NISHNAWBE ASKI NATION
ELECTION PROCEDURES FOR THE OFFICES OF GRAND CHIEF AND
DEPUTY GRAND CHIEFS


1. General

1.1 Executive Council Offices

(1) The following offices within the NAN Executive Council are open for election:

a) Grand Chief
b) Three Deputy Grand Chiefs

(2) No person is to hold more than one office simultaneously.

1.2 Term

(1) The term of office shall be three years.

(2) The term commences immediately upon election.

1.3 Date and Place of Elections

Elections shall be held every third Keewaywin conference, in a NAN First Nation, the location of which is determined from time to time in advance of the selected dates. Election years are every three years as follows: 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012 and so on.

2. Voters

2.1 Eligible voters

(1) The Chiefs of the recognized NAN First Nations or their proxyholding delegates are eligible to vote.

(2) The Chiefs of First Nations who are associate members of NAN are not eligible to vote for Executive Council officers.

2.2 Number of Votes

Each NAN First Nation Chief or proxy holding delegate is entitled to one vote for the position of Grand Chief, and three votes for the positions of Deputy Grand Chiefs. This is total of 4 votes per Chief or recognized proxy.

2.3 Proxies

(2) A First Nation may delegate a member of Council or some other person to attend and/or vote on behalf of the First Nation.

(3) Proxies must be in writing, on First Nation letterhead, signed by the Chief, or in a Band Council Resolution format.

(4) Proxy letters, in the prescribed format, must be received by the Electoral Officer by 5:00 pm the day before the election.

(5) The electoral officer shall verify proxies. Any proxy letter received not in the prescribed format will not be recognized.

(6) Proxies must be members of a NAN First Nation.

(7) No one may hold more than one proxy.

(8) No one can be the proxy of a proxy.

3. Candidates

3.1 Eligibility of Candidates

(1) Each Candidate must be:

a) A status Indian
b) A member of a recognized NAN First Nation.
c) 18 years of age at the time of the election

(2) Each candidate must have a Nominator/Mover and a Seconder before his or her name can stand for election.

(3) Each candidate must verify, in writing, with the Electoral Officer that he or she is eligible and willing to run for office. This written verification must be received by the Electoral Officer 30 days before the election day.

4. Nominations

4.1

All nominations for Grand Chief and Deputy Grand Chiefs must meet the following criteria:

(1) Shall be supported by and signed by two (2) NAN Chiefs (1 - nominator/mover and 1 seconder)

(2) Shall be in writing and received by the Electoral Officer by facsimile, courier, mail or by personal delivery;

(3) Shall be received by the Electoral Officer by midnight, thirty days before the election day.

4.2

A Chief may nominate or second one candidate for Grand Chief and up to three candidates for Deputy Grand Chief.

4.3 Verification of Nominations

(1) All nominations shall be verified with respect to the eligibility of the candidates and their willingness to stand for office. All nominations must be verified with the mover and seconder.

(2) Once a nomination is moved and seconded and verified, the mover and seconder do not need to be in attendance at the time of voting.

(3) The Electoral Officer shall time and date stamp all nominations when they are received.

4.4 Procedure

A list of the candidates for Grand Chief and for Deputy Grand Chiefs shall be circulated by facsimile and mail to all NAN First Nations and Tribal Councils within seven days after the closing date for nominations, which is 30 days before the date of the election.

4.5 Withdrawals

(1) A candidate may withdraw his or her nomination at anytime before the election, by delivering notice, in writing, to the Electoral Officer.

(2) If a candidate is nominated for more than one office, he or she must elect in writing which office he or she wishes to seek. If this is not done within four days of the close of the nominations, the first nomination received shall stand.

4.6 Acclamation

(2) If there is only one candidate for a position, the mover and seconder of the nomination will bring forward a resolution to the voting delegates at the Keewaywin Conference to acclaim the candidate. If the mover and the seconder are not in attendance, any Chief or delegate may bring forward a resolution to acclaim the candidate.

(2) If the candidate is not acclaimed by resolution, the Electoral Officer will re-open the nomination process and conduct an election for that position, at such time as the Chiefs direct.

5. Election Officials

5.1 Appointment of Electoral Officer

(1) The appointment of the Electoral Officer will be made by the Chiefs Finance Committee at least 60 days in advance of the election date. The Electoral Officer must be in office a minimum of 60 days in advance of the election date.

(2) Notice of this appointment shall be sent to NAN First Nations immediately upon the finalization of the appointment. The notice shall be sent by electronic transmission to all Chiefs and Tribal Councils within 24 hours of the appointment.

