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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —The June 23 Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians 2016 General Election has been contested by Sault Tribe member Isaac McKechnie. The tribe's Election Committee has ruled against McKechnie, who has until July 7 to appeal.

McKechnie's contest was made under a tribal law that allows just such a challenge. His contest is based on the tribe's Election Committee retrieving the locked box that holds the ballots from the Sault Ste. Marie Post Office at 4:30 p.m., rather than the customary 5:00 p.m., on Election Day. McKechnie also alleges that the Election Committee's actions warrant an investigation by the federal government.

According to the Election Committee, the ballot box was retrieved a half hour early at the direction of the Sault Ste. Marie US Post Office Postmaster. The Election Committee has already ruled against McKechnie, who now has until Thursday, July 7, to challenge the adverse decision in the Sault Ste. Marie Tribal Court of Appeals.

Due to the filing of the contest, the Election Committee is prohibited by tribal law from immediately certifying the election and installing the winners as is normally done. If McKechnie does not appeal the adverse decision by next Thursday, the Election Committee will ask the Board of Directors to convene next Thursday evening to certify the election and install the winners. If McKechnie appeals the decision, the certification and installation of the election will be postponed until the appeal is concluded, approximately one to three weeks.

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY