It’s a cliché, but it’s true: Every vote counts.
In the race for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s vice chair of the Board of Trustees, incumbent Jeremy Wolf received 370 votes and challenger Shana Radford also received 370 votes.
Chuck Sams, CTUIR spokesperson, said when the results came back Tuesday night, chair of the elections commission Andrea Hall reported the tie, triggering a recount.
“As soon as they saw there was a tie, they did a hand recount,” Sams said. “That took almost another two hours.”
The count confirmed the deadlock. Sams said tribal code calls for a runoff election to fill the seat. The election commission has to provide 90 days notice in advance of the runoff, which includes absentee voting. The date has not yet been set.
The tribes reported 758 members voted — 597 in person and 161 by absentee ballot. Sams said turnout was roughly 35 percent of eligible voters.
All results are unofficial until the Board of Trustees receives the certification of results by 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Overall, 20 tribal members filed to run for eight seats on the Board of Trustees, with one write-in campaign, and seven others sought four seats on the General Council.
Gary Burke retained his seat as board chair, defeating challenger Elwood Patawa 423 to 296.
In the treasurer race, Doris Wheeler defeated Eugene Stacona 526 to 207.
Kat Brigham also won her race for board secretary, defeating Cedric Wildbill 410 to 316.
Willie Sigo IV unseated incumbent Alan Crawford for general council chair by just 21 votes. Sigo received 266 and Crawford received 245. Dave Close finished third and Kyle McGuire fourth.
For the at-large positions, Aaron Ashley, Sally Kosey, Rosenda Shippentower and Woodrow Star won seats on the board. Ashley and Star are incumbents, Shippentower was board treasurer. Kosey is new to tribal government.
For council vice chair, newcomer Michael Ray Johnson ran unopposed and won, as did Shawn Gavin for general council secretary and incumbent Thomas Morning Owl for general council interpreter.
The newly elected officials take their oaths of office Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 9 a.m. at the Nixyaawii Governance Center.