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Jodi Rave: Chippewa Cree election in tribal court

"A Rocky Boy's Reservation election dispute will be heard in tribal court this week, as citizens protest results of the tribe's primary election, a dispute that was earlier rejected by the tribe's election board committee.

“We want a fair election,” Kenneth Blatt St. Marks said on Friday. “Give us a fair election and we will be happy.”

Blatt, a tribal chairman candidate, failed to advance to the Nov. 4 general election. He was told on Thursday he would have a hearing before the Chippewa-Cree tribal court after the election board denied his challenge of the Oct. 7 tribal primary.

In his complaint, Blatt alleges the election board failed to uphold several tribal ordinances, including a list of complaints ranging from candidate eligibility and balloting procedures to absentee voting and denying candidates the right to appoint poll watchers.

“What good is an ordinance if we're not going to follow it?” said Blatt. “Is it OK to break the law?”

A Chippewa Cree Tribe election board member said the matter could not be discussed.

“It would take awhile, but I've had a hard week and I'm leaving right now,” said Kathy Henry, the election board chairman. “We're held up in this court case. The judge put a gag order on.”"

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Rocky Boy's election dispute headed to court (The Missoulian 10/26)

Related Stories:
Chippewa Cree Tribe denies election protest (10/16)