Rosebud’s Special Election marked by court action

ROSEBUD, SD – Last month, Antelope tribal council representative candidate Scott Herman withdrew from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s General Election race reportedly to accept a full time job. As a result, the Election Board scheduled a special election for Antelope.

 

The Election Board initially ruled that all candidates who were certified to appear on the primary election ballot from Antelope Community would be listed on the ballot for the Special Election to be held on Thursday, September 20, 2012. They also determined that the top vote getter will be seated as the tribal council representative from Antelope.

 

Those candidates included: Louis Moran III, Emil P. Wilson, Shannon M. Shaw-Brill, James R. Leader Charge, Glen Yellow Eagle, Shawn Bordeaux, Calvin “Hawkeye” Waln, Jr., Trent Poignee and Dolores R. Barron.

 

However, Waln filed action in Tribal Court (Docket # Civ-12-389) against the Election Board and stated that the “Board violated the RST Constitution and his rights under the Indian Civil Rights Act by calling for a Special Election, instead of certifying he and candidate Herman for the seat and allowing the General Election to proceed or in the alternative declaring him the only certified candidate an either putting his name alone on the General Election ballot or declaring him victorious by default.”

 

RST Special Judge B.J. Jones denied Waln’s “request for a preliminary injunction against the Special Election to be held on September 20, 2012.” The order also reads that “The Court does hold, however, that the Special Election have only two candidates – the Plaintiff [Waln] and either the third leading vote-getter or next leading vote-getter should the higher vote-getter decline.”

 

The Election Board then concurred with Judge Jones’ decision and issued a public notice stating that only two candidates would appear on the ballot – Waln and Trent “Okie” Poignee.

 

Also, Antelope Community held a special meeting on September 17 and approved a motion recommending that the Tribal Council appeal the Tribal Courts’ decision on the election for community representative. Community members felt the court decision violated both their civil rights and their right to vote in a candidate of their choice.

 

In addition, on September 17, Shawn Bordeaux filed an appeal to Judge Jones’ decision with the RST Supreme Court. But an error in his paperwork resulted in him having to file a revised appeal on September 18.

 

The Election Board asked that the Special Election set for September 20 be rescheduled for October 18, 2012 to allow time for the Tribal Supreme Court to deal with the actions filed. The Tribal Council had a lengthy discussion on the issue but did not respond to the Election Board’s request. The RST Tribal Council is expected to render a decision on the request by the Election Board on Wednesday, September 19.

 

For more information please call the Election Board at (605) 856-2373.

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