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Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribal Code

[Includes amendments and additions dated through 2004]

[§22] TRIBAL ELECTION PROCEDURES OF THE POARCH CREEK INDIANS

[Digitizer's note: On the cover sheet: "As Amended January 7, 1999"]

Initials           
Date 2/10/99
[Initials on original document.]

Purpose

The purpose of the Tribal Election Procedures is to establish the election rules and regulations to be used when the Poarch Creek Indians vote to elect Tribal Council members, exercise the power of initiative and referendum, recall elected Tribal officials, amend the Constitution, and make advisory recommendations to the Tribal Council.


ARTICLE I - DEFINITIONS


(a) "Cast Ballot" means an official ballot that is cast in the proper manner at the proper time by an eligible voter.

(b) "Election Board" is a group of three (3) persons who are nominated by any three members of the Tribal Council by signing the nomination form, and elected by the Tribal Council.

(c) "Eligible Voter" means an enrolled member of the Poarch Creek Indians who is eighteen years of age or older on the date of the election.

(d) "General Council" means the enrolled members of the Poarch Creek Indians who is eighteen years of age or older on the date of the election.

(e) "Invalid Ballot" means a ballot that is cast, discovered at the time the votes are counted, that does not comply with the requirements for voting or is not an official ballot. Decisions regarding invalid ballots shall be made by the Election Board.

(f) "Mutilated Ballot" means an official ballot that has been damaged to the extent that it is not possible to determine the choice the voter intended to make.

(g) "Spoiled Ballot" means an official ballot that has been marked in such a way that it is not possible to determine the intent of the voter, a ballot that has not been marked at all, or one that has been marked so as to violate the secrecy of the ballot.

(h) "Uncontested Election" means a scheduled Tribal Election where the number of qualified candidates is the same or less than the number of seats available on the Council.

(i) "Voting Machine" means the voting machine that is used to conduct county, state, and federal elections held by the local governments which will be used at the annual Tribal elections. The machine is obtained from the Escambia County Board of Commissioners.


ARTICLE II - ELECTION BOARD


Section 1
Election of Members

(a) There shall be an Election Board consisting of three (3) adults. Each member or alternate of the election Board must be enrolled members of the Poarch Creek Indians. Any three (3) members of the Tribal Council may nominate members to serve on the Election Board by signing the nomination form with election by a majority of the Tribal Council.

(b) There shall be three (3) alternates for the Election Board who shall serve when needed or in the absence of Election Board members. Any three (3) members of the Tribal Council may nominate members to serve as Alternates by signing the nomination form with election by a majority of the Tribal Council.

(c) No person who holds an elected tribal office or is a candidate for such office shall be eligible to serve on the election Board or as an alternate on the Election Board.

(d) Election Board members shall be enrolled members of the Poarch Creek Indians who will be at least twenty-one (21) years of age on the date of the election, who have never been expelled in accordance with Article VII, Section 3, and who have never been convicted of a felony.


Section 2
Oath of Office

Each Election Board member or Alternate must take an oath in order to perform their duties as a board member or alternate (see Attachment 1). Such oath shall be administered by the Secretary of the Tribal Council, following election.


Section 3 Term of Office

The term of office of the Election Board and Alternates shall be three (3) years in length, staggered. Any Election Board member or Alternate may be removed from their post by the Tribal Council for just cause.


Section 4
Duties and Responsibilities.

The Election Board shall supervise all tribal elections and shall be responsible, directly or indirectly, for the following:

(a) To prepare and maintain all poll books, forms, and instructions required to conduct tribal elections;

(b) To see that the name of each person offering to vote is on the official list of eligible voters and that the voting list is marked to so indicate;

(c) To secure and supervisor the operation of the certified voting machine(s) when the Tribal Council desires to use this method of voting;

(d) To verify that the public counter number of the voting machine(s) is/are zero when the machine(s) is/are opened on Election Day;

(e) To keep the absentee ballot box locked at all times except when the ballots are being counted;

(f) To begin to tabulate the regularly cast ballots immediately after the close of the polls;

(g) To count the absentee ballots, beginning between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on election day;

(h) To count the paper ballots in the event such are used;

(i) To post the election results at the polling place;

(j) To review and make decisions of election challenges;

(k) To certify the election results; and

(l) To ensure that all aspects of these procedures are followed in an appropriate manner.


