Elections: Shoalwater Bay Tribe Constitution


Shoalwater Bay Tribe. ARTICLE V – ELECTIONS, REMOVAL, RECALL, AND FILLING VACANCIES

Section 1. Tribal Elections.

(a) Voter Qualifications. Any duly enrolled member of the Tribe who is at least eighteen (18) years of age on the date of the election shall be considered an eligible voter and is entitled to cast a ballot in that Tribal election.

(b) Qualifications of Candidates. Any duly enrolled member of the Tribe who is at least twenty-one (21) years of age on the election date shall be eligible to become a candidate for election to membership on the Tribal Council and serve in that capacity if such person meets the following conditions, provided that, no person shall be a candidate for more than one (1) position in any election:

  1. Has physically resided within Pacific or Grays Harbor Counties of Washington for a period of at least six (6) months immediately preceding the date of the election in which he or she seeks office; provided, however, that any Tribal member shall be eligible to run for the Member-at-Large position if he or she physically resides for a period of six months immediately preceding the election at a location no more than 200 miles from the Reservation as measured by travel by motor vehicle on public highways.

  1. Has not been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one (1) year, excepting State fishing or hunting convictions, or, within the year immediately preceding the election, of a crime punishable by imprisonment of less than one (1) year;

  1. Is not employed in a salaried policy-making position with any agency of the State or Federal Government engaged in community service on the Reservation.

(c) Election Date. General elections shall be held annually on the second Saturday of January. In case the date of the regular election shall conflict with a holiday or if circumstances require that the regular election be postponed, the election shall be held within thirty (30) days thereafter.

(d) Election Board. There shall be an Election Board appointed by the Tribal Council whose duties shall be to supervise and administer all Tribal elections to insure that they are objectively and fairly conducted. The Election Board shall certify the election of Tribal Council members within five (5) days after the election. No member of the Election Board shall at the same time be a member of the Tribal Council a candidate for Tribal office.

(e) Election Ordinance. The Tribal Council shall enact an Election Ordinance, consistent with this Constitution, setting forth the procedures to be followed in conducting each of the various types of Tribal elections called for in this Constitution. The ordinance shall include provisions for conducting all Tribal elections by secret ballot, absentee voting, maintenance of a current list of eligible voters, screening of prospective candidates, and settling election disputes. Further, the ordinance shall spell out the procedures and format to be used whenever it is necessary to submit petitions for any purpose, to the Tribal Council or any office of the Tribe and set forth a procedure for determining the validity of such petitions.

(f) Inaugurations. Every person elected to the Tribal Council shall, after certification of the election, assume office when he or she takes an oath or swears to uphold the Constitution and laws of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe. Those appointed to office shall also take such oath. Tribal Council members shall hold office after expiration of their terms of office until their successors are duly elected and take the oath of office.

  1. First Election.
    1. Incumbent members of the Tribal Council on the effective date of this Constitution shall continue to serve on the Council until replaced in accordance with this Section.

    1. Within sixty (60) days following the effective date of this Constitution, or as soon thereafter as is practicable, a special election shall be called to elect a Treasurer and Member-at-Large; provided, however, that if the effective date of this Constitution is within ninety (90) days before the next regularly scheduled election under the preceding Constitution, the Tribal Council shall appoint the two (2) new Council members to serve until the next regular election. Following the special election or appointment of the two (2) new Council members, the incumbent Secretary-Treasurer shall become the Secretary of the Tribal Council.

    1. The Council members elected or appointed under subsection (2) of this Section shall, with the three (3) incumbent Council members, serve until the first regular election scheduled under this Constitution. At the first regular election, a Chairperson, a Treasurer, and a Secretary shall be elected for a two (2) year period and a Vice-Chairperson and a Member-at-Large shall be elected for a one (1) year period. In January of the year following the first regularly scheduled election provided for under this Constitution, a Vice-Chairperson and a Member-at-Large shall each be elected to serve a period of two (2) years.

Section 2. Removal. Should any of the following circumstances occur involving a Tribal Council Member, the remaining members of the Tribal Council shall, by Resolution, remove such person from office:

  1. Failure to continue to satisfy any of the requirements to hold office in Article V, Section 1 (b);

  1. Absence from three (3) successive meetings without being excused;

  1. Gross misconduct in office or neglect of duty;

  1. Becoming physically or mentally incapable of performing his or her duties.

Any Tribal Council member who is the object of a removal resolution shall, before a vote is taken, be provided with reasonable and detailed written notice of the charges against him or her and with a fair opportunity to reply to such charges and present evidence on his or her behalf. A Council member may appeal to the General Council from a decision by the Tribal Council to remove him or her from office under this Section. The decision of the General Council shall be final. A General Council meeting shall be called for appeal of the removal of a Tribal Council member according to the same procedures for a recall meeting.

Section 3. Recall.

  1. Tribal members shall have the power to recall any member of the Tribal Council. The recall process shall be initiated by filing with the Secretary of the Tribal Council, a valid petition asking for such recall, signed by at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the eligible voters, setting forth reasons for the petition. If the Secretary of the Tribal Council is the object of a recall petition, the petition shall be filed with the Vice-Chairperson of the Tribal Council. A copy of the petition shall be provided to the Tribal Council member who is the object of that petition.

  1. Within forty (40) days after receipt of a valid recall petition, the Secretary of the Tribal Council, or if he or she is the object of a recall petition, the Vice-Chairperson, shall call a General Council meeting to be held within sixty (60) days, unless the annual meeting is scheduled within that period. The Tribal Council member who is being considered for recall shall be provided with written notice of the meeting, and be provided with a fair opportunity to reply to such charges and present evidence on his or her behalf at the General Council meeting. A majority vote by secret ballot shall determine whether such Council member is recalled from office.

  1. Notice of all recall meetings shall be provided to the eligible voters of the General Council at least thirty (30) days prior to such meeting, and shall be posted at conspicuous places on the Reservation.

  1. No Tribal Council member, validly elected, shall be subject to recall under this Section during the first six (6) months of his or her term of office.

Section 4. Filling of Vacancies.

  1. In the event that the position of Chairperson becomes vacant, the Vice-Chairperson shall automatically succeed to the Chairpersonship. The Vice-Chairperson shall serve as Chairperson until the next regularly scheduled election for Chairperson.

  1. If any vacancies, other than that of Chairperson, occur in the membership of the Tribal Council, due to resignation, removal, recall, succession to another office, or death, the remaining Tribal Council members shall appoint someone to fill the position until the next regularly scheduled election for that position; provided, that such appointee shall meet the same qualifications as a candidate for election to that office.

     

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    Shoalwater Bay Tribe Disclaimer: The main body of the text of the constitution is provided for scholarship, educational, and informational purposes only, for your convenience. An official version of the constitution may be obtained by contacting the Shoalwater Bay Tribe directly; the below link, from the tribe's website, is also included for your convenience. Shoalwater Bay Constitution.

  2. Shoalwater Bay Tribe.com