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Election fraud alleged in Red Lake runoff

RED LAKE, Minn. ñ Lloyd ìBuckî Jourdain was elected by a narrow margin in a runoff election on the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Reservation, only to have the tribal election board order another election.

Jourdain defeated Tribal Secretary Judy Roy in a July 19 runoff election, but was accused of fixing the election by buying votes and using tribal casino money and tribal vehicles to campaign.

The two were the top vote-getters in a four-person field at the regular tribal elections held in May, but neither had a clear majority of votes to be elected chairman, hence the July 19 runoff.

The Red Lake Election Board ruled, based on accusations by tribal member Archie King, that disparities occurred during the July 19 election and that another election must be held. Tribal council will be charged with selecting a new date for the election.

In a letter to the election board, King listed six charges, four of which were not accepted by the board. Two, including one based on signed affidavits that said Jourdain offered $40 to $100 to people for their votes, were included in Kingís complaint.

The complaint that Jourdain spent more than $1,600 to charter a bus to bring tribal members from Duluth to the reservation on Election Day and feed them was accepted by the board as well.

Jourdain has denied any of the allegations surrounding the July 19 election. He argues that tribal election law requires that any complaint be submitted within five days of the election and Kingís complaint was handed to the election board on the 25th, six days after the election.

Jourdain said he would ask for a full review of the decision at the next meeting of the tribal council, which is Aug. 8, and said he will take the oath of office during that meeting.

He contends that the election board overstepped its boundaries because it was not authorized to declare a new election. The boardís responsibility, Jourdain alleges, is to monitor and certify the election and rule on complaints regarding the counting of ballots.

Further, he argued that he was never served with any of the allegations and the board proceeded without any input from him, he claimed on the tribal Web site.

Tribal members said this is the first time they can remember that an election was challenged for other than ballot procedures, and that elections in the past have been subject to runoffs because of a lack of majority vote count for a candidate.

Tribal members said that this situation angered many people and created a tense atmosphere on the reservation.

Jourdain has served a short term; he was elected chairman in 2004 to finish the unexpired term of Gerald ìButchî Brun, who died from complications from a stroke.

Jourdain has also had his name and his familyís name in the news following the 2005 Red Lake School shooting that left 10 people dead. Jourdainís son, Louis, pleaded guilty to making threatening remarks through e-mail and Web sites in connection to that case.

RED LAKE, Minn. ñ Lloyd ìBuckî Jourdain was elected by a narrow margin in a runoff election on the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Reservation, only to have the tribal election board order another election.Jourdain defeated Tribal Secretary Judy Roy in a July 19 runoff election, but was accused of fixing the election by buying votes and using tribal casino money and tribal vehicles to campaign.The two were the top vote-getters in a four-person field at the regular tribal elections held in May, but neither had a clear majority of votes to be elected chairman, hence the July 19 runoff.The Red Lake Election Board ruled, based on accusations by tribal member Archie King, that disparities occurred during the July 19 election and that another election must be held. Tribal council will be charged with selecting a new date for the election.
In a letter to the election board, King listed six charges, four of which were not accepted by the board. Two, including one based on signed affidavits that said Jourdain offered $40 to $100 to people for their votes, were included in Kingís complaint.The complaint that Jourdain spent more than $1,600 to charter a bus to bring tribal members from Duluth to the reservation on Election Day and feed them was accepted by the board as well.Jourdain has denied any of the allegations surrounding the July 19 election. He argues that tribal election law requires that any complaint be submitted within five days of the election and Kingís complaint was handed to the election board on the 25th, six days after the election.Jourdain said he would ask for a full review of the decision at the next meeting of the tribal council, which is Aug. 8, and said he will take the oath of office during that meeting.He contends that the election board overstepped its boundaries because it was not authorized to declare a new election. The boardís responsibility, Jourdain alleges, is to monitor and certify the election and rule on complaints regarding the counting of ballots.Further, he argued that he was never served with any of the allegations and the board proceeded without any input from him, he claimed on the tribal Web site.Tribal members said this is the first time they can remember that an election was challenged for other than ballot procedures, and that elections in the past have been subject to runoffs because of a lack of majority vote count for a candidate.Tribal members said that this situation angered many people and created a tense atmosphere on the reservation.Jourdain has served a short term; he was elected chairman in 2004 to finish the unexpired term of Gerald ìButchî Brun, who died from complications from a stroke.Jourdain has also had his name and his familyís name in the news following the 2005 Red Lake School shooting that left 10 people dead. Jourdainís son, Louis, pleaded guilty to making threatening remarks through e-mail and Web sites in connection to that case.