Section 5
Compensation

In all Tribal elections, Election Board members and alternates who perform their duties and responsibilities will be entitled to $50.00 as compensation. Said compensation shall be paid from the Tribal Government fund by check on proper proof of the services rendered.


ARTICLE III - ANNUAL ELECTION


Section 1
Date

The annual Tribal election of the Poarch Creek Indians shall be held on the first Saturday in June.


Section 2
Place of Voting

The location of the voting place shall be designated by the Tribal Council and the voters informed of this location in the Election Notice.


Section 3
Opening and Closing of Polls

The polls shall remain open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., local time, unless different hours are set by the Tribal Council and the voters are informed of this in the Election Notice.


ARTICLE IV - UNCONTESTED ELECTIONS


Section 1
Filling of Offices

(a) In the event of an uncontested election, no election of candidates shall be held.

(b) Should an uncontested election occur where there are three (3) vacant Tribal Council seats, the three qualified candidates shall be elected for a full three (3) year term, whether they be an elected incumbent, an appointed incumbent, or a new candidate.

(c) An elected incumbent who has qualified for re-election shall be re-elected for a full three (3) year term.

(d) An appointed incumbent who qualifies for election shall be elected to complete the term of the person to whom they are succeeding.

(e) In the event the number of qualified candidates is less than the number of seats available on the Tribal Council, the election shall be uncontested and any vacancy shall be treated in accordance with Article XX -- Vacancies.


Section 2 Election Not Originally Uncontested

(a) Where an election was not originally an uncontested election but for any reason becomes an uncontested election at any time prior to election day (i.e., death or withdrawal of candidate), no election of candidates shall be held.

(b) If absentee ballots have been mailed, such ballots shall be destroyed upon receipt.

(c) Notification of any canceled election shall, where possible, be made in the same manner as notice of the election was made and shall be made within 48 hours of the cancellation, but under no circumstances later than the day of the election.


Section 3
Taking of Office

Candidates in an uncontested election shall take their office in the same manner as had an election been held.


ARTICLE V - ELECTION NOTICES


Section 1
Time of Notice

Not less than sixty (60) nor more than ninety (90) days notice shall be given of the election. Notice of tribal elections shall be issued by the Election Board as designated by the Tribal Council providing the date, place, time and purpose for holding tribal elections. Such notice shall also include the location of where the results will be posted.


Section 2
Method of Notice

The Election Board shall determine whether the notice will be given by television, radio, newspaper, poster, or mail, or by more than one of these methods. A copy of any written election notice shall, at a minimum, be posted at the Tribal Center and on the community bulletin board.


Section 3
Text of Ballots

The Election Board shall, upon request, make available to the eligible voters of the Tribe the text of any proposed amendments to the Constitution, Tribal Ordinances, or Tribal Referendums to be voted upon and the procedures of the election. The Election Board may determine the manner and time of the distribution. At a minimum, the text of the proposed amendments to the Constitution, Tribal Ordinances, or Tribal Referendums shall be posted at the Tribal Center within two (2) days following the giving of notice of the election date by the Election Board. Reasonable effort shall be made to place notices for public display and information in community buildings and at tribal buildings.


ARTICLE VI - CANDIDATES FOR TRIBAL COUNCIL


Section 1
Qualifications

(a) Candidates shall be enrolled members of the Poarch Creek Indians who will be at least twenty-one (21) years of age on the date of the election and never been convicted of a felony.

(b) Candidates shall file a written statement of candidacy with the Election Board not less than sixty (60) days prior to the date of the election (see Attachment 2). Also at this time, the candidate shall pay a $50.00 non-refundable fee to the Election Board constituting a qualification fee. Upon payment of the qualification fee, the candidate is eligible for consideration of candidacy in that Tribal election.

(c) At the time of announcement of candidacy, the candidate shall sign a consent form authorizing the Election Board to verify the background of said candidate as prescribed in the Tribal Constitution.

(d) Candidates shall submit a brief biography and recent photograph to the Election Board for publication by the deadline established by the Election Board.

(e) Incumbent council members who fall to qualify for reelection shall be considered to have resigned their position.


Section 2
Notice of Candidates

The Election Board shall make public a list of candidates not less than fifty (50) days before the election.


