Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tribal Court Orders Hearing On Election Injunction

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A hearing has been scheduled for tomorrow at 9 a.m. in regards to a tribal member's request that seeks to delay the swearing-in of the four newly-elected members to the Council of Elders until an election-related issue is resolved.

Tribal member Ken Davison voted for three candidates in the August 31 Council of Elders election and his ballot was deemed "spoiled" because he did not vote for four candidates as required by the Election Code as it related to that election. Davison says that he could only choose three candidates and to pick a fourth as required under the Election Code violates his freedom to choose who he wanted to vote for on his ballot. In other words, if he voted for a fourth candidate then he says he would have been forced to vote for someone he did not want to vote for.

According to Davison's request for an injunction, "The right to vote freely for the candidate of one's choice is of the essence of a democratic society and any restrictions on that right strikes at the heart of representative government. My ballot submitted in the August 31, 2008 election ... should be counted prior to the October 6 swearing-in of the newly-elected members of the Council of Elders. Otherwise, the newly-elected members of the Council of Elders will be taking office with inaccurate and illegal vote counts."

The defendant's attorney, Andrew Houlding of Rome McGuigan P.C., is objecting to Davison's request for an injunction and is also seeking to have Davison's complaint dismissed.

The case file is public information and can be reviewed by any tribal member by contacting the office of the Clerk of the Court.