Chapter 1.35


1.35.010    Purpose.

1.35.020    Election staff.

1.35.030    Time and place.

1.35.035    Nominations for candidacy – Petitions.

1.35.040    Residency.

1.35.050    Certification of candidacy.

1.35.060    Public notification of qualified candidates.

1.35.070    Qualified candidates.

1.35.080    Unqualified candidates.

1.35.090    Withdrawal of candidacy.

1.35.100    Write-in candidates.

1.35.110    Deceased candidates.

1.35.120    Campaigning and electioneering.

1.35.130    Absentee ballots.

1.35.140    Recording the vote.

1.35.150    Ties.

1.35.160    Recount.

1.35.170    Vacancies.

1.35.180    Swear-in.

1.35.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to effectively regulate the conduct of Tulalip Tribal Board of Directors and Commission elections in accordance with the Tulalip Tribes Constitution and Bylaws and other applicable law. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.020 Election staff.

(1) The Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors will appoint by resolution an election staff whose duties will include, but are not limited to:

(a) Administer and conduct elections within the Tulalip Tribes boundaries in a manner that will ensure fair and honest elections;

(b) Creating for distribution to the General Council the notice of election(s);

(c) Publicly posting and distributing the list of qualified candidates for upcoming elections;

(d) Recordation of petitioners, absentee ballots, election results, and related documents;

(e) Ensure that elections are conducted fairly and are within the requirements of the Constitution and Bylaws;

(f) Safekeeping of election documentation, materials and results;

(g) Working closely with various Tribal departments or entities;

(h) Being impartial and unbiased;

(i) Maintain confidentiality;

(j) Facilitate filing of vacant Commission positions in accordance with applicable law;

(k) Announce the winners of the Commission and Board Election positions; and

(l) Board Elections. The election staff will facilitate the elections for seated positions, which include: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

(2) The election staff shall consist of:

(a) Tulalip Tribal members appointed by the Board of Directors;

(b) The election staff shall be at a minimum eight adults who are 18 years of age or older;

(c) The Tulalip Tribes’ Chief Financial Officer and/or the Chief Judge of the Tribes or their appointee, shall serve as an ex-officio member.

(i) Chief Financial Officer will hold and issue absentee ballots.

(3) Staff Meetings. The election staff will be responsible for the planning, preparation, implementation, and recordation of elections.

(a) Two meetings scheduled monthly.

(b) During the election process, weekly meetings, or as deemed necessary.

(4) Special General Council Meetings. Upon receipt of a Special General Council petition, that has had the number and validity of the signatures verified by enrollment, the Board of Directors staff shall promptly notify the election staff who shall be responsible for overseeing voting at a Special General Council meeting.

(5) Term of Duty. The length of term for any election staff member shall be until the election member retires or resigns from the election staff, becomes an election candidate or as determined by a Board of Directors resolution.

(6) If a member of the immediate family of the election staff accepts a nomination as a candidate, the election staff member will refrain from the issuing and handling of ballots.

(a) For purposes of this chapter, immediate family shall include an election member’s parent, spouse, child, sibling, stepparent and stepchild.

(7) Leave. The Tribal Government employee handbook governs the use of leave for any Tribal employee elected or appointed to any Tribal commission, committee, or board.

(8) Dismissal. Failure to perform the duties and requirements of the election staff as described in this chapter or engaging in conduct bringing the election staff into disrepute shall be grounds for dismissal from the election staff by the Board of Directors.

(a) Election members can request a hearing with the Board of Directors in the event they are dismissed for cause.

(b) The Board of Directors resolution or determination after hearing regarding the dismissal shall be final, and the dismissed election staff member shall not be eligible for reappointment to the election staff. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.030 Time and place.

(1) The Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors shall designate the time and place of voting in accordance with the Tulalip Tribes Constitution and Bylaws.

