Tribal Government & News

Voter registration packets being mailed Tuesday, May 17

05.16.2016 Dean Rhodes Elections

Tribal members will be mailed voter registration packets on Tuesday, May 17, and must have their registration forms received at the designated post office box in New Mexico by Tuesday, June 7, to vote in the upcoming July 8 constitutional amendment election.

Tribal members cannot hand deliver, e-mail or fax their voter registration to the Tribe or the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Since the election is being supervised by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Tribal members must register to vote separately in this election. Previous voter registrations for Tribal elections do not suffice.

Tribal members who do not receive a voter registration packet should contact Administrative Officer Lori Anderson of the Warm Springs Agency at 541-553-2439.

Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters on Monday, June 13. Ballots must be received at the Grand Ronde post office by Friday, July 8.

In March 2015, Tribal voters overwhelmingly defeated a proposal to remove Secretary of the Interior oversight and approval of amendments to the Tribe’s Constitution, which necessitates the separate voter registration process for proposed amendments.

Three educational sessions regarding the two proposed amendments to the Tribal Constitution have been set for May 17 through 19 in Portland, Grand Ronde and Eugene, respectively.

Tribal Council decided in identical 5-2 votes to send the proposed Tribal Constitution amendments to voters during its April 6 meeting.

The first amendment would, if approved by voters, remove the parent on the roll at time of birth and time of application requirements and add language defining “Grand Ronde blood.”

The new definition, with new wording in italics, would read: “Grand Ronde blood is defined as all Indian blood derived from a direct ancestor whose name validly appears on the official Tribal membership roll prepared under the Grand Ronde Restoration Act; provided, that such roll may be corrected by Tribal Council with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior or the official Tribal membership roll prepared by the Tribe between Nov. 30, 1984, and Sept. 14, 1999; provided that such roll may be corrected by the Tribal Council in accordance with the Tribal Enrollment Ordinance.”

The second proposed amendment would reduce General Council participation requirements for initiatives, referendums and the calling of special General Council meetings.

Currently, the Tribal Constitution requires at least one-third of the adult general membership – more than 1,300 people – to sign a petition for an initiative, referendum, recall effort or membership-proposed constitutional amendment to proceed.

The educational sessions will be held:

  • 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, at the Portland Community College Sylvania Campus cafeteria, 12000 S.W. 49th Ave.;

  • 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, at the Governance Center Atrium in Grand Ronde following the regularly scheduled Tribal Council meeting;

  • 6 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at Lane Community College’s Forum Building 17, 4000 E. 30th Ave., Eugene.

Thirty percent of those who register to vote must cast a ballot and two-thirds of those voting must approve of the proposal for an amendment to be adopted.