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President Nez & Vice President Lizer Looking Ahead

President Nez & Vice President Lizer Looking Ahead
November 11
14:47 2019

Vice President Lizer

Nez, Lizer Looking Ahead


It’s a little early for Thanksgiving, but the Navajo executive branch is giving thanks anyway.

On November 5 San Juan County voters turned thumbs down to the controversial Proposition 10. The final result wasn’t released until November 8.

But it was close. The measure, pushed by Blanding Mayor Joe Lyman, fell 153 votes short of passage.

“We thank everyone who got the word out to vote ‘no’ on Prop 10,” Navajo Vice President Myron Lizer said. “Native American people have been fighting for voting rights for a long period of time. Today, we embrace this victory and we hope that it sends a message across the country that we will stand up for our rights as the First Americans.”

The final tally was 1,967 in favor and 2,120 votes against.

Proposition 10 was a ballot measure that proposed to create a study committee to consider and possibly recommend changes to the structure of the county government.

“With Tuesday’s vote, the people have spoken loud and clear – it’s time to put this issue to rest,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said.

The defeat of Prop 10 should encourage all county officials to move forward with more meaningful initiatives like the improvement of school bus routes, stimulating the economy, creating jobs, and many other issues that will benefit all county residents, Nez added.

In 2018 Navajo candidates won two of the three commission seats. It was a historical first.

Almost immediately efforts began to undo the result. Opponents of the Navajo majority commission – though denying racism played any role – began by challenging the residency of one of the winning candidates, Willie Grayeyes.

Lyman and others soon began gathering signatures to put a referendum on the ballot for the November 5 special election.

Lyman argued that Prop 10 was about fair representation. Blanding, with some 3,700 residents, is the largest town in San Juan County, but the community was divided between the three existing voting districts.

That court-ordered redrawing of the San Juan County voting districts deprived Blanding of its voice, Lyman argued.

The redistricting was ordered after years of court battles between the county and the Navajo Nation.


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