(3) The Electoral Officer shall remain in office until two (2) weeks after the election.

5.2 Criteria for Electoral Officer

(1) The Electoral Officer shall be an independent, impartial person acceptable to the Chiefs of NAN. The Electoral Officer shall not be an employee of NAN, a First Nations Council, a NAN First Nation or a NAN organization.

(2) The Electoral Officer can have no direct or indirect relationship, be it professional or personal, with any candidate. In the event that the Electoral Officer is found to be related to any candidate, he/she shall declare an immediate conflict of interest and remove him/herself from office.

(3) The Electoral Officer can be removed for cause by resolution of the Chiefs in Assembly.

5.3 Duties of the Electoral Officer

(1) Issue notice of the election date and location to all NAN First Nations, Wawatay Newspaper, Tribal Councils, NAN office and NAN organizations.

(3) Issue the election rules to all NAN First Nations and Tribal Councils.

(3) Receive nominations for all positions. Ensure nominations are received within the allowed time.

(4) Verify all nominations by contacting movers and seconders.

(5) Confirm willingness of the Candidates to stand for office.

(6) Circulate nominations to all NAN Chiefs.

(7) Verify the proxies and prepare the voters list.

(8) Prepare ballots.

(9) Preside Over the voting process. Post and announce the rules and procedures for voting at the polling station and in other conspicuous places around the conference area. Ensure all rules are complied with on election day.

(10) Deal with all matters arising out of the course of the campaign and make any rulings as required.

(11) Count the ballots and conduct recounts if necessary.

(12) Announce the results of the election at the Keewaywin Conference.

(13) Investigate protests or complaints.

(14) Monitor campaign spending by examining the candidates' disclosure of their spending. Ensure that spending limits are applied fairly and consistently to all candidates.

(15) Destroy ballots on the last day the Electoral Officer is in office,

(16) Submit a written report of the election results, decisions made and related matters within two (2) weeks after the election to all the Chiefs of NAN.

5.4

The Electoral Office may use the staff, equipment and supplies of the NAN office to carry out his/her duties.

6.0 Conduct of the Campaign

6.1 Spending Limits

(l) No candidate shall spend more than $10,000 on his/her campaign.

(2) Candidates shall submit a financial statement or other record of their campaign spending to the Electoral Officer up to 5:00 pm the day before the election.

(3) The Chief Electoral Officer shall disqualify any candidate who does not submit a financial statement or whose financial statement appears, upon reasonable grounds, to be false.

(4) Upon request, the Electoral Officer shall make the Candidates' financial statements available to any Chief or Proxy during the election.

6.2 Indemnification and Evaluation of Support in Kind

Use of the facilities, staff and equipment of an organization, agency, business or private individual other than the candidate must be treated as an expense and/or contribution in kind. Receipts for services and equipment used must be obtained from the organization used and submitted to the Electoral Officer for verification.

6.3 Utilization of Organizational Resources During Campaign

(1) The resources of organizations should not be utilized by candidates unless such services, equipment and materials are paid for at an appropriate commercial rate. Such use and documentation of payment must be reported by the candidate to the Electoral Officer.

(2) Candidates may not utilize their position or paid work time to campaign. Wages earned while campaigning must be declared as well as the sources of payment. Where wages were earned while involved in campaign activity, the amount earned will be deducted from allowable campaign expenses.

6.4 Travel Expenses

(1) It is not the responsibility of NAN to pay for the Candidates' attendance at the Keewaywin Conference.

(2) Costs for attending the election at the Keewaywin Conference shall not be included in campaign expenses.

(3) NAN will only pay the transportation arrangements for those persons whose attendance is required at the conference in some other capacity.

6.5 Campaign Promises

Candidates should recognize that NAN must operate within budgets and internal policies respecting funding allocations to programs, employment hiring, and issuing of contracts for supplies and services.  NAN is not obligated to honour election promises of candidates where these conflict with budgets and policy.

7.0 Conduct of the Election

7.1 Registration

(1) All voter registration for the election shall cease before the commencement of the Keewaywin Conference and will be announced by the Electoral Officer.

(2) Voting shall commence at a time declared by the Electoral Officer following the Candidates' speeches.

(3) Each Chief or recognized proxy shall have one (1) vote for Grand Chief and three (3) votes for Deputy Grand Chiefs, for a total of 4 votes.

(4) No one shall hold more than one proxy.

(5) A proxy cannot appoint a proxy to take his/her place.

7.2 Speeches

(1) Speeches and voting for the position of Grand Chief shall take place first, immediately followed by the speeches and voting for the three (3) Deputy Grand Chiefs.