Section 3
Term of Office for Tribal Council

(a) There shall be a Tribal Council consisting of nine (9) members elected by the General Council.

(b) The term of office shall be three (3) years in length or until successors are duly elected and installed. Terms of office shall be staggered, therefore no less than three (3) positions shall expire annually.


Section 4
Determining the Winner

Each eligible voter shall be allowed to cast one vote for each vacancy on the Tribal Council. No more than one vote per candidate shall be cast. The winners shall be chosen by plurality according to the rank order of votes received.


Section 5
Run Off Election

(a) In the event that the total number of votes cast for the top three (3) candidates is less than a majority of the total number of members voting, a runoff election will be required.

(b) The number of candidates for a run-off election will be determined by the number of vacancies on the Tribal Council plus an additional three (3) candidates who qualified for that election.

(c) In the event there are less than three (3) additional candidates, all candidates qualified for that election will be eligible for a run-off election. The winners shall be placed by plurality of votes.

(d) Run off elections will be held on the last Saturday in June at the same place and time as observed in the General Election.

(e) The winner will be chosen by a plurality of the votes cast.


Section 6
In the Event of a Tie

In the event of a tie for a position or positions in the election, the winner(s) will be determined by the flipping of a coin in the following manner: candidates will be placed in alphabetically ordered pairs and the Election Board Chairman will flip a coin. The winner of each pair of candidates will be grouped alphabetically in pairs and again, the election Board Chairman will flip a coin. This procedure will be followed until a winner has been determined. The winner shall fill the first available position on the Tribal Council. This procedure shall then be completed again in its entirety until each seat on the Tribal Council is filled.


Section 7
Electioneering

No candidate will be allowed to campaign inside the polling place or within one hundred (100) feet of the entrance of said polling place during voting hours. Any candidate who is observed by the Election Board doing so will be immediately disqualified as a candidate in that election. Candidates shall not be allowed in the room used for voting during voting hours except for the express purpose of casting their vote.


ARTICLE VII - POPULAR PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNMENT


Section 1
Initiative

Upon receipt and verification by the Election Board of a petition of at least thirty (30) percent of the General Council of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, a proposed ordinance or resolution made by the people shall be submitted for a vote by the General Council at a regular or special election to be held within sixty (60) days of verification of the petition by the Election Board. The vote of a majority of those actually voting shall be conclusive and binding upon the Tribal Council.


Section 2
Referendum

Upon the request of two-thirds of the total membership of the Tribal Council, any proposed or previously enacted ordinance or resolution of the Tribal Council shall be submitted for a vote by the General Council at a regular or special election to be held within sixty (60) days of the vote by the Tribal Council. The vote by a majority of at least thirty (30) percent of the General Council shall be conclusive and binding upon the Tribal Council.


Section 3
Recall

(a) Availability of recall. In accordance with Article VII, Section 3 of the Constitution of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, each member of the Tribal Council shall be subject to recall.

(b) Initiating a recall election. To initiate a recall election, any member of the General Council of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians may file a recall petition with the Election Board.

(c) Form of a recall petition.

(1) Any recall petition must A) recite that it is a "Recall Petition", B) expressly refer to Article VIII, Section 3 of the Constitution of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians as the authority for the recall petition, C) state the name of a single tribal official who is the subject of the recall petition, D) express the purpose of the recall petition in a fair and neutral manner, and E) contain a designated space for petitioners to sign their names, and, if known, their enrollment numbers.

(2) Consistent with the requirements Article VII, Section 3(c)(1) of these procedures, a recall petition shall read substantially as follows:

Recall Petition

We, the undersigned qualified voters and members of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, respectfully petition that an election be held, pursuant to Article VIII, Section 3 of the Constitution of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, on the question of whether    (Name)      who holds the office of     (Title of Office)    shall be recalled from office.

Signature                                              Enrollment Number (if known)

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

(3) While the precise language and format of the petition set forth in Article VII, Section 3(c)(2) is not required, any petition filed with the Election Board that does not meet the requirements of Article VII, Section 3(c)(1) of these procedures shall be rejected by the Election Board.

(d) Persons qualified to sign a recall petition. Any member of the General Council of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians shall be eligible to sign a recall petition.

(e) Number of signatures required on a recall petition. The signatures of at least thirty percent (30%) of the members of the General Council of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians shall be required on a recall petition for the Election Board to call a recall election.

