Navajo Election Board: Elections continue; need more questions answered from Attorney General

Navajo Election Board opens its door at about 3:30 p.m., after being in executive session since about 11:20 a.m. with Attorney General Harrison Tsosie, who asked the Board to go into executive session. Other attorneys in the executive session were Chief Legislative Counsel Levon Henry.

Election Supervisor Lenora Fulton reads a statement about Board being fair and protecting voter rights.

ELECTION BOARD VICE CHAIRPERSON TOM WHITE
to be fair to all candidates and voters, the board needs a legal opinion that answers the board’s questions from the attorney general by Friday, Oct. 31, 2014.

ELECTION SUPERVISOR JONATHAN TSO
in order to comply with order, we have questions. in order to comply fairly we need questions answered. We are not saying that we don’t want to comply. We want to be fair.

ELECTION SUPERVISOR LENORA FULTON
never in history have we done this. we have no process. no matter what board does, it will impact generations. we have been following Title 11. This one has interred with that orderly process. This election has a whole generation of new youth that you have never seen before. The youth so outnumbering, never seen before. we are protecting voter rights.

ELECTION SUPERVISOR NORMAN BEGAY
you hear on radio, campaign rally, see on social media, one thing make it clear that this Board does not favor candidate Deschene or Shirley. we are here to protect voter rights.

ELECTION BOARD VICE CHAIRPERSON TOM WHITE
and to make it clear, the election continues.

ELECTION BOARD CHAIRPERSON WALLACE CHARLEY
Lady says she voted. Please let my vote stand.

VOTE AT 3:42 PM, 8 IN FAVOR, 0 OPPOSED TO CONTINUE WITH ELECTIONS AND TO RECEIVE A LEGAL OPINION FROM ATTORNEY GENERAL HARRISON TSOSIE ON HOW TO COMPLY WITH SUPREME COURT ORDER BY OCT. 31, 2014.

After the Board adjourned, the Attorney General Tsosie, in a separate interview, said that there are three questions that the Board wants him to answer. The questions are: What is the legal process for implementing Rule 44, which is moving a qualified candidate up when a candidate is disqualified. There is a question about stopping the election and Can votes already cast as absentee votes and during the early voting be nullified. The process or procedure of selecting vice president and certifying him or her because that position is one not voted for.

Attorney General Tsosie also explained that there was no conflict in him representing the Navajo Election Board, which is under the Legislative Branch, and the Office of the Attorney General is under the Executive Branch.

He added that his office, the Navajo Department of Justice, represents all three branches – the Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, and the Executive Branch.

ADJOURN AT 3:46 PM

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