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Filing period for Navajo Nation general election opens Tuesday

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

GALLUP — The filing period for candidates seeking to run for chapter government offices and board seats in the Navajo Nation general election can submit their paperwork from July 28 through Aug. 10.

Candidates may file applications at one of the five agency offices, according to the Navajo Election Administration.

The Nov. 3 election, which will be by plurality vote, will determine chapter presidents, vice presidents and secretary-treasurers, in addition to seats for alternative forms of government and memberships on grazing committees, land boards, school boards, farm boards and the Navajo Board of Election Supervisors. 

There will be no primary election in August because of the coronavirus. The decision to drop the primary election was recommended by the election board over safety of voters and to comply with the various public health emergency orders the Navajo Department of Health has made to address the new virus.

Election clerk Rosanna Bahe helps a voter to the voting booth on Nov. 4, 2014 during the Navajo Nation general election at the Upper Fruitland Chapter house.

The final decision to cancel the primary election was bogged by a veto from tribal President Jonathan Nez before the Navajo Nation Council supported an override.

For more information about the filing period, contact the election administration in Window Rock, Arizona at 800-775-8683 or by email at navajoelections@navajo-nsn.gov or by visiting the administration's website at navajoelections.navajo-nsn.gov.

The agency offices can be reached by telephone at:

  • Northern Agency election office in Shiprock, 866-659-5842
  • Eastern Agency election office in Crownpoint, 888-508-6870
  • Fort Defiance Agency election office in Window Rock, 866-800-4988
  • Chinle Agency election office in Chinle, Arizona, 866-387-9352
  • Western Agency election office in Tuba City, Arizona, 888-508-4970

The election administration warns that there might be a delay in responding to telephone calls and email is a faster way to receive replies.

Last October, the tribal council approved moving the primary election date for the tribe to the first Tuesday in August, which coincides with the primary election in Arizona.

Sample ballots are posted on July 28, 2014 on a wall at the Navajo Election Administration's Northern Agency office in Shiprock.

Confusion about the tribe's primary election caused Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs to remind voters that Arizona's state primary election will still be held on Aug. 4.

"The primary election in Arizona is moving forward as planned. There seems to be some confusion related to recent announcements about changes to the Navajo Nation's chapter elections. These changes will not affect the Arizona elections," Hobbs said in a statement.

Voters in Arizona can find more information about the state's election at www.Arizona.Vote.

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

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