ARTICLE VII. TRIBAL COUNCIL NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
Section 1. ANNUAL ELECTION OF TRIBAL COUNCIL
a) The annual election of the Tribal Council for Tribal Council positions whose terms have expired shall be held on the same day as the April General Council meeting, but in a separate polling place. The General Council meeting may be held during, before, or after the election. The election shall be conducted according to an Election Ordinance as determined by the Tribal Council. If elected, all successful Tribal Council candidates, including any successful incumbents, shall complete a mandatory drug test at a licensed facility within forty-eight (48) hours of their election, prior to taking their oath and assuming office.
b) Failure of a newly elected or re-elected Tribal Council Member to meet the forty-eight (48) hour mandatory drug test deadline or failure to test drug and alcohol-free shall be deemed a resignation from office, and the Tribal Council shall declare the seat of such Tribal Council Member vacant and fill it in accordance with the vacancy provisions of the Constitution.
c) The Chairperson can at anytime call for and require a random drug test at a licensed facility for all Tribal Council Members and Tribal Staff within forty-eight (48) hours. If any Member of the Tribal Council or Tribal Staff does not meet this deadline and has not otherwise been excused by the Tribal Chair from testing in advance of such deadline, then the Tribal Council Member or Tribal Staff involved will be asked to resign and shall be removed from office immediately.
d) All newly elected Tribal Council Members shall comply with a background check to be completed in accordance with the Tribe’s election ordinance. Failure to comply or satisfactorily complete a background check shall result in immediate forfeiture of their position on the Tribal Council and shall be deemed a resignation from office. The following will constitute failure of the background check under this section:
Felony conviction within the last 3 (three) years.
Completion of parole less than three years before the election.
Failure of a drug test.
Outstanding warrants for arrest.
Other situations as determined by the General Council.
e) There shall be no resident requirements for Tribal Council members.
Section 2. NOMINATIONS
a) Nominations for vacant Tribal Council positions for the corresponding year will be accepted at the Tribal office beginning January 1 of each year. Nominations end on January 15th of each year. All nominations must be postmarked by or received in the Tribal Office by close of business on January 15 of each year or on the next business day if the 15th falls on Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, in order for the nomination to be valid.
b) Nominations will be submitted in writing by one (1) eligible voter and signed by the eligible tribal member nominee in accordance with Article IV of the Constitution. The nomination document must specify the following information:
1. Submittal date of the nomination;
2. Name of the nominee;
3. Position to which the nominee wishes to be elected;
4. Name and signature of the person making the nomination;
5. Signature of the person being nominated;
6. Background (relations, number of meetings attended, committees or boards.
iMust attend at last one (1) General Council meeting and three (3) Tribal Council meetings during the calendar year before nomination is submitted in January.
iiMust sit on one committee or board during the calendar year before nomination is submitted in January.
c) Nomination forms will be available at the Tribal Office. Official notification of qualified nominees will be listed in the February Tribal Newsletter.
d) Between the months of February and April, but before the elections meeting, all nominees will submit at least one article to the Tribal Newsletter or participate in at least one Town Hall meeting to discuss issues they and their constituents find important to the Tribe.
Section 3. ELECTIONS AND ELECTION RESULTS
All candidates for the Tribal Council shall be elected by a majority vote of the General Council present. In accordance with Article IV of the Constitution, all eligible tribal members that are eighteen (18) years of age or older and are present at the election meeting will receive one confidential ballot for each Tribal Council position being voted on. A candidate need not be present to win the election if the individual has submitted written notice of willingness to accept elected office to the Tribal Office by close of business day on the day before an election meeting.
a) The candidates who receive the highest number of votes for a particular office shall be seated as the winner of said office. In the event of a tie, the official conducting the election shall recount the ballots cast in that contest. Should a tie exist at the completion of the recount, there shall be a run-off election pursuant to the Tribe’s Election Ordinance.
b) Where two (2) or more (at large/non-officer) seats on the Tribal Council are open for election, the official conducting the election shall clearly identify the number of open seats on the ballot and instruct voters not to select more than that number of candidates from the list of candidates running for such open seats. The candidates receiving the highest number of votes for the available seats shall be declared the successful candidates.
Section 4. SEATING
Successful candidates for the Tribal Council shall be seated on the Tribal Council at the first Tribal Council meeting following their election which shall be held no sooner than fourteen (14) days after the election date, provided that, the candidate has taken and passed all drug testing and/or background investigations as may be required by this Constitution. Provided however, if a valid election dispute should arise, installation of any candidate for a position that is the subject of an election dispute may be postponed until a resolution of the dispute has been reached in accordance with the Tribe’s election ordinance.
Section 5. STANDARDS OF BEHAVIOR FOR TRIBAL COUNCIL
Any Tribal Citizen, either resident or non-resident who is a candidate for a position on the Tribal Council, or any tribal committee, shall seek this position for the sole purpose of representing the best interests of the Tribal Citizens of the Wiyot Tribe. Any Tribal Citizen seeking an elected or appointed tribal office shall be unbiased and non-prejudicial towards their fellow Tribal Citizens while acting in their official capacity. The Tribal Council shall adopt a Code of Conduct consistent with this Constitution, within six (6) months of the effective date of this section, which shall set forth standards of conduct for tribal officials, including rules governing conflict of interest and nepotism. Pursuant to the Tribe’s Code of Conduct, actions that evidence conflicts of interest, moral turpitude or malfeasance shall be avoided. Violations of the Oath of Office or the Code of Conduct will not be tolerated and will result in immediate dismissal pursuant to this Constitution.