Navajo Nation Board of Election Supervisors decides Deschene fluent enough

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - The Navajo Nation Board of Election Supervisors voted 4-2 to proceed with the Navajo Nation general election Nov. 4, while acknowledging ongoing challenges over the qualification of presidential candidate Chris Deschene.

The board cited a rule which states that the Navajo Nation Election Administration shall hold the candidate applications of all candidates it has certified as eligible for a period of 10 days during which sworn challenges may be filed with the Office of Hearing and Appeals by other applicants for the same position.

Originally, the office of Hearing and Appeals ruled that the Navajo Nation code required the dismissal of grievances filed by former presidential candidates Dale E. Tsosie and Hank Whitehorne, as those grievances were not filed until after the primary election.

Appeals to the Navajo Nation Supreme Court followed and the case was sent to the Office of Hearings and Appeals to determine whether Deschene is fluent in Navajo.

Wauneka said Sept. 30 that the action taken by the board meant that the election will move forward as scheduled Nov. 4. However, he acknowledged that the anticipated ruling by the Office of Hearings and Appeals in the Deschene case could still impact the Nov. 4 ballots.

The next scheduled meeting for the Navajo Board of Supervisors is Oct. 9.

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 4 general election was Oct. 6..

The Nov. 4 general election will determine who will become the next Navajo Nation president, who will be on the Navajo Nation Council, the Navajo Nation Board of Election Supervisors and the Navajo Nation Board of Education.

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