Important news and information for the Leech Lake area in Minnesota

2018 MN Chippewa Tribe Election Calendar and Changes to Election Ordinance

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CASS LAKE, MN- Candidate filing is underway at reservations belonging to the MN Chippewa Tribe. Filing opened on January 12 at 8:00 AM and will close on January 22, 2018. Following Certification of the candidates in February and appointment of Election Boards on each reservation, the Primary Election will be held on April 3, 2018.

The position of Secretary-Treasurer along with two representative seats will be decided during this election cycle. On Leech Lake, the District I and II Representative seats are due for election along with the Secretary-Treasurer position. Any candidate who captures more than 50% of eligible votes cast during the Primary Election on April 3 will be declared the winner. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes on Primary Election Day, The top two candidates for each position will face off in the General Election which will be held on June 12, 2018. (The full Election Calendar is available at the bottom of this article)

The Tribal Executive Committee made several changes to the Election Ordinance in December 2017, The most significant was a change made to the order in which candidates will appear on the official ballot. Previously the candidates were listed by the order in which they filed. This often led to a rush at Tribal Offices when they opened on filing day. Under the amended ordinance, candidates will now be ordered on the ballot by a random lottery drawing. The word “Incumbent” will also be shown on the ballot behind any Tribal Council Member seeking reelection to their position.

Other changes include establishing a work schedule for Election Boards and a change in requirements for automated balloting systems. The balloting change was requested by the Bois Forte Band and supported by smaller tribes due to the financial burden placed on them by the automated balloting requirement. They will now have the option of hand counting ballots if they choose to.

Full text of changes to the MN Chippewa Tribe Election Ordinance as passed by the Tribal Executive Committee in December:

  • Page 8, Section 1.3 (F)

Order on Ballot

Each Band governing body shall prepare a list of duly certified candidates for each position. The order of placement on the ballot shall be determined by lottery. The lottery shall be performed in public. If a candidate is the incumbent for the position, the word (“Incumbent”) shall appear on the ballot after the candidate’s name. The list of duly certified candidates and the order of placement on the ballot shall then be submitted to the Tribal Executive Committee.

  • Page 11, Section 1.7 (A)

The Band governing body shall establish a work schedule sufficient for the Board to fulfill its duties.

  • Page 14, Section 2.1 (A)(1)

Removed language and added language.

Election for Band Governing Body positions may be conducted by using an automated ballot tabulating system that meets the standards in Section 2.2. when a Band governing body chooses not to use an automated ballot tabulating system.

Read the full Election Ordinance here

ELECTION CALENDAR 2017 – 2018

Regular Election

December 20, 2017: Last day for sitting RTC member to give notice of resignation to file for other RTC office.

January 8, 2018: Last day for sitting RTC member to give notice of resignation to file for vacated RTC seat.

January 11: Election Announcement

January 12: 8:00 a.m. – Opening of period for filing for office.

January 22: Close of filing period

January 30: Selection of Election Court of Appeals Judge (For certification of candidate)

February 9: Deadline for Notice of Certifications to TEC.

February 13: Challenge certification or non-certification to MCT by 4:30 p.m. on the second business day following receipt of certification.

February 14: Complete record of all documents related to challenge submit to Minnesota Chippewa Tribe by 4:30 p.m.

February 14: Deadline for appointment of Election Boards.

February 14: Deadline for appointment of Election Contest Judge and alternate Election Contest Judge.

February 15: Decision of certification or non-certification or within 48 hrs. of appeal.

February 20: Notice of Primary Election and Posting.

February 22: TEC provides ballots for Primary Election.

March 30: Notify MCT on choice of appellate forum.

April 3: Primary (Polling places open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.)

April 4: General Reservation Election Board certifies Primary Results. (Prior to 8:00 p.m.) 2

April 5: General Reservation Election Board publishes Primary Results.

April 6: Deadline for Request for Recount. (Filed with General Election Board prior to 5:00 p.m.)

April 10: 4:30 p.m. – Deadline for Contest of Primary Election. (Filed with Reservation Election Judge and Executive Director of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe).

April 11: (Results, if Allowed or 9th or 10th. If earlier request) Deadline for Decision on Request for Recount and Results of Recount, if allowed

April 20: Deadline for Decision on Contest

April 23 (or within 3 days of decision on Contest): 4:30 p.m. – Deadline for Appeal to Court of Election Appeals. (Filed with the Executive Director of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and with Reservation Tribunal rendering Decision).

April 26 (or within. 3 days upon receipt of Notice to Appeal):  Record of Contest forwarded to Court of Election Appeals

April 30 (hearing within 7 days notice of appeal): Last Day for Hearing on Appeal

May 10 (10 days from hearing on appeal):  Last Day for Decision on Appeal

May 11: Notice of General Election

May 11: TEC provides ballots for General Election.

June 12: General Election (Polling Places open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.)

June 13: General Reservation Election Board certifies results of Election. Prior to 8:00 p.m.

June 14: General Reservation Election Board publishes Election results.

June 15: Deadline for Request for Recount. (Filed with General Election Board prior to 5:00 p.m.)

June 19: 4:30 p.m. – Deadline for Notice of Contest. (Filed with Reservation Election Judge and Executive Director of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.) 3

June 20 (or 18,19, if request for Recount is filed before deadline): Decision on Request for Recount and Results of Recount, if allowed.

June 29th: Deadline for Decision on Contest for General Election.

July 2nd (or within 3 days of decision on Contest):  4:30 p.m. – Deadline for appeal to Court of Election Appeals. (Filed with Executive Director of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and Reservation Tribunal rendering Decision).

July 5th (or within 3 days upon receipt of Notice to Appeal): Record of contest forwarded to Court of Election Appeals

July 9th (hearing within 7 days notice of appeal): Last Day for Hearing on Appeal

July 9th: Winning candidates assume office by operation of law, unless sooner seated, or the election is subject of appeal to the Court of Election Appeals.

July 19 (or Ten days from Hearing on Appeal):  Deadline for decision of the Court of Elections Appeal.

Day following Decision of Appeal: Winning candidate prevailing on appeal takes office.

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