Tribal Government & News

Third of Tribal voters likely to vote in Sept. 12 election

08.31.2015 Dean Rhodes Elections

By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

If recent trends hold, approximately 1 in 3 eligible Tribal voters will cast a ballot in the Sept. 12 Tribal Council election.

In other words, about 1,278 of the Tribe’s 3,872 eligible voters – those who will be 18 years of age on Sept. 12 – will vote.

Since Smoke Signals last ran a story about Tribal voter turnout in September 2012, the numbers have not varied immensely.

Before the 2012 Tribal Council election, voter turnout between 2003 and 2011 hit a high of 40.7 percent in 2004 and a low of 29 percent in 2010. The average voter turnout over the nine elections was 35 percent.

In 2012, when 13 Tribal members ran for council, 32.4 percent of eligible Tribal voters did so. In 2013, 30.7 percent voted for a field of 12 Tribal Council candidates. Last year, 33.1 percent cast a ballot for nine Tribal members seeking office.

Over that three-year span, the average turnout was 32.1 percent.

According to Member Services Manager Penny DeLoe, there are 3,872 Tribal members who will be 18 or older on Sept. 12. If a third of them vote, 1,278 will cast votes for the eight candidates on this year’s ballot.

Tribal members can contact the Election Office through Thursday, Sept. 3, in the Community Center from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday with a half-hour lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m. The office can be reached at 503-879-2271.

Ballots were mailed to voters with verified signatures on July 29 and are due back by Election Day.

Tribal members must be registered to vote and may register by creating a verified signature card at any time up to and including Election Day.

Tribal members may vote for up to three candidates to fill three positions on Tribal Council. The top three vote-getters will serve through September 2018.

This year’s candidates include incumbents Cheryle A. Kennedy and Jon A. George, former Tribal Council members Steve Bobb Sr., June Sherer and Kathleen Tom, and Tribal members Tammy Garrison, Ann Lewis and Brenda Tuomi.