Low voter turnout again for Tribal Elections
About a fourth of registered voters participated in this years Tribal Election.
Results show that of 3,982 voters on the reservation, 1,538 actually voted in the election this year.
Out of all districts, Brockton had the highest voter turn out. At least half of all eligible tribal voters participated.
Combined, Poplar has 1,872 voters. Of this, a combined 680 people voted at the polls.
Poplar District II had the largest voter turn out, with 347 voting out of a possible 895 people. Poplar District I, which has 976 voters, had 333 voters at the polls.
In Wolf Point, both districts have 1,251 voters combined. Of this, 468 turned out at the polls. Wolf Point I has 634 voters, 227 people came out to vote. Wolf Point II has 617 voters, 241 of which turned out to vote.
Fort Kipp has a total of 267 voters, and 143 people turned out to vote.
Brockton has 261 voters, and of this 131 voted at the polls.
Frazer has 251 voters, and 86 percent of them voted at the polls.
In Oswego, there are 81 voters. Of this, 30 turned out to vote.
After an official recount, Fort Peck Tribal General Election results were finalized.
According to the official results, approved and signed by Tribal Election Commissioners from each reservation community.
In the Chairman’s race, former Tribal Councilman Justin Gray Hawk Jr. won with 606 votes. Former Chairman Floyd Azure received 549 votes, losing by 57 votes.
Azure has been serving as Tribal Chairman for over a decade, with elections happening every two years. Before that he was also a Tribal Councilman.
Other candidates include Barry Bighorn Sr., with 264 votes, and former Tribal Chairman John Morales receiving 101 votes.
Tribal Vice Chairman Charles Headdress received 960 total votes. His opposition, Patt Iron Cloud, lost by 415 votes. Iron Cloud was a Tribal Councilwoman at the time of her loss and changed her candidacy from Tribal Council to Vice Chairman last minute before the ballot was finalized.
Vice Chairman Headdress has been serving as Vice Chair for years and was originally elected when former Chairman Azure won.
In the Tribal Sargent At Arms race, incumbent Bruce “Cubby” Damon won against challenger Jolynne Bad Hawk. Damon won with 1,014 votes cast for him. Bad Hawk received 493 votes.
The Tribal Court Judges election was also on the ballot this year. Up for re-election was one associate judge and the Chief Judge of the Tribal Court.
Chief Judge Stacie Fourstar ran unopposed for the position and received 1,281 total votes. Under the qualifications for the Tribal Court Chief Judge, the candidate must be a graduate of law school and be bar certified as an attorney. Fourstar is a graduate of the University of North Dakota School of Law. Before being the Chief Judge, she worked as a tribal prosecutor for the courts.
Associate Judge Michael Headdress was re-elected to the bench. He ran against Tribal Prosecutor Marvin Youpee Jr. Headdress received 955 votes, followed by 494 for Youpee.
Youpee served as a judge before, when the Tribal Council appointed him to the tribal bench.
Headdress also worked as a police officer and prosecutor before being elected to the bench. He currently oversees juvenile court criminal cases.
Of all races, none have more impact on the lives of tribal members than the Fort Peck Tribal Council.
Incumbent councilwoman Marva Chapman received the most votes than any other candidate for the Tribal Executive Board, with a total of 782 votes. According to the official results, Chapman won with a firm strong hold of voters in Poplar with 394 votes, followed by 227 from combined Wolf Point votes. Brockton had 61 people voting for Chapman, Fort Kipp had 54, and Frazer had 40 votes, followed by six votes from Oswego.
Incumbent councilman Bryce Kirk was re-elected to the TEB with 735 votes, followed by Terry Rattling Thunder at 655 votes.
Former Tribal Sgt.-At-Arms Jestin Dupree was elected to the board with 638 votes.
Incumbent Carolyn Brugh won with 580 votes, followed by incumbent Stacey Summers winning 552 votes.
Rita Weeks, a new face on the council, received 545 votes. She is the sister of the late Jackie Weeks and recently retired from her longtime job as Tribal Court Administrator.
Another new face on the board is Benny Johnson Jr., of Brockton. He received 532 votes.
Wayne Martell, of Poplar, was re-elected to the board with 518 votes.
Incumbent Dana Buckles won 515 votes.
Incumbent Lawrence Hamilton won 504 votes.
The final TEB member was not immediately declared due to demands for a recount. It was close, but after the recount it was determined Roxanne Gourneau was the winner.
Tribal election law requires an election commission to verify the authenticity of the count. A representative is selected from every tribal community on the Fort Peck Reservation.
According to the law, the duties and powers of the election commission include testing eligibility of candidates and constituting the board of canvassers. All rulings by the election commission are final.
This year, the Tribal Election Commission include Michael Olson for Fort Kipp; Deb Bruner for Brockton/Riverside; Jane Decoteau for Poplar I; Diana Diserly-Tuttle for Poplar II; Florence Fourstar for Wolf Point I; Angela Urbaniak for Wolf Point II; Renee Fettig for Oswego; and Sasha Fourstar for Frazer.
The Election Supervisor is Parker Grayhawk.