(f) Affidavit of persons presenting petitions. A notarized affidavit shall be executed and filed with the Election Board by each person who presents a recall petition to the Election Board. Such affidavit shall state that each signature on the petition submitted is genuine and is the signature of the person it purports to be, and that each signer knew the contents of the petition before signing it.

g) Duties of the Election Board. The Election Board shall:

1) Receive recall petitions submitted by members of the General Council;

2) Maintain original petitions in a secure manner;

3) Make certified copies of recall petitions for purposes of undertaking its duties under these procedures;

4) Verify the names and otherwise review recall petitions for sufficiency under these procedures;

5) Where appropriate, certify recall petitions; and

6) Implement recall elections.

(h) Initial screening and preliminary verification of signatures.

1) Following receipt of a recall petition, the Election Board shall undertake an initial screening of the petition. This initial screening shall include A) a review of current Tribal enrollment information, to determine the number of signatures needed on a petition to require the calling of a recall petition, B) a determination of whether the petition contains the required number of signatures, and C) a review of the petition to determine whether, apart from the verification of signatures, it meets the requirements of these procedures. Any petition which does not contain the required number of signatures or which otherwise does not meet the requirements of these procedures shall be rejected by the Election Board and shall be dismissed.

2) If a recall petition meets the requirements of Article VII, Section 3(h)(1) of these procedures, the Election Board shall proceed to undertake a preliminary verification of the signatures on the petition. To the greatest extent possible, the Election Board shall verify each signature on a recall petition by comparing it with a known signature of the individual, such as a signature on a prior voting document of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The Election Board shall also have the authority to supplement such signature comparisons by verifying signatures contained on the recall petition by the use of questionnaires, postcards, telephone calls, personal interviews, or other information gathering methods, to determine the validity of signatures.

3) Upon completion, the Election Board shall make the results of the initial screening and preliminary verification of signatures available to the public, including by providing a copy of its preliminary verification to the official who is the subject of the recall petition, to the persons who presented the petition to the Election Board, and to the Tribal Council.

(i) Addition or voluntary withdrawal of names from petition.

1) Upon receipt of a petition by the Election Board, the addition of or voluntary withdrawal of names from such recall petition shall be prohibited.

2) Any person who signed a petition for recall may voluntarily withdraw his or her signature from the petition, but only prior to the receipt of a recall petition by the Election Board. A withdrawal of a signature must be in writing to the Election Board, clearly stating the intent of the person to withdraw his or her signature from the petition.

(j) Challenges to signatures. As soon as practicable after receiving a recall petition, the Election Board shall provide notice to the official who is the subject of a recall petition that such a petition has been received and that such petition will be the subject of consideration by the Election Board in accordance with these procedures. The Election Board shall, along with such notice, provide the official who is the subject of a recall petition with a certified copy of such petition for the purpose of enabling the official to review the signatures on the petition. The official who is the subject of a recall petition shall have 10 calendar days from the date on which the official is notified by the Election Board of the filing of the recall petition to challenge the validity of any signatures on the petition Such a challenge shall be in writing to the Election Board, and shall state the grounds on which the challenge is based. The Election Board shall hold a hearing on any such challenges within seven business days of receiving the challenges. At such hearing, the official who is the subject of the recall petition, the presenters of the recall petition, and such other persons as the Election Board determines have an interest in the hearing shall have the right to be heard, the right to be represented by counsel at his or her own expense, the right to present written or oral evidence, and the right to cross-examine any witnesses called by the Election Board or any other interested party. The burden of proof shall be on the challenger to any signature to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the challenged signature shall be invalidated, under the standards set forth in Article VII, Section 3(k)(l)(5) of these procedures. The Election Board shall issue a written decision on all challenges to signatures.

(k) Final verification of signatures. The Election Board shall issue a final verification of signatures on a recall petition. The Election Board shall invalidate any signature where:

1) The signer is not a member of the General Council of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians;

2) The signature is illegible and the identity of the signer cannot be determined;

3) The signature is difficult to read and the person thought to be the signer does not verify his or her signature within three (3) days after being contacted by the Election Board;

4) The signature is not that of the person whose name it purports to be;

5) The signer has validly withdrawn his or her name, under Article VII, Section 3(i)(2) of these procedures prior to the petition being submitted to the Election Board; or

6) A signature has been the subject of a challenge under Article VII, Section 3(1) of these procedures, and the Election Board has sustained the challenge.

