood that such discovery will show irregularities and if the Judge believes that the discovery will materially assist in the making of a decision on the contest.

2. The contester will proceed first in any hearing and must present relevant and material evidence demonstrating how any irregularities, alleged and proven, affected the outcome of the election. Testimony may be received on irregularities, in the Primary, General or Special Election. The General Reservation Election Board will respond to the case presented by the contester, if it deems it necessary, and may present any exhibits and offer any relevant testimony and/or oral arguments.

3. Legal counsel may assist and accompany contester but will abide by all rules and regulations applicable to the proceeding.

4. The contester will be limited to presenting testimony and evidence in support of the allegations contained in the written Notice of Contest. No new allegations will be considered.

5. Witnesses will be sworn and only one may testify at a time. The Judge will have full authority to maintain order and decorum

6. All evidence offered, whether written or oral, must be relevant to the matters alleged as the basis of the contest, and must be recorded by a court reporter.

7. The decision of the Judge as to the relevancy and weight of any and all exhibits and evidence will be subject to review on appeal only pursuant to this Ordinance.

8. With regard to a contest of the final vote in a Primary, Regular or Special Election, the Judge may affirm the results of the election or order that the results of the election are invalid and order that a new election will be held under conditions specified in the Judge's order. In no case will the Judge order that a new election be held unless the contestor has demonstrated violations of this Ordinance which changed who was the winning candidate (or candidates in a Primary) for an office.

9. The form of the Opinion of the Reservation Election Contest Judge will include a Findings of Fact, Conclusion of Law, and Final Decision.

10. The Judge will not have jurisdiction to rule on questions relating to interpretation of the Revised Constitution and Bylaws of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

Revised December 8, 2009.

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




MN Chippewa EO Ch. III, § 3
Section 3. Appeal of Reservation Election Contest Judge Decision

The decision of the Reservation Election Contest Judge, or such other equivalent decision as designated by the Band law, will be appealable to the Tribal Court of Election Appeals if the Band governing body has, by formal action, conferred jurisdiction on that Court. The Appeal will be limited to the record below.

Revised December 8, 2009.

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




MN Chippewa EO Ch. III, § 4
Section 4. Tribal Election Court of Appeals

A. Organization of the Court

1. The MCT Tribal Election Court of Appeals (“Court”) will be comprised of a person named by each of the six Bands (“Judge”), as chosen consistent with the provisions Chapter I, Section 7.A. of this Ordinance. Except that, the Judge of representing the Band from which appeal is taken will be recused from sitting on that matter. In all cases, there shall be five (5) voting members of the Court.

2. The General Legal Counsel of the MCT will serve as Clerk of Court and parliamentarian for hearings and cases decided by the Court. If the General Legal Counsel is a member of the Band from which appeal is taken, that person will be recused and the TEC will appoint a Legal Counsel pro temp from among the remaining five Bands. In no case and under no circumstances will the legal counsel vote in any matter before for the Court. Counsel may be present during deliberations on the merits, at the request of the Court, to act as a legal resource.

B. Jurisdictional Limitations; Band Decision; No New Trial

1. Jurisdiction of the Court is limited to matters regarding tribal elections. There is no appeal as of right from any election on any Reservation that is not conducted under the express authority of this Ordinance. The Court may take discretionary appeals from other Reservation elections, but only upon the specific request of that Reservation's Band governing body.

2. Each Band governing body may, by formal action, opt to confer final jurisdiction on the Court. The Band governing body will notify the Tribe of its decision as to whether to use the Court before the date established for preparation of the Election Announcement.

3. The Court may only take appeal from the record below. The Court may not undertake a separate trial on new evidence, nor consider any claim of fact not presented at the Reservation Contest level.

C. Procedure

1. Upon an adverse finding at the Reservation Contest level, the aggrieved party has three (3) days to file a Notice of Appeal with the General Legal Counsel of the MCT, at the offices of the MCT. A copy of the Notice must also be served on the reservation tribunal rendering the adverse decision. The Notice must state the basis for the appeal, including a statement of how the alleged misconduct in the election was both serious and material.

2. Upon receipt of the Notice of Appeal by the Reservation tribunal, the record will be prepared and forwarded to the Court within three (3) days. The record will include all documentary evidence presented, a transcript of the proceedings, and copy of the decision of tribunal.

3. Upon receipt of the Notice of Appeal by the General Legal Counsel, a copy of the Notice will be forwarded to the Court by mail and electronic facsimile where available. Counsel will schedule a hearing date within one week from the date of receipt of the Notice.

4. The Court will permit oral argument and written submissions and may establish time or page limits, as the case may be.

5. The Court may order the issues briefed by counsel, but must in any event render a decision of the Appeal within ten (10) days of hearing. The opinion must be in writing and address each issue raised on appeal.

6. The decision of the Court is final and unappealable.

Revised December 8, 2009.

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

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