(2) Once the polls are open, they shall remain open until closing, unless an unforeseen emergency arises that election staff determines and requires the polls to close.

(3) An eligible voter is a live member and over the age of 18 on the date designated by the Board of Directors for voting. For the Elders Commission election, an eligible voter is a live Tulalip Tribal member who is 50 years of age and over on the day designated by the Board of Directors for voting. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.035 Nominations for candidacy – Petitions.

An eligible voter may sign only one Board of Directors petition and one commission position per commission during the election period.

(1) A petition containing no less than 25 signatures of legal voters shall be required in order to be accepted for nomination as a candidate for the Board of Directors. If there are duplicate signatures on petitions, the petition received first is the one that will be honored as valid signature, voiding any signatures received on any additional ballot.

(2) A petition containing no less than five signatures of legal voters shall be required in order to be accepted for nomination as a candidate for a committee or commission. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2017-256].

1.35.040 Residency.

(1) Affidavit of Residency. For Board candidates and other positions where residency is required, the petitioner will swear to this when they sign their petition to be a candidate. The candidate shall have the burden of proof in establishing residency, if any questions arise. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.050 Certification of candidacy.

The Office of Reservation Attorney shall conduct the criminal background check(s) on all candidates and shall forward the results to the election staff. After receiving the background check results, affidavit of residency and other information relevant to candidate eligibility, the election staff shall certify all candidates eligible for the election. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.060 Public notification of qualified candidates.

(1) Election Notices. A notice containing the list of certified qualified candidates shall be posted at a minimum of two weeks prior to the Election Day, as stated in the Bylaws; with a notice mailed through Tribal mailing list. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.070 Qualified candidates.

Candidates for the Board of Directors shall be required to meet qualifications set forth in the Tulalip Constitution and Bylaws, Article II.

Commission candidates shall be required to meet qualifications set forth in the laws governing the commission. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.080 Unqualified candidates.

(1) Background Check. If a potential candidate does not meet the criteria to be a candidate based on the results of a criminal background check, or they fail to meet other required criteria, the election staff will issue a written letter to the disqualified candidate by certified mail advising them that they have been denied certification as a candidate, the reasons therefor, and that their name will not appear on the ballot. The election staff will also attempt to contact the disqualified candidate by telephone to notify the candidate and inform them of the notice of candidate certification denial letter being mailed.

(a) Appeal of Certification. Any person(s) denied certification as a candidate by the election staff must be notified of certification denial as soon as possible and shall have five days from the date of such notice to appeal to the Board of Directors. Upon receipt of a timely appeal, the Board of Directors shall review the appealed denial of the disqualified candidate and make a final determination, which shall not be subject to further appeal. If the appeal relates to candidacy for the Board of Directors, only Board members who are not candidates in the election shall participate in the appeal. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.090 Withdrawal of candidacy.

Qualified candidate(s) must file a written notice with the elections office if that candidate chooses to withdraw from the upcoming election. If such notice is filed prior to the submittal of the ballots for printing, the candidate(s) name will not be placed on the ballot. If the notice is filed after the ballot is printed, notice will be posted on the election date that the candidate has chosen to withdraw their name from the election. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.100 Write-in candidates.

Write-in candidates shall not be accepted. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.110 Deceased candidates.

If a deceased candidate wins election to a position for office on Election Day, the Board of Directors will be notified by an election staff member and the candidate receiving the next highest number of votes shall be declared as the winner. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.120 Campaigning and electioneering.

(1) Campaigning will not be allowed at the polling place, or within a 300-foot radius of any designated voting location. No person(s) shall be permitted to loiter in polling area.

(2) Electioneering. No person(s) shall solicit, secure or influence voters by any means at the polling place, or surrounding grounds, during voting hours, or be allowed to assemble or solicit votes or support in the same building or grounds the election is being held. No person(s) shall have campaign signs posted within 300 feet of a polling location.

