Not enough votes for adoption election

The adoption election this week did not meet the 50-percent voter turnout requirement, so the results are void.

Including this recent vote, the last three adoption elections have failed for lack of voter participation.

The cost of the election is about $20,000, said Arlita Rhoan, Election board member.  For this and other reasons, she said, the decision about setting a re-vote is a serious one.

As three adoption elections have failed, Tribal Councilman Raymond Tsumpti said the tribes should consider conducting a secretarial election regarding the adoption candidates.

The secretarial process, conducted by the BIA, has no minimum voter turn-out requirement.

Had the recent election been secretarial, the candidates would have been adopted into the tribe, Councilman Tsumpti said.

The membership should be consulted as to whether they would like to see the secretarial election approach to adoption candidates, he said.

A review of the results shows that all of the candidates received more positive votes than negative—often by a large margin of three- or four-to-one in favor.

A total of 987 people cast ballots in the adoption election. A figure in the range of 1,500 would have been required for a valid vote.

Meanwhile, the tribes could decide to change the membership baseline census role from 1960 to 1980.  This would result in the automatic enrollment of about 60 of the candidates who were on the recent election list.

A proposal to update the baseline role could be sent to referendum, depending on the decision of the Tribal Council.