Based on the Navajo Council agenda, the Council is now on Legislation 0010-15: An Action Relating To Budget And Finance, Naa’bik’iyati’ And The Navajo Nation Council; Approving Supplemental Funding From The Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance In The Amount Of $317,891 For The Navajo Nation Election Administration, Business Unit #101021, To Fund The Continuing 2014 Navajo Nation General Election.
MOTION BY DELEGATES LEONARD TSOSIE AND BEN BENNETT TO SUSPEND COUNCIL FLOOR AND ALLOW MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES FOR EACH DELEGATE TO DEBATE.
VOTE IS 9 IN FAVOR, 11 OPPOSED
MOTION BY DELEGATES LEONARD TSOSIE AND NATE BROWN FOR AMENDMENT:
1. ON PAGE 1, LINE 15, STRIKE THE WORD “GENERAL” AND PLURALIZE THE WORD “ELECTION”; 2. ON PAGE 2, LINE 3, INSERT A NEW PARAGRAPH AS FOLLOWS: g. THERE BEING SO MANY NAVAJO VOTERS WHO ARE CLAIMING THE DISENFRANCHISEMENT OF THEIR VOTES AS A RESULT OF NAVAJO SUPREME COURT DECISION AND THE PRESIDENT REQUESTING THAT THE QUESTION OF “FLUENCY OF NAVAJO LANGUAGE” REQUIREMENT BE RESOLVED BY THE NAVAJO PEOPLE, IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE THE NAVAJO PEOPLE DECIDE WHETHER TO AMEND 11 N.N.C. SECTION 8, A, 4 AS FOLLOWS: SECIION 8. QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE. A. QUALIFICATIONS FOR PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT ARE: 4. MUST BE ABLE TO SPEAK AND UNDERSTAND THE NAVAJO AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE; AND THIS ABILITY SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE NAVAJO VOTER WHEN HE/SHE CASTS A BALLOT. 4. ON PAGE 2, LINE 18, INSERT A NEW PARAGRAPH AS FOLLOWS: AFTER THE CERTIFICATION OF THE REFERENDUM VOTE BY NAVAJO ELECTION ADMINISTRATION, THE SPEAKER SHALL CALL A SPECIAL SESSION TO ADDRESS THE GENERAL ELECTION FOR NAVAJO NATION OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. 5. RENUBMER OR RELETTER SUCCEEDING PARAGRAPHS OR SECTIONS ACCORDINGLY, IF NECESSARY; AND THIS AMENDMENT SHALL SUPERSEDE INCONSISTENT LANGUAGE CONTAINED IN ANY OTHER COMMITTEE AMENDMENT, WHICH SHALL BE CONFORMED TO THE INTENT OR LANGUAGE OF THIS AMEMDMENT.
SPEAKER LORENZO BATES RULES DELEGATES LEONARD TSOSIE AND NATE BROWN AMENDMENT OUT OF ORDER.
DELEGATES LEONARD TSOSIE AND EDMUND YAZZIE CHALLENGE SPEAKER’S DECISION.
AFTER MUCH DEBATE, THE COUNCIL VOTES 12 IN FAVOR, 8 IN FAVOR TO OVERRULE SPEAKER’S RULING.
DELEGATE AMBER CROTTY
to me this is not about candidates. if about candidates, i’d be at someone’s campaign’s headquarters. what bothers me is that Election Office Director Wauneka says look at emails.look at requests. so that we have best intentions for people. there are entities with lots of money that influence. my family and i self financed. you must allow your people to decide who they want to vote for. and i want clarification from Mr. Waunkea that he will use operating money to continue with April 21 election for president, election board, land boards.
DELEGATE RAYMOND SMITH JR.
i urge council to have legislation go through proper process. i’m not against referendum. This amendment should go through proper channels of legislation. there was a question for legal advice so we would understand and be educated on what may happen if and should we approve referendum. we are stuck at that point. i would like to get clarification so people i represent, not just chapters, but all Navajo people. as council, we are to uphold laws accordingly.
ELECTION OFFICE DIRECTOR EDISON WAUNEKA
based on Delegate Phelps question of options, election office ordered by Supreme Court to hold election without further delay and referendum would delay elections. and if the council does not provide funding then the only alternative we have is to use office operating funding.
DELEGATE NORMAN BEGAY
with respect to amendment under debate, i want to say and remind council that supreme court has made decision that council lacks authority to address this. we are all aware that young people, veterans were hurt by supreme court decision but we must move forward with election and we need to do that.
DELEGATE SETH DAMON
i’m baffled by your answer to push forward, Mr. Wauneka. we were elected to appropriate supplemental funds and council is not ordered to give you funding under recent case. Navajo Supreme Court is only requesting us, on behalf of Navajo people, to convene special session and consider election funding request. so it is about “considering” and not order to give you anything.