Losing candidate for Northern Cheyenne president seeks invalidation of election results, revote
(Northern Cheyenne Tribe)
LAME DEER - The candidate who lost in the race for president of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe last month has filed a complaint alleging some tribal members didn’t get the opportunity to vote because the date of the special election was held too early.
Donna Fisher, who lost her race against L. Jace Killsback in early January by two votes, filed a complaint with the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Court on Monday.
The complaint notes the Tribal Election Ordinance that states a special election for president must be held within 90 days of a vacancy.
Former President L. Jace Killsback was ousted by the tribal council in October after a complaint was filed related to alleged misuse of tribal funds.
Killsback, who claimed his removal was due to a personal vendetta of one tribal council member, unsuccessfully contested his removal.
The special election was held 88 days later.
But Fisher states in her complaint that the 88-day campaign period included two federal holidays, Christmas and New Year’s Day, as well as three days of administrative leave approved by the tribal council.
If the five holidays had been recognized as part of the campaign period, Fisher states, the Election Day would have been Jan. 4 instead of Jan. 2.
“Federal holidays and Tribal Administrative leave resulted in interruptions and complications to key Federal and Tribal services that negatively impacted the election process,” states the complaint.
Fisher said the biggest concern is for people who voted absentee.
Fisher claims at least three absentee ballots were post marked Jan. 2 but weren’t received by the tribe in time to be included in the official count.
The complaint does not state who the three late absentee were cast in favor of.
As a result of what Fisher called an “early” election day, she claims “eligible Northern Cheyenne Absentee voters rights were likely violated as their absentee ballots cast will not be considered.”