Requirements revealed for upcoming election

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

WINDOW ROCK, Jan. 2, 2014

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In the next couple of months, the Navajo Nation election season will officially begin and if you are one of the hundred or so who are thinking about running for tribal president or a seat on the Navajo Nation Council, this is what you need to know.

The first time that a candidate for office can file with the Navajo Election Office is Feb. 27. The last day to file is May 29.

Besides the presidency and the tribal Council, there are also positions open on the Kayenta Township Commission, the Navajo Board of Education and the Navajo Election Board.

There is a filing fee for each position. To file for president costs $1,500, for Council $500 and all of the others are $200. The election office does not accept cash or checks, only money orders.

Candidates can file for office at any of the agency election offices as well as in Window Rock.

The amount to file for president has increased sharply in recent elections, mainly to keep down the number of candidates in the primary.

Besides paying the filing fee, candidates must also have a clearance from the Navajo Ethics and Rules Office showing that they are not under any restrictions to run because of past violations, according to Edison Wauneka, head of the tribe's election office.

Candidates for tribal president must be at least 35 years of age. For Council, it's 25.

There is no longer a requirement that a candidate must live on the reservation or in his district to run for office, Wauneka said, pointing to a Navajo Supreme Court decision of a few elections ago that removed the requirement.

There's still a requirement in the tribe's election code that candidates for tribal president be fluent in English and Navajo, but that is loosely interpreted.

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