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June 18, 2018

10/10/2017 7:29:00 AM
Tribal council general election held
'Irregularities' in that election will lead to another on Oct. 19

Brian Jopek

A manual recount of ballots was done following the Oct. 3 general election conducted by the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.

Incumbents on the tribal council with seats up for election - Dee A. Allen, Eric Chapman, Sr., Alice Soulier and George W. Thompson - retained them.

The council has a new treasurer in Gloria Cobb.

Jamie-Ann Allen was re-elected as secretary by one vote.

The margin of victory for her was the closest of any of the different races, 290 votes compared to 289 for her opponent, Beverly Labarge.

Re-elected and newly elected tribal council members were to be sworn in yesterday but an issue occurred during the course of the Oct. 3 election that have put those plans on hold for now.

Details aren't available but the issue was enough, apparently, to require a do-over.

Discrepancies identified

Ernestine Rodriguez, the tribe's election board chairperson, stated in a press release issued to The Lakeland Times Thursday there was an issue with the voting machine used to count ballots.

"Our machine we use to electronically record each paper ballot jammed during the process of feeding the paper ballots into the machine," she said. "We are manually recounting paper ballots to ensure the outcome of tribal council elections are accurate and complete. Then we are going to run the paper ballots through the machine with a machine technician present to ensure the machine works properly going forward. We will ensure each and every vote is recorded to ensure the integrity of our representative government."

In another press release issued to the Times Friday, it was stated the tribal election board reconvened late Thursday afternoon to discuss discrepancies found in the Oct. 3 tribal general election.

"All discrepancies were identified as a result of mechanical and human error," the release states. "All errors have been identified, addressed, and will be corrected."

Because of what are referred to as "irregularities" that took place during the Oct. 3 general election, the tribal election board has ordered a new general election.

That election will be conducted Thursday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the William V. Wildcat, Sr. Tribal Center.

Brian Jopek may be reached via email at bjopek@lakelandtimes.com.

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