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.