Voter registration underway for April 21 Navajo Nation election

Noel Lyn Smith The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The last day to register to vote in the upcoming Navajo Nation presidential election is March 23.

In February, the Navajo Nation Supreme Court ordered the election administration to conduct the presidential election between candidates Joe Shirley Jr. and Russell Begaye as soon as possible. The court also ordered that the ballot include the six vacant seats on the Navajo Board of Election Supervisors.

The Navajo Nation Council's Office of the Speaker announced in a Feb. 23 press release that the election will take place on April 21.

Virginia Nelson, a voter registration specialist at the Navajo Election Administration office in Shiprock, said individuals who voted in the Nov. 4 general election do not need to register again but the voter registration process also allows individuals who have had a change in address, a name change or a change in chapter affiliation to update their information.

"Whatever types of changes need to be done by the 23rd," Nelson said.

In order to register to vote, an individual must be 18 or older and bring their Certificate of Indian Blood, Social Security card or a state issued driver's license or identification card to any voter registration site.

Voter registration can be completed at the election administration offices in Shiprock and Crownpoint in New Mexico, and in Chinle, Fort Defiance and Tuba City in Arizona.

Nelson said most chapter houses have voter registrars on site. There also are a number of locations in Farmington where people can register.

People can register at the Farmington Indian Center, the National Indian Youth Council Inc., San Juan College, Farmington Municipal Schools' Office of Indian Education and Farmington High School.

San Juan College's West Campus in Kirtland, the San Juan County Clerk's Office in Aztec and the Native American Center at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., are also equipped to handle voter registration.

Nelson added that her office is also accepting applications to vote by absentee ballot and the deadline for those applications is April 6.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 and Follow her @nsmithdt on Twitter.