Navajo Election Office says Council has power to challenge Navajo Supreme Court

The Navajo Council’s Naabik’iyati Committee continues to debate Report on 2014 Elections from Navajo Election Office Director Edison Wauneka.

What Delegate Tsosie advocating involves does not include the wait for the appointment of division directors. I was told not to vote for president and so this idea that everybody’s going to say, I’m not going to vote cuz vote not recognized, it has this assumption that Mr. Deschene will get back on ballot and election laws change magically and everyone happy again and he gets voted in again. but election laws have not changed. requirements are still same. chief justice ruled based on Navajo law. so my colleague trashes Supreme Court for upholding law. but in magical world change election laws, and everything will be okay.

what i saw was that Election Board biased for Deschene and Wauneka biased and even Pro Tem biased. Bias is all around. and this magical world that Mr. Deschene will be president has to have all these magical things happen. and in the meantime, two branches will have to oversee thousands of tribal employees in Legislative and Executive Branches without division directors. “Let your magic work, Mr. Tsosie. Thanks.”

I believe next president will be there by court decision, not vote of people. I really believe we need to go down that road. there is a magical answer in this and that is for Navajo people to vote again.

We have debated this report at great length and there appears that there will be no solution. But there will be Emergency Legislation addressing this matter before the Council.

i have questions about two special elections for delegates and there were no election challenges at the delegate level across the nation. there were a couple involving delegates but they don’t go through. but a hearing is held to determine if candidate qualified or disqualified. but there were no challenges. the court did remove two candidates and the third place winners were automatically moved up.

the way the process took place was that, on Oct. 31 Supreme Court hearing in Chinle. Three hearings. One mandamus involving Election Baord and Election Office re-printing ballot with Deschene name. First one was attorneys’ fee. second hearing was against Election Baord and Election Office. Third one attorneys’ fee and involved Election Office and Election Board.

that second hearing was oral order and Court said the Controller should not pay fee or reimbursements to Election Board and until third hearing that Court said Election Board removed and not run for any elections. Court said issue written order and on Oct. 31, Election Office going on Court’s oral order that Election Board removed and not qualified to hold positions or run for office. Written order came out at Nov. 4, 3 p.m. and Election Office going on removal and that two of board members were not qualified to run for delegate positions. what changed thing was written order which said that if disqualified board member won delegate position, that that board member be removed and move up third place winner.

there was no challenge. court decided that issue and late written order on Nov. 4 so best thing election office cud do was hold election with two qualified candidates. that was recommendation and why special election Dec. 31 and they will be sworn in on Jan. 13, 2015.

well since there were no challenges, the way i see things, the third place finishers is always there until finish 17 candidates. Fourth place finisher is Donald Benally and what if he says he doesn’t want to oppose his son. And then the next is Kenneth Maryboy and what if he refuses to take position. Then it’s Edison Wauneka. And so on and so on until there is no more third place winner and then Joe Shirley wins.

but there were and there always will be election challenges. We have process in place. When on losing side, you will have different viewpoint and you will do what you have to do and say what you have to say. and that’s okay. but i think we have a really strong government. tell people out there at state, county and national level, you don’t hve to worry about navajo government being weak. and outside businesses also looking. i still believe we are a strong government. that we are resillient. and whatever face in election, we will get thru. and if everybody do job professionally and not take things personally we can weather storm. whether agree with supreme court or not, that is the law.

and whether self analysis if meet presidential qualifications is not fully working, this experience will push next election board to assure that all candidates for an elected positions are qualified.

when i signed up, all they wanted to make sure was that my name was correct and that i had my money. we use to have regional check off list for candidates so we had more engaging role than election staff. but when become form it is now, all asked is if read and filled out. so we need to have election office look at every candidate so we don’t find selves where we are now. but the system is good. just want to let world out there know that we are a strong government.

and everywhere i go i hear people say, let’s go forward.

the verbal order on Oct. 31 versus Nov. 4 written order – if there are discrepancies. it says in written order, it says only presidential election postponed for 60 days but verbal order moved up third place winner. when written order came, it was too late. was supreme court changing rules? that bothers me and why in delima. glad DElegate Russell Begaye asked and maybe why Delegate Leonard Tsosie saying no one challenging Supreme Court.

vote on Education Report, 10 in favor, 3 opposed.

regarding certification, all positions certified based on Supreme Court footnote.
What Delegate Leonard Tsosie saying is what I agree with but I have no power to challenge Supreme Court verbal order and written order. The Council can. The process is not perfect but that is what we have. And I have not conspired with Supreme Court. When I have tried to contact Supreme Court, i was instructed to communicate through an attorney.
Regarding Delegate Nelson BeGaye’s request to inform voters. You can’t get to all of them through radio. And it’s costly to travel to all chapters. So best way to inform voters, who are primarily elders, is the radio.
To move forward is what we are trying to do. We set up election on Dec. 30. And I met with Speaker Pro Tem Bates on waiving of Navajo election law to postpone elections for more than 60 days.
Case law prohibits Election Office from background checks. I was in my office when Deschene filed and if that case law was no in place, I could have talked to him in the Navajo language and if he didn’t understand me then I would have informed him to file his affidavit and depending on what he checked off regarding Navajo language fluency, I would disqualify him. But Election Office prohibited after election staff filed election complaint against then candidate Ed T. Begay regarding residency.

Vote on Election Report, 10 in favor, 3 opposed

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