Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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Letters | Recount should not happen

In the Navajo Times article, “Recount certification likely to take place,” Donovan Quintero explains issues within the voting system from the current 2022 Navajo Nation presidential election.

A few days after the primary election on Aug. 2, it came to the attention that the machines used had difficulties in accepting ballots and caused about 17,544 unofficial votes. This raised conflict between the former candidates for the elections and the election office supervisors, who dismissed all grievances. After further investigation from three former candidates, more voting system issues were revealed, such as improper accessibility for disabled voters and “human error” in submitting voting ballots.

When it comes to voting, most of us agree that a recount should occur. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on whether the recounting of the votes is truly beneficial to the people?

Whereas some are convinced that a recount will ensure that everyone’s voices will be heard through fair voting, others maintain that the recount is pushed for the satisfaction of former candidates themselves to get a second chance at the election. Though I concede that everyone’s voice deserves to be heard, I insist that a recount should not be taken place because this issue could have been simply avoided with better-quality voting machines from the beginning of the election. The issue of human error could also have been avoided with better policies in submitting voting ballots. By now, voters should understand the process, as there is no need to treat it as something unfamiliar.

Furthermore, in the article, former candidate Frankie Davis’s attorney states, “Obviously, numerous votes for her simply disappeared,” when commenting on missing votes shows that former candidates are more worried about their votes than those voices who were not heard.

To resolve these issues of a recount, move forward with the current votes counted and continue with the election. The people need to understand how the recount debates affect the two candidates, Buu Nygren and incumbent Jonathan Nez because it is unfair to them.

Another reason a recount should not be taken place is that if there are already issues with the previous voting, there is no certainty that the recount will be fully successful. This recount could also allow the election to be rigged.

In conclusion, this may take time to improve. Still, the issues need to be addressed for future elections by providing better voting machines and policies to fix the human error issue and holding those accountable for it.

Chanley Dee
Lukachukai, Ariz.

Election conflict

Several candidates have recently suggested that they had found some inconsistencies in the recent Navajo Nation election. According to the article “Recount found discrepancies, candidates say,” Donovan Quintero explains that eight former candidates for the president sent a letter of concern to the Navajo Board of Election Supervisors and the Navajo Election Administration. Branch, Jumbo-Fitch, and Ellison conducted audits during the recount to learn how election officials kept ballots safe from tampering and fraud.

I think that the eligibility of the board members plays a massive part in recounting because to have a ballot recount, you must be approved. Therefore, it can establish mistrust among the candidates and the elected board members. Because in the past, they questioned the eligibility of election board member Young Jeff Tom, who had pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2016 for conspiracy to commit bribery.

Jumbo-Fitch, who finished with 298 votes, said the recount was an unnecessary struggle. She said the process would have been easier if there were Navajo Nation policies and procedures. On the contrary, my thoughts point to agreeing that the Navajo Board of Supervisors should improve their election ballots because if they do not, there would be more conflict between the election workers, presidential candidates, and board members.

The main issue in question is addressing the larger matter of the eligibility of board members, presidential candidates, and election workers. Because if they do not, they will have to go over the same progress every four years with the same issue arising, which is miscommunication among the board members.

My solution is to stop this cycle of communication by addressing the issues and producing meetings about the issues, which is the eligibility of the board members.

Sharelle Yazzie


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