Tribal election polls may leave it up to absentee ballots
Tribal election polls Saturday recorded 1,619 votes in the election races for seven Colville Business Council seats, many of which will be determined with the count of absentee ballots on Thursday.
In the Nespelem District, Ricky Gabriel polled narrowly ahead of Deb Louie 117-101 for Position 1. Neither is an incumbent but they’ve both held the job before.
For Nespelem Position 2, incumbent Andrew Joseph Jr. garnered 209 votes to Enid Wippel’s 89.
There were 423 absentee ballots to count for the Nespelem District as of Tuesday afternoon. Ballots yet to be received and postmarked by June 15 can still be counted.
Jack Ferguson out-polled John Stensgar for the Keller District Postion 1 seat 57-32. Keller had 106 absentees in.
In Inchelium, Stevey Seymour got 109 votes to David Madera’s 74 for Position 1. Allen Hammond led Lou Stone 134-46 for Position 2, with 187 absentee ballots to count.
In Omak, incumbents commanded healthy leads at the polls. Ernest “Sneena” Brooks led Shirley K. Charley 235-127. And Benny Marchand Jr gained 209 votes to Michael E. Marchand’s 157. The tribal elections office had 248 absentee ballots from Omak to tally on Thursday.
The Colville Business Council is the governing body of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Half of its 14-member body are elected each year to represent more than 9,000 members.