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Ute Mountain Utes to hold tribal council election on Oct. 8

During Ute Mountain Ute elections, the vote count is done in public at the Ute Mountain Ute Community Center. The tally is overseen by the Election Board, election judges and security officials. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Two seats open on tribal council; polls open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Community Center in Towaoc

The Ute Mountain Utes will hold an election Oct. 8 for two open seats on the tribal council.

Tribal members may vote 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community Center in Towaoc.

The terms for council members Selwyn Whiteskunk and Alston Turtle are up for re-election. Both are seeking re-election, according to the Ute Mountain Election Department.

Challengers include Kenneth Bancroft, Mark Wing, Angelita Berry, Conrad Jacket, Mindy Lopez, Bradley Hight and Sandy Summa.

The candidates with highest and second-highest vote count will earn seats on the council. Tribal council are for three years.

The ballots will be counted by election department judges and staff after the polls close.

Ute Mountain Ute election officials Annabelle Talk and Simone Ketchum announce votes at a previous election while a security official looks on during the ballot count at the community center in Towaoc. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)

According to election procedures, each ballot is read aloud and verified by three election officials then tallied on a board. Ballots also are shown on a screen, and the whole process is recorded on video.

Voting is open to Ute Mountain Ute tribal members who are 18 and over. An ID is required.

The deadline for enrolled tribal members who live off the reservation to request an absentee ballot was Sept. 10.

Approximately 640 Ute Mountain tribal members are registered voters, according to Ute Mountain Ute election officials. Voter turnout for the 2020 tribal council election was 53%, or 343 ballots cast.