(l) Certification of petition. Following the final verification of signatures, if there are valid signatures on the petition of at least thirty percent (30%) of the General Council of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, the Election Board shall certify the petition as requiring a recall election. Otherwise, the Election Board shall determine that the petition is insufficient, and shall dismiss such petition. In either event, the Election Board shall issue a written report of its findings, and make that report available to the public, including by providing a copy to the official who is the subject of the recall, the presenters of the petition and the Tribal Council.

(m) Appeals from determinations of the Election Board.

1) Decisions of the Election Board shall be subject to appeal in Tribal Court.

2) Appeals from the certification of a petition by the Election Board shall be filed within 14 days of the date the Election Board makes its written report public, under Article VII, Section 3(1) of these procedures.

3) A decision of the Election Board shall be upheld unless it is arbitrary and capricious, and abuse of discretion, not supported by substantial evidence or unauthorized by law; provided that there shall be de novo review on all questions of law.

4) The Tribal Court shall hear any appeal from a decision of the Election Board on an expedited basis.

(n) Conduct of recall elections.

1) A recall election shall be held within sixty (60) days of receipt of a recall petition by the Election Board, provided that if the petition is received less than six (6) months prior to the annual election, the Election Board may direct that the matter be placed on the ballot of that election. In determining the sixty (60) day period referred to in the previous sentence, any day during which an order of the Tribal Court is in effect that enjoins the Election Board from proceeding with the recall shall not be counted.

2) The issue on the ballot of a recall election shall read as follows: "Whether {person's name}, holding the office of {person's office} shall be recalled from that office."

3) If a majority of the qualified electors voting at a recall election conducted under these procedures vote to recall the official, the official shall be recalled, provided that a quorum, as defined in Article XIV, Section l of these procedures, participated in the recall election. If a majority of the qualified electors voting does not vote to recall the official, or if there is not a quorum for the recall election, the official shall retain his or her office.

4) In the event an official is recalled from office, the vacancy created by such a recall shall be filled by the Tribal Council, in accordance with the Constitution of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Article VII, Section 8, and these procedures.

(o) Application of procedures. These procedures shall apply to all recall petitions, including those filed prior to the date of enactment of this amendment to the election procedures.

(p) Construction. These procedures shall be construed to protect the integrity and fairness of the recall process, as provided in Article VIII, Section 3 of the Constitution of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

(q) Severability. In the event any section or provision of these procedures is held invalid the remaining sections or provisions shall continue in full force and effect.


ARTICLE VIII -- CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS


Section 1
Authorization

Election to vote on proposed amendments to the Tribal Constitution shall be authorized either by resolution of the Tribal Council, by initiative (Article VII, Section 1) or by referendum (Article VII, Section 2).


Section 2
Initiation by General Council

(a) The General Council shall have the right to initiate proposals to amend the Tribal Constitution by submitting to the Tribal Council a petition signed by at least thirty (30) percent of the General Council. If the petition is determined to be valid by the Election Board, the Tribal Council shall then consent to the proposal by an appropriate resolution for authorization of an election to vote upon adoption of the proposed amendment.

(b) If adopted by a majority of the qualified voters voting in an election authorized by a Tribal Council Resolution at which election at least thirty (30) percent of those qualified to vote cast their ballots, the amendment shall become effective.


ARTICLE IX -- ADVISORY RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE TRIBAL COUNCIL


The General Council may make advisory recommendations to the Tribal Council by voice vote or show of hands at General Council meetings.


ARTICLE X - PREPARATION OF THE BALLOTS


Section 1
Ordinance, Resolution, Recall and Constitutional Amendment

Ballots for ordinances and resolutions (brought about by initiative or referendum), recall, or constitutional amendments are to be prepared clearly and simply so that it is easy for the voters to indicate a choice between no more than two alternatives. The ballot should give voters the choice of voting either "yes" or "no".


Section 2 List of Candidates

The names of the candidates for Tribal Council, as reflected in the written statement of candidacy, shall be listed in alphabetical order. Candidates desiring to use nickname or maiden name must include such on the written statement of candidacy.


Section 3 True and Correct Ballots

The Election Board shall be responsible for the preparation of the ballots and for verifying that the printed material on the voting machine be the true and correct ballots for each election.


