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Election Complaint Dismissed

Election Complaint Dismissed
January 08
07:20 2019

Navajo Nation Council Delegate Leonard Tsosie’s bid to overturn the 2018 election result was dismissed by the Navajo Office of Hearings and Appeals. In November Tsosie lost his re-election bid to delegate-elect Daniel Tso. But Tsosie soon filed a complaint against Tso, the Navajo Board of Election Supervisors and the Navajo Election Administration.

Tsosie argued that he lost the election due to problems in the election office; namely insufficient ballots and ballots being voided because voters were incorrectly filling out the referendum portion of the ballot. The referendum pertained to the question of pay increases for the president and vice president. The referendum did not pass. According to the official election results electronically posted on the election board and office website Tso received 1,582 votes to Tsosie’s 1,225.

After four hours of testimony, OHA Senior Hearing Officer Richie Nez dismissed Tsosie’s complaint. Tsosie did not feel that he was getting a fair hearing and had requested Nez step aside and a new hearing officer be appointed. Nez denied that request.

Nez also denied Tsosie’s bid for a continuance. Tsosie argued that he should have been allowed to submit evidence of election problems in all 110 Navajo chapters. However Tso and the election officials countered that Tsosie should only be allowed to present evidence from the eight chapters that he represented. Tso agreed with Nez’s dismissal, saying that Tsosie was on a fishing expedition. However Tsosie wasn’t ready to surrender. He said he will consider appealing to the Navajo Supreme Court.

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