Filing period delayed for candidates to submit paperwork for Navajo Nation election

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Voters form a line to receive ballots during the Navajo Nation primary election on Aug. 30, 2016 at the Tsé Daa K'aan Chapter house in Hogback.

FARMINGTON — The Navajo Board of Election Supervisors continue to determine how to conduct this year's election for chapter governments and other offices.

In the meantime, the board decided to delay the filing period for the election.

"It was set to open on April 23, 2020, but now will be postponed to a late date due to the current COVID-19 pandemic," states a public service announcement posted on Navajo Election Administration website.

The announcement states further that the election board and the election administration want to prepare procedures and protocols for the election that are safe for candidates and agree with public health emergency orders issued by the Navajo Department of Health.

A time frame for the new filing period will be announced "soon" on the election administration website, by media and on social media, according to the announcement.

The 10-member election board voted 9 in favor and zero opposed on April 22 to pass the resolution that postponed the period for filing candidacy paperwork.

The decision came after approximately three hours of discussion, including what avenues the board can take to keep the primary and general election dates intact considering the pandemic.

Voter Hosteen Valencia, left, is assisted by election official Renae Bennett as he casts his ballot in the Navajo Nation primary election on Aug. 30, 2016 at the Tsé Daa K'aan Chapter house in Hogback.

The filing period was originally scheduled to go from April 23 to May 6 for chapter presidents, vice presidents and secretary-treasurers, as well as officers for alternative forms of government and memberships on grazing committees, land boards, school boards, farm boards and the election board.

The primary election is scheduled for Aug. 4, and the general election is set for Nov. 3.

The Navajo Nation Council tabled an emergency bill on April 10, seeking to postpone the election to 2021 and returned the matter to the election board.

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

Support local journalism with a digital subscription to The Daily Times.