ROSEBUD, SD – Calvin “Hawkeye” Waln, Jr. received 941 votes to Trent “Okie” Poignee’s 680 votes last week during a Special Election held on the Rosebud to determine who would represent Antelope Community, the largest on the reservation, on the tribal council.
In the primary election held in July 2012, incumbent Scott Herman received the most votes with Waln in second place. However, Herman withdrew his name from the election in August after winning a challenge which was filed against him by Lenard Wright.
Initially, the RST Election Board had determined that all nine candidates who had originally filed for the open seat would be allowed to remain on the ballot for a special election set for September 20. Those candidates included: Louis Moran III, Emil P. Wilson, Shannon M. Shaw-Brill, James R. Leader Charge, Glen Yellow Eagle, Shawn Bordeaux, Calvin “Hawkeye” Waln, Jr., Trent Poignee and Dolores R. Barron.
However, Waln filed action in Tribal Court (Docket # Civ-12-389) against the Election Board and stated that the “Board violated the RST Constitution and his rights under the Indian Civil Rights Act by calling for a Special Election, instead of certifying he and candidate Herman for the seat and allowing the General Election to proceed or in the alternative declaring him the only certified candidate an either putting his name alone on the General Election ballot or declaring him victorious by default.”
RST Special Judge B.J. Jones denied Waln’s “request for a preliminary injunction against the Special Election to be held on September 20, 2012.” The order also read “The Court does hold, however, that the Special Election have only two candidates – the Plaintiff [Waln] and either the third leading vote-getter or next leading vote-getter should the higher vote-getter decline.”
The Election Board then concurred with Judge Jones’ decision and issued a public notice stating that only two candidates would appear on the ballot – Waln and Trent “Okie” Poignee.
An appeal to the ruling issued by Judge Jones was filed by Shawn Bordeaux, one of the candidates on the Antelope community ballot. But Rosebud’s Supreme Court did not issue an opinion on the appeal before September 20 and the reservation-wide election to choose Antelope’s tribal council representative proceeded as originally scheduled.
Also, Antelope Community held a special meeting on September 17 and approved a motion recommending that the Tribal Council appeal the Tribal Courts’ decision on the election for community representative. Community members felt the court decision violated both their civil rights and their right to vote in a candidate of their choice.
The Election Board did request that the Special Election set for September 20 be rescheduled for October 18, 2012 to allow time for the Tribal Supreme Court to deal with the action filed. The Tribal Council had a lengthy discussion on the issue during a meeting last week but did not respond to the Election Board’s request and the Special Election took place as scheduled.
Waln will be certified as the winning candidate after the challenge period expires on Friday, September 28, 2012. The Election Code states the candidates who are certified as winners are sworn in on the next business day.
For more information please call the Election Board at (605) 856-2373.