(3) Any person(s) observed or reported to be campaigning or electioneering may be asked to leave the polling area by a Tulalip Tribes Police Officer, or a member of the election staff. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.130 Absentee ballots.

Voters shall be permitted to vote by absentee ballot in accordance with the absentee ballot procedures as stated in the elections standard operating procedures. Voters choosing to vote by absentee ballot must submit a written request to the election staff and instructions for the requirements of completing and submitting the absentee ballot will be provided to the voter. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.140 Recording the vote.

Election staff shall manually reconcile the total number of voters as marked on the voter’s list, or entered onto the computer, with the total amount recorded by the ballot machine, voids and absentee. These totals must agree. If the totals do not agree, it is the duty of the election staff to recount the ballots, review for inconsistency, and verify the totals.

The election staff shall separately record the total number of:

(1) Absentee ballots;

(2) Regularly cast ballots;

(3) “Void” ballots.

When the totals are reconciled and agreed upon by the CFO and election staff, the results will be forwarded immediately to the Board of Directors who shall certify the election results.

The results will be posted at the Administration Building, and be forwarded to the See-Yaht-Sub for publication. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.150 Ties.

In the event of a tie vote between two or more qualified candidates, and where such tie must be resolved to determine the winning candidate, the election staff shall notify the Board of Directors. The following procedure shall determine the winner:

(1) Tie of Two.

(a) The tie shall be decided by a flip of a coin administered by the election staff.

(i) The Sergeant-at-Arms will flip the coin.

(ii) The eldest of the candidates will call head or tails. If the candidate(s) are not present the Board will designate an elder(s) present at the meeting to call the head or tails.

(iii) Whoever wins the toss will be deemed the winner.

(2) Tie of Three or More.

(a) The tie shall be decided by pulling the name(s) from a basket.

(i) Each name will be written on a piece of paper.

(ii) A Board Member that is designated by the Chair will read each name that is placed in the basket; if the meeting is being video recorded the Director will show the name, prior to placing the names into the hat.

(iii) The Sergeant-at-Arms will pull the name(s) and give them to a Director to read. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.160 Recount.

An automatic machine recount will be immediately conducted whenever the difference between a winning and losing candidate is one vote or a tie.

(1) Board of Directors Election. The recount will occur prior to the commencement of the vote for officers of the Board of Directors.

(2) The recount will occur before the adjournment of the meeting. In situations where a recount is mandated, the election staff shall recount the voted ballots immediately, by machine. If the recount vote tally is the same as original vote tally, the original election vote tally shall be final. If the recount results are different from the original vote tally and the difference affects the election outcome, an additional recount shall be conducted, by the machine and hand count. The election staff shall then certify the election results when a final vote count can be verified by a recount showing the same results as a prior count. [Res. 2022-028; Res. 2014-509].

1.35.170 Vacancies.

When a vacancy on the Board of Directors or any elected commission occurs, the vacancy will be filled by the process designed in the Board’s or the commission’s ordinance. The appointee is to only complete the term for that vacant term.

(1) The Board of Directors will request from the Election Committee to recommend the highest runner-up of the vacant term’s year of election. If no candidate is available, the Election Committee will review up to three years back or forward from the vacant term’s year of election if necessary.

(2) The Election Committee will submit the names to the Board of Directors for their direction.

If there is no candidate available, an advertisement can be released, requesting a letter of interest to the Board of Directors to fill the remaining vacant term. The Election Committee is to be responsible for coordinating the letter of interest to the Tulalip Tribal membership.

(3) As an alternative to a vacant commissioner position, the term can remain open until the next commission election.

(4) A new background check shall be completed at the time of appointment for a vacancy. [Res. 2022-028].

1.35.180 Swear-in.

After a candidate is elected or appointed they must be sworn in before they can start their duties and be paid. This will happen at that or the next regular or special Board meeting or by scheduled appointment with Chairperson of the Board of Directors and two witnesses. [Res. 2022-028].