New Election Rules automatically register all Tribal Members 18 and older to vote in Tribal Elections.

July 17, 2023.  

With the passage of the "Equal Protections in Sault Tribe Voter Registration" Resolution on July 11 all Tribal Members 18 and older are now automatically registered to vote in Tribal Elections.  

With the passage of this resolution those newly registered voters living outside the Seven Units are given the ability to pick which Unit they wish to vote in. Some think that measure is cause for concern because it opens up the possibility that Members living outside the Seven Units can be influenced to switch Units in attempt to vote out or vote in Tribal Board Members meant to represent Members living in that Unit or Members that have proven ties to that Unit.

Other concerns are that although this resolution may be a cost saving measure and may be helpful to voter participation, it also appears that the motivation for this new resolution may be to "automatically" increase the threshold for signatures on petitions for recalls and referendums significantly.  The resolution makes it much harder for the organizers of the recent recalls and referendums to place items on the ballot or call for a special election in the future because they will need to gather thousands of signatures instead of a few hundred.  To compound those suspicions, the vote to approve this resolution happened moments after those voting in favor of this resolution refused to review two Tribal Board Recall Petitions provided by Tribal Members that met the previous requirements needed to hold a Recall Election. There was no clear indication of what will happen to those Recall Petitions at this time.  

The Tribal Board Members that sponsored the resolution refused to disclose the author of the resolution though asked several times to provide the information by the Board Members that voted against the change in the election rules and regulations. It is unclear why the resolution sponsors would not disclose the authors of the changes to our rules for elections.