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Navajo Nation voters will go to the polls for chapter general election on Nov. 3

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Poll worker Jamie Joe helps voter Irene Mason receive her ballot during the Nov. 4, 2014, general election at the Upper Fruitland Chapter house in Upper Fruitland.

GALLUP — Voters will head to polling places on the Navajo Nation to cast ballots in the tribe's chapter general election on Nov. 3.

Polling places at the 110 chapter houses will open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This year, the general election will be held by plurality vote to determine chapter presidents, vice presidents and secretary-treasurers and seats for alternative forms of government and memberships on grazing committees, farm boards and the election board.

Last week, the Window Rock Judicial District court determined the school board election cannot occur due to tribal officials violating part of the process to reapportion school board seats.

The Oct. 24 decision came during the period of early and absentee voting. On Oct. 31, the court ruled – in response to the tribe's motion to stay the Oct. 24 decision – that votes cast in the school board election cannot be tallied and disclosed pending the outcome of writs before the Navajo Nation Supreme Court.

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In a press release, the Navajo Election Administration and the Navajo Board of Election Supervisors encourage candidates to follow public health emergency orders and not set up stands to campaign or distribute food on Nov. 3.

"This is to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We also encourage all voters to please wear your mask and maintain social distancing when voting," the press release states.

The election administration will provide personal protective equipment at polling places, including hand sanitizers, disinfectant, face masks and gloves, according to the release.

Christine Johnson helps Melvin Caboni cast his ballot on Nov. 4, 2014 at the Upper Fruitland Chapter house in Upper Fruitland.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez approved a Navajo Nation Council resolution on Oct. 28 to provide $442,583 in supplemental funding from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance to the election administration for expenses associated with the general election.

"On Election Day on Tuesday, please be safe, wear a mask, practice social distancing, carry hand sanitizer and return home safely after casting your ballot. The Navajo Election Administration is doing their best to train poll workers and to comply with CDC guidelines to protect workers and the general public," Nez said in the press release from his office.

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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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