ARTICLE XI - ABSENTEE BALLOTS

Section 1 Request for Absentee Ballots

(a) Any eligible voter of the Poarch Creek Indians, except as provided in section 2 below, desiring an absentee ballot for the tribal election must provide a written, signed request, by said eligible voter, to the Election Board no later than the deadline established by these procedures. Request for absentee ballots received after the deadline will not be honored.

(b) It shall be the duty of the Election Board or their designee, upon receipt of a request for an absentee ballot, to verify that the person requesting the ballot is an eligible voter.

(c) Appropriate records shall be kept of those from whom requests are received and the date they were received. The Election Board shall keep a record of all the names of eligible voters who have been given or had mailed to them an absentee ballot.

(d) If the records of the Election Board show that an absentee ballot was given or mailed to an eligible voter, that voter cannot vote in person on Election Day until said voter returns the Official Absentee Ballot during regular voting hours on the day of the election to the Election Board. The Election Board shall be responsible for verifying that the returned absentee ballot is an Official Absentee Ballot and shall determine if the voter will be allowed to vote in person. The decision of the Election Board on absentee ballots shall be final.

(e) All absentee ballots returned to the Election Board on Election Day by voters desiring to vote in person must be torn in half by the Election Board and shall not be counted for purposes of determining the required percentage of voters voting.

(f) Absentee ballots that are to be counted must be returned either by mail or delivered to the Election Board by the close of business on the last day preceding Election Day. Absentee ballots received later than this deadline wilt be declared an "Invalid Ballot" and will not be counted.


Section 2 Absentee Ballots to be Received by Mail

(a) Except as provided in subsection (c) below, only Tribal members who live outside the five county Tribal service area will be mailed an absentee ballot.

(b) Tribal members who live in the Tribal service area are encouraged to visit the reservation and vote on election day, or if necessary to vote by absentee ballot by visiting the election office and requesting an absentee ballot during the period of time established for walk-in voting.

(c) In the event a tribal member living within the Tribal Service area has a legitimate reason as to why they can not visit the election office or vote on Election Day, he or she may submit a notarized statement reflecting such reason and request that an absentee ballot be mailed to their home. Should a tribal member be physically unable to go to the post office or mail box, the notarized statement must include the name of the person signing for the absentee ballot who has power of attorney. The Election Board will determine the validity of the request and instruct staff in writing if the request can be honored.

(d) Requests for Absentee Ballots THAT ARE TO BE MAILED must be received by the Election Board no later than close of business, on the eleventh (11th) day preceding the date of election. Requests for Absentee Ballots to be mailed received after the deadline will not be honored.

(e) The Election Board shall allow an absentee voter voting by mail no less than ten (10) days from the mailing out of an absentee ballot to receive and return the ballot. This period shall not be afforded absentee voters desiring to exchange a mutilated or spoiled ballot less than ten (10) days before the election date.

(f) Absentee ballot packages will be mailed by Certified Restricted Delivery with a return receipt requested and will include: (1) the official ballot; (2) the text of any proposed amendments to the Constitution, Tribal Ordinances, or Tribal Referendums to be voted on; and (3) instructions and envelopes necessary to return the ballot to the Election Board.

(g) An absentee ballot will be mailed to the address listed on the written, signed request for the Absentee Ballot. The person who has requested the ballot, or their authorized designee, must be available to sign and pick up his or her ballot.


Section 3
Absentee Ballots to be Received in Person

Requests for Absentee Ballots to be received IN PERSON may be made in person by the eligible voter beginning thirty (30) calendar days before the election and ending at the close of business on the TUESDAY preceding the election.


Section 4
Walk-In Voting

(a) Eligible voters unable to vote on election day will be allowed to vote by "walk-in" by visiting the election office, requesting a ballot, marking that ballot, and depositing the marked ballot in the box provided by the Election Board.

(b) Walk-in voting will be allowed beginning thirty (30) calendar days before the election and ending at the close of business on the Tuesday preceding the election.


ARTICLE XII -- MANNER OF VOTING


Section 1
Method of Voting

(a) All elections shall be by secret ballot, except that the General Council may make advisory recommendations to the Tribal Council by voice vote or show of hands at General Council meetings.

(b) Voting will take place at the polling place and by absentee ballot.