(2) All candidates running for office are entitled to twenty minutes each to give their speeches on the morning of the election. Speeches will commence immediately after the conference is called to Order. Two minutes before the deadline, the Electoral Officer shall warn the candidate. Any candidate who exceeds his or her time limit will be ruled out of order. The candidates shall draw lots to determine the order of speaking.

7.3 Polling Places

(1) A polling station will be established by the Electoral Officer in or near the conference room.

(2) There shall be no loitering or campaigning by anyone around the ballot box of the polling station.

(3) The Candidates running for office shall not be near the polling station when ballots are being cast. Anyone doing so will be disqualified by the Electoral Officer.

7.4 Style of Ballots

(1) The names of the candidates running for each position shall be listed in alphabetical order on the ballot in English, Cree and Ojibway.

(2) There shall be one ballot for Grand Chief and one ballot for the three Deputy Grand Chief positions.

(3) Secret ballots shall be used for the election of the four positions.

8.0 Voting

8.1 Voting List

(1) All voting delegates must sign for their ballot(s) indicating the First Nation they are representing.

(2) The Electoral Officer shall prepare the Voting List.

(3) All Chiefs or their designates are responsible for ensuring that their names are on the Voting List.

8.2 Marking

The voter is to mark his or her ballot by placing a cross or other mark within the space to the right of the Candidate's name. A ballot upon which there is any writing or mark by which the voter can be identified will be rejected.

8.3 Manner of Voting

(1) Instructions for the voters shall be posted both inside and outside the polling place.

(2) When a voter is in the polling station for the purpose of marking his or her ballot, no one else is to be allowed in. Special provisions will be made for receiving the votes of those who cannot read and otherwise unable to mark their ballots themselves.

8.4 Declaring a Winner

(1) A candidate must obtain fifty (50) per cent plus one of the votes cast to be elected.

(2) For the position of Grand Chief, if no candidate obtains fifty (50) per cent plus one vote of the votes cast on the first ballot, a second vote will be cast with all candidates' names on the ballot, except the candidate with the least votes resulting from the first vote. This process will continue until one candidate obtains fifty (50) per cent plus one vote of the ballots cast by the voters.

(3) For the position of Deputy Grand Chief, elections will be held by elimination ballot, with any candidate achieving 50 per cent plus one declared elected until each of three candidates have achieved the required fifty-one (51) per cent. On each vote, the candidate with the least number of votes will be eliminated on each round, until the positions are filled.

(4) Candidates may withdraw if they wish to do so voluntarily during the course of the balloting.

8.5 Tied Vote

In the event of a tie between two candidates, another vote shall be held. Before the vote, the two candidates shall be given the opportunity to address the Chiefs. Ballots will continue to be held until the tie between the two candidates is broken.

9. Counting and Returns

9.1 Counting of Ballots

(1) The Electoral Officer will declare the ballot box closed and sealed.

(2) He/She shall count the ballots with the scrutineers.

(3) Following the counting of the ballots and the announcing of the winners, all ballots will be returned to the ballot box which will then be resealed in the presence of the Candidates and scrutineers, and kept in the custody and possession of the Electoral Officer until his/her term is ended.

9.2 Scrutineers

All candidates are entitled to one scrutineer each when the ballots for their position are being counted.

9.3 Results

(l) The Electoral Officer will announce the election results to the Chiefs in Assembly immediately following the count.

(2) Unless otherwise instructed by the Chiefs, the ballots will be destroyed forty-eight (48) hours after the election is completed.

10.0 Recounts, Protests and Complaints

10.1. Recounts

(1) The Electoral Officer will conduct recounts at the request of any candidate.

(2) Scrutineers may be present during the recount(s).

10.2 Protests and Complaints

(1) Any NAN Chief or delegate or any candidate may protest the election with respect to any of the following matters;

a) Conduct of the campaign
b) Eligibility of any candidate, mover or seconder
c) Campaign overspending or breach of campaign finance rules
d) Conduct of the election/voting process

(2) A protest may be brought at any time before the election with respect to any alleged campaign violation, campaign spending or eligibility issue.

(3) A protest may be brought within twenty-four (24) hours after the election with respect to any irregularity in the election, voting or counting of votes.

(4) The Electoral Officer will investigate any protests and make rulings on them.

(5) A copy of all protests and a report on their resolution shall be made available to the Chiefs of NAN within ten (10) days following the election.

(6) The decisions of the Electoral Officer are final and not subject to appeal.

Approved by Chiefs Finance Committee Resolution dated May 20, 2003


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