Yavapai-Apache Nation selects new council members-2017

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Election 2017:

Three new council members elected for the Nation’s council

By Don Decker, YAN News


Three new council members selected on September 16, 2017. Darlene Rubio (L), Thomasene Cardona and Genevieve Datsi.

Genevieve Datsi had 116 votes, with Darlene Rubio at 107 and Thomasene Cardona with 89 votes.

Cardona’s last minute absentee ballots of 18 put her over Billy Garner as Garner had been running a strong third place (78) next to Rubio and Datsi. Datsi did well with 55 votes in Middle Verde with Rubio (48) doing just as well with Middle Verde. Thomas Beauty received the second highest absentee ballots with 16 next to Cardona with 18.

Roberta Pavatea had been running a strong 4th next to Garner with 75 votes and when the absentee ballots were tabulated, Pavatea received 13 votes and displaced Garner at that point. With Pavatea’s total 88 votes, she was shy by one vote tying with Cardona whose final vote was 89.

There were a total of 392 votes cast with 55 absentee ballots with one spoiled absentee ballot.


Comments by the selected candidates at conclusion of voting tabulation

Genevieve Datsi said, “I feel like the people have spoken. It’s the people’s votes and it’s important and I’m happy.”


Darlene Rubio: “It was very nerve wracking with a lot of candidates did their part-the hardest. They did it from their heart and you could see it in their campaign, (they) used a lot of social media which is the new world today so it’s fast track and I think we’re going to be able to take care of the needs of the people.”


Thomasene Cardona:Was at the last minute. Well, the absentee ballots you know, was the game changer for me. I won by one vote.

That’s how important it is to participate and to go out and vote because it does make a difference. Had it gone different for me, I would still have been out in the community because the community is my purpose.”


One spoiled ballot confirmed by Election Board.

The ballots were counted  with one spoiled ballot from the absentee ballots which was not counted and was confirmed as spoiled by the Election Board after reviewing the ballot for over 10 minutes.

The automated machine was not able to read the ballot.

Brian Marquez, Election Board Chief Judge explained the ballot in question along with the remainder of the Election officials.

“There were a couple of spots and they didn’t erase it thoroughly and it was kind of dark and we can’t see that they marked it or not-they meant to erase, mark it again. We couldn’t make the determination they marked or not but we’re gonna run through a couple more times,” Marquez explained to the audience.

Voters pack the council chambers to witness the final tally of votes.

Marquez made all of the Election Board observe the questioned ballot in detail and the Election Board officials signed the spoiled ballot and it was re-sealed in an envelope for safe-keeping.

The Election Board