Section 2
Voting Machine

(a) The certified voting machine will be used for Tribal Elections as long as this method of voting is practical and feasible.

(b) Two (2) voting machines will be placed inside the polling place with each reflecting the proper ballot. The machines will be labeled primary and secondary with the primary machine being used as long as it is in working order. Should the primary machine malfunction, it will be closed to voting and the secondary machine will be used.

(c) Should voting machine(s) become out of order or not be available for Tribal use, paper ballots authorized by the Election Board may be used for the taking of votes.

(d) In the event the use of paper ballots become necessary, the Election Board shall provide a ballot box for the deposit of the ballots.


Section 3
Voting Election Day

Eligible voters may vote by arriving at the appropriate polling place within the prescribed voting hours, telling election officials their name and address, signing their signature or mark on the voting list and casting their ballot on the certified voting machine. The Election Board will provide assistance and instructions on the use of the voting machine when needed.


Section 4
Voter Assistance

Any Tribal member voting in said election may receive assistance from Election Board members or a person of their choice (with the exception of candidates) while casting their vote. Sample ballots will be permitted in the voting booth.


ARTICLE XIII - VOTES


Section 1
Eligible Voters

Enrolled members of the Poarch Creek Indians who are eighteen (18) years of age or older shall have the right to vote in all tribal elections. Eligible voters must be eighteen (18) years of age on or before the date of the Election.


Section 2
Official List of Eligible Voters

The Election Board shall compile, in alphabetical order, an official list of eligible voters as of the date of publication. A copy of this list shall be supplied to the Tribal Headquarters and to each qualified candidate and shall be available for public review at least fifty (50) days prior to the election.


Section 3
Eligibility Disputes

The Election Board shall determine the eligibility of any written claim to vote presented to it by one whose name does not appear on the official list of eligible voters as well as written challenge of the right to vote of anyone whose name is on the official list. It shall rule on all claims no later than ten (10) days before the Election. Any claim not presented at least ten (10) days prior to the Election shall be disallowed. The decision of the Election Board shall be final.


ARTICLE XIV - COUNTING OF BALLOTS


Section 1
Quorum

(a) A quorum of thirty (30) percent of the General Council shall be required for a valid election. This requirement shall not apply in a run-off election or where the candidates are uncontested.

(b) The number of voters shown on the voting machine(s), the number of absentee ballots, including mutilated or spoiled, and the number of paper ballots, where used, are to be counted for the purpose of determining whether the required percentage of voters have cast ballots. Invalid ballots shall not be counted for purposes of determining a quorum.

(c) For the purpose of conducting business at the General Council meeting, the Tribal Election Board shall maintain a sign-in list of members. All items of business voted by voice vote or by show of hands shall be advisory recommendations.


Section 2
Determining Invalid Election

An invalid election will result when a quorum (reference Article XIV, Section 1 ) has not been established. If the Election Board determines there is an Invalid Election, the election results will not be posted.


Section 3
Counting Absentee Ballots

All valid absentee ballots returned to the Election Board by the established deadline shall be counted on the day of the election beginning between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.


Section 4
Observers

(a) Each candidate shall be entitled to one (1) official observer. Official observers shall be designated in writing by the candidate and submitted to the Election Board no less than ten (10) days before the election.

(b) Each observer must take an oath in order to perform their duties as an observer (See Attachment 3). Such oath shall be administered by the Chairman of the Election Board immediately prior to the beginning of their duties.

(c) Once under oath, observers are obligated to hold confidential the results of the absentee ballots until after the election results are posted.


ARTICLE XV - POSTING OF ELECTION RESULTS

Upon verification by the Election Board that a quorum was established, the Election Board shall sign and post the election results in an appropriate manner so that all shall have access to the results. At a minimum, the election results shall be posted at the Tribal Center and on the community bulletin board.


ARTICLE XVI - CHALLENGES


Section 1
Election Challenge

Any eligible voter, within three (3) days following the posting of the results of an election, may challenge the election results by filing with the Election Board the grounds for the challenge together with substantiating evidence. The Election Board will meet and review the charges and the evidence.


Section 2
Decision of Challenge

A decision of the challenge will be made by the Election Board within three (3) days of the expiration of the challenge deadline.


