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Tribal Elections Code of Law Part 2: Election Process

The following article is part 2 of a 5-part series of articles breaking down the Election Code of Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Law. This series will be reprinted from the Election Code, which will explain the Tribe’s election process as Saturday, April 1, is the nominating caucus setting the stage for which candidates will run for the four open seats on the Tribal Governing Board.


The five parts are as follows: Part 1 Election Committee, Part 2 Election Process, Part 3 Caucus and Nominating, Part 4 Primary and General Election, Part 5 Other Election Processes.


The Election Code is not printed in its entirety, only relevant parts to explain the actual process.


Subchapter ELE.1.4 Election Policy and Procedure


ELE.1.4.010 Election Procedure


(a) Eligibility. Those members of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians who are, or shall be, eighteen (18) years of age or older, on or before the day of the election, and meet the necessary membership requirements, pursuant to Chapter CTZ.1 of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Tribal Code of Law — Enrollment Code, shall be eligible to vote on Election Day at designated polling sites as stated in Article IV, § 1 of the Amended Constitution and By-laws of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.


(b) Eligible Voter List. A computerized listing consisting of tribal enrollment number, name, address, birthdate, and signature line for all eligible voters shall be provided to tellers at the polling sites.


(c) Security System. The Election Committee shall be responsible for ensuring that no dual votes are cast by contacting the tellers at the other polling sites.


(d) Polling Sites. The official polling sites for all Lac Courte Oreilles tribal elections:


(1) Tribal Administration Building 9:00 A.M. — 6:00 P.M.


(2) New Post Elderly Center 9:00 A.M. — 6:00 P.M.


(e) Tellers. Members of the Election Committee, other than the Election Committee Chairperson, shall preside at the polling sites as tellers. In the event that any member of the Election Committee cannot fulfill their duty, the Alternate with the next highest number of votes shall be asked to fill the position.


(f) Ballot Counting. When the polling site closes at 6:00 p.m., all Election Committee Members/Workers shall be escorted by security to the Tribal Administration Building with the locked and sealed ballot box. Security shall place the remaining ballots into the ballot box and shall lock it in the presence of observers. Security shall then hand the key to a member of the Executive Committee and transport the ballot box along with an observer to the Tribal Administration Building. Absolutely no stops are to be made and all Election Committee Members/Workers are to report directly to the Tribal Administration Building. The ballot box shall then be opened and witnessed by observers. Upon formal completion, the ballots shall be locked and sealed in the ballot box and then put under lock at the Tribal Administration Building in a secured area.


(g) Counting Method. The Election Committee shall determine the method by which the ballots are counted so as to ensure an accurate count. All ballot counting shall be done in a common room where all observer(s) and security officer(s) shall be present. No person shall be allowed to exit the room with any ballots, count sheet, or any other written material pertaining to the election results.


(h) Ballot Controversies. Any challenge to a voter's eligibility shall be referred to, and settled by, the Election Committee upon completion of the counting process pursuant to ELE.1.4.020 (c). Those present shall be members of the Election Committee and Observer(s).


(i) Distribution of Ballots. The Election Committee Chairperson shall distribute a predetermined number of ballots, as determined by the Election Committee, at the polling site. The Chairperson and a designated Election Committee Member shall certify as to the number of official ballots received by the printer at time of pick up. The ballots shall be secured in lots of two hundred (200) in large envelopes, signed and sealed by each Election Committee Member present at that time. Upon opening an envelope at the time of election, an Election Committee Member for that site, shall open and verify the number of ballots and sign the envelope in the designated space. Upon receipt of the official ballots from the Election Committee Chairperson, the Election Committee members at the site shall receive from the Election Committee Chairperson the Distribution of Official Ballots Certification, which shall he signed by both the Election Committee Chairperson and the Election Committee members. (Attachment "A")


(j) Types of Ballots. The following types of ballots, as established in 25 CFR § 81.1, are defined in ELE.1.2.010 above: Official Ballot, Invalid Ballot, and Mutilated Ballot.


(k) Timing of Elections.


(1) Caucus. The Caucus shall be held on the first Saturday in April of every election year.


(2) Primary Election. The Primary Election shall occur on the second Saturday in May of every election year.


(3) General Election. The General Election shall occur on the third Saturday in June of every election year.


ELE.1.4.020 Voting Procedure


(a) At the Polling Site. The Election Committee Chairperson shall deliver all election material to the tellers by 8:00 a.m. on the day of the election. Voters shall proceed as follows:


(1) Tellers shall check all voters for membership status. At this time positive identification may be required prior to voting.


(2) All members who wish to vote shall sign on the voter's registration list.


(3) Voters shall receive the official ballot, take it to the voting booth and mark appropriately, and return it to the ballot box, where an observer shall witness the ballot being placed in the ballot box.


(b) Election Day Duties of the Election Committee Members.


(1) Check age and membership status. This shall be done by checking the voters list.


(2) Observe the signing of the registration book. This teller shall sign in each voter with updated address in logbook.


(3) Hand out official ballot with the Teller's initial on each ballot. The ballot cannot be initialed in advance but must be initialed just prior to handing to voter.


(4) Observe ballot being placed in the ballot box and assist voters with the voting process.


(c) Controversial Ballot Procedure. Should a voter's eligibility to vote be challenged, the voter shall proceed as above, except the ballot shall be given to the teller in charge of the ballot box. The reason for the controversy shall be stated on the envelope. The teller shall place the ballot in a small envelope, initial the envelope, and seal it. The ballot shall then be placed in the ballot box. The teller shall then inform the voter that the Election Committee shall decide the issue at the same time the ballots are counted after the closing of the polls. This shall be done in the Tribal Administration Building.


(d) Cast Ballots. In the event there are no challenges to the election results, the cast ballots shall be destroyed, by means of shredding or burning, at a time frame that is determined by the Election Committee, but at no time shall the cast ballots be destroyed before all tribal remedies under this Code are exhausted.


ELE.1.4.030 Posting


A copy of this ordinance shall be available in the Tribal Administration Building and a copy shall be provided to any member of the Tribe upon request.


(a) Items to Be Posted. A listing of the candidates shall be posted at designated locations, along with posters stating the location of the polling site and the times polls will be open.


(b) Designated Locations. The following business establishments have been designated as the locations to hang posters pursuant to subs. (a) above: Tribal Administration Building, Housing Authority, LCO Commercial Center, LCO Quick Stop, Gaming Enterprises, LCO Convenience Store, LCO Community Health Center, LCOOS-Waadookodaading, LCO Ojibwe University, LCO Head Start — Early Head Start, Reserve Elderly Center, New Post Elderly Center, and WOJB.


(c) No campaign materials shall be posted at the designated locations listed above.


ELE.1.4.040 Campaigning


(a) No campaigning shall be allowed within one hundred and fifty (150) yards of the polling site building on the day of election. All campaigning materials that were previously posted in or around the polling site by candidates, or supporters of candidates, shall be removed by Election Day Workers. Security Officers shall check periodically to be sure that no new materials are posted.


(b) All campaigning materials shall be removed by the nominee or candidate associated with the campaigning material within one (1) week following Election Day. All candidates that fail to adhere to these subs, shall be subject to a citation pursuant to PHS.2.3.050.

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