Fort Hall – Due to a recent Tribal Court challenge in the April 24th Primary Election, Tribal Judge Peter McDermott issued a written order dated, June 2, 2020, to officially void the April Primary Election. McDermott ruled that the Fort Hall Business Council had sovereign immunity and were dismissed from the lawsuit, and that the petitioners could not represent the entire Tribal membership.
Additionally, McDermott ruled a mail-in ballot for the April Primary Election was Constitutional due to the Covid19 pandemic. Either party has until Friday, June 12, 2020 to file a motion for reconsideration, or until Monday, June 22, 2020 to file an appeal. Because of the new court decision, new dates for the Primary and General Election will be rescheduled, dates to be announced soon.
Additionally, McDermott ruled the Election Board should have, according to the Election Act, removed registered voters’ names from the registered voter roll when primary ballots were returned as undeliverable. After some ballots were returned as undeliverable, the Election Board located approximately 40 corrected addresses and re-mailed the ballots, which McDermott ruled a violation under the Election Act. The Election Act requires tribal members whose addresses were undelivered must be removed from the Voter Registration rolls and must re-register to vote in the new election. A list of names will be published in the Sho-Ban News and posted on the Tribes Facebook page.
McDermott also ruled the Election Board should not have counted 10 ballots that were either not signed, or signed in the wrong place.
To register to vote in Tribal Elections, you must be a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, 21 years of age and maintain legal residence for at least one year on the Reservation. Registration forms are currently available at the Tribal Business Center on the east side on the outside entrance door to complete and return back in the lock box also located in same location or you may contact Election Board Secretary Angela Diaz to mail or email a registration form to you, call 208-339-4985. More information will be available on the Tribes official Election website, www2.sbtribes.com/vote