Deadline to Challenge Signatures to Petition for Secretarial Election
A Petition for a Secretarial Election was submitted to the Secretary of Interior via the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on November 16, 2015. The Petition is requesting a vote on a constitutional amendment to lower the blood quantum from one-half (1/2) to one-quarter (1/4).
The BIA posted notice of the petition on November 19, 2015. The notice indicates that tribal members will have 15 days to raise challenges to signatures on the Petition.
The CURRENT regulations allow tribal members to have 30 days to challenge signatures to the petition. See 25 CFR §81.61.
However, the current regulations became effective on November 18, 2015. This is two (2) days after the petition was submitted to the BIA. Therefore, the BIA WILL NOT use the current regulations to control the Secretarial Election. Instead, the BIA will use the old regulations to control the process for the Secretarial Election.
This means that tribal members will have only 15 days to raise challenges to the signatures on the petition pursuant to 25 CFR §82.9 (2014).
John Antonio, the Superintendent for the BIA Southern Pueblos Agency, informed me that the deadline for tribal members to submit challenges to the signatures on the petition will be Friday, December 11, 2015. This is based on the notice of the petition being posted on November 19, 2015, and the BIA’s decision to use business days instead of calendar days.
You may examine the signatures on the petition at:
Southern Pueblos Agency
Building 1 –
Second Floor, Suite 254
1001 Indian School NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
For more information, you may contact John Antonio, Superintendent Southern Pueblos Agency at: (505) 563-3600.