Special election set for five chapters

Noel Lyn Smith
Voters line up on Aug. 30 to vote in the Navajo Nation primary elections at the Shiprock Chapter House.

FARMINGTON — Tuesday special elections in five Northern Agency chapters, including Shiprock, will determine representation on school boards and government seats.

Precincts will open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. The other chapters are Tsé Alnaozt'i'í, Cove, Red Valley and Aneth.

Voters in Tsé Alnaozt'i'í Chapter will cast ballots to determine the chapter presidency.

Candidates in that race are Alonzo Cohoe, Remnita Henderson, Frank Smith and Ruthda Thomas.

The tribe held its general election for chapter government seats on Nov. 8 but the seat for Tsé Alnaozt'i'í Chapter president was postponed due to an Oct. 7 ruling by the Office of Hearings and Appeals that declared Smith eligible to run after a challenge to his candidacy.

In August, the Navajo Election Administration determined Smith ineligible to seek the position because he failed to list a March 1988 driving while intoxicated conviction on his candidacy paperwork.

Carolyn Yazzie fills in her ballot on July 21, 2015, at the Shiprock Chapter House in Shiprock.

Smith challenged the decision by the election office in September with the Office of Hearings and Appeals.

In Shiprock Chapter, Hazel Dayish is seeking a seat on the T'iis Nazbas Community School board and Eva B. Stokely is running to represent Shiprock and Tsé Alnaozt'i'í chapters for the Nenahnezad Community School board.

Virginia Nelson, a voter registration specialist at the election administration office in Shiprock said those who are elected in Tuesday's special election could take the oath of office in January.

In order for that to happen, candidates must file their campaign expense reports and the Navajo Board of Election Supervisors would have to certify the special election results by Dec. 23, Nelson said.

The inauguration ceremony for the Northern Agency will be Jan. 13, 2017 at Shiprock High School's Chieftain Pit, she said.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.