ARTICLE XVII - CERTIFICATION OF ELECTION RESULTS

(a) After all decisions regarding any challenge are made and after the period in which a challenge is authorized has passed, the Election Board shall sign and certify the ejection results.

(b) Within ten (10) days following certification of the Election by the Election Board, installation of the newly elected Tribal Council members shall occur.


ARTICLE XVIII - APPEAL OF CHALLENGE

(a) Any dispute resulting from a decision of the Election Board may be appealed to the Poarch Creek Indian Tribal Court within fourteen (14) days.

(b) Decisions of the Election Board appealed to the Tribal Court shall be heard by the Tribal Judge without a jury.

(c) The decision of the Tribal Judge may be appealed to the Tribal Supreme Court within fourteen (14) days. The decision of the Tribal Supreme Court shall be final.


ARTICLE XIX - TRIBAL COUNCIL OFFICER ELECTION


Section 1
Council Officers

The Tribal Council shall nominate and elect from its membership a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. Five members of the Tribal Council shall constitute a quorum.


Section 2
Officers Election

Tribal Council Officers shall be elected following installation of the newly elected Tribal Council members if a vacancy exists in either the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer position.


Section 3
Officers Term

Each Council Officer shall serve for a term of three(3) years or until the end of their term as a Tribal Council member, whichever shall come first.


ARTICLE XX - VACANCIES

In the event that any elective Tribal office becomes vacant between elections, the Tribal Council shall elect a person to fill the vacancy. Such person must meet the qualifications of a candidate for that position, except that such person shall not be required to pay the $50.00 qualifying fee. Such person shall assume office and serve until the next annual Tribal Council election at which time the members of the General Council shall elect a person to serve the balance of the three year term of office that became vacant.

  


ATTACHMENT 1

Poarch Creek Indians

OATH OF OFFICE

ELECTION BOARD AND ALTERNATES

I, ______________________ do Solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the Poarch Creek Indians; and that I will abide by the Election Procedures as prescribed by the Tribal Council in the discharge of the duties of the office of Election Board Member/Alternate.

I agree to hold confidential all information being known to me in my duties as Election Board Member/Alternate.

___________________________
Election Board Member/Alternate

___________________________
Date                                    

 

____________________________
Witness

PBCI-94-210


ATTACHMENT 2

 

Poarch Creek Indians

WRITTEN STATEMENT OF CANDIDACY

I, ______________________________________ declare my candidacy for a position on the Tribal Council, in the Tribal Election of the Poarch Creek Indians to be held Saturday, June ___, 19__. Name as you desire it to be listed on the official Election Ballot:

___________________________________________________________
Please Print

 

Consent for Background verification

I authorize the Tribal Election Board of the Poarch Creek Indians to investigate and verify my eligibility as established in the Tribal Election Procedures, to be a candidate for a position on the Tribal Council, in the Tribal Election of the Poarch Creek Indians to be held on Saturday, June ____, 19__.

Tribal Roll Number: ___________ Date of Birth _____________ Social Security Number: ______________

I will be at least twenty-one (21) years of age on the date of the Election and have never been convicted of a felony. I agree to make public, in writing to the Election Board, any contributions to my campaign in excess of $100.00 from one source.

_____________________________________
Signature
_____________________________________
Date
Address: ___________________________ Telephone: ____________________________
                  Home
               ___________________________                  ____________________________
                 Work

 

Before me personally appeared _________________________ and known to me to be the individual described by said name, has signed the above statement.

Given under my hand and seal this _______ day of ______________________, 19 __.

 

__________________________
Notary                                             

My Commission Expires: _________

PBCI-94-208


 

ATTACHMENT 3

Poarch Creek Indians

OATH OF OBSERVER

I, ______________________________________ do solemnly swear to abide by the Constitution of the Poarch Creek Indians and the Election Procedures as prescribed by the Tribal Council. I agree to sit quietly and act peaceably and remain in the room until discharged by the Election Board Chairman.

I agree to hold confidential the results of the absentee ballots until after the posting of the election results.

______________________________
                    Observer                                    

______________________________
Date                                         

___________________________
Witness

*********************************************************************

Request to be Relieved of Responsibility

After being informed of the duties of an observer, I willfully request to be relieved of this responsibility.

________________________________
Designated Observer                        

________________________________
Election Board Chairman                   

________________________________
Date                                             

PBCI-94-2O9

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