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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —A Sault Tribe election campaign violation occurred in April that resulted in a sanction and penalty, but the candidate remains on the ballot. Unit I Candidate Austin Lowes violated Election Ordinance Section 10.112(2) by campaigning on the premises of the Sault Ste. Marie MidJim, a tribal enterprise.

The Election Committee received a written complaint from a Sault MidJim employee April 17 alleging Candidate Austin Lowes violated the Election Ordinance while at the MidJim. Lowes admitted, on the day in question, that while pumping gas at the MidJim in Sault Ste. Marie, a member approached him and requested to sign Lowes' nominating petition. The member then took the nominating petition inside the MidJim and procured four more signatures and then brought the petition back outside to Lowes. The person who took the nominating petition into the MidJim did not sign the petition as the circulator.

Two ordinances were violated. Section 10.111 (S)(d) of the Election Ordinance provides, "each page clearly stating the full name of the Candidate, to include Jr., Sr., I, II, III, etc., the office being sought, the Election Unit which the office represents, if applicable, and the name of the person circulating the petition." Section 10.112(2) of the Election Ordinance provides, "No Campaigning shall take place in any of the tribal offices, tribal enterprises or majority owned subsidiaries, tribally owned property, or tribally sanctioned events or functions, or those areas reasonably required as access sot any of the forgoing locations, except as allowed in Subsections (5) and (6)2.

The Election Committee imposed two sanctions on Lowes. The five signatures procured at the Midjim on April 20 are voided, and the decision will be published "as a reminder to all current Candidates and future Candidates the importance of following becoming familiar with and following all of the rules
contained in the Election Ordinance."

Lowes remaining signatures were enough to keep him on the ballot.

A full copy of the Election Committee’s Decision can be obtained by contacting Election Committee Chairman James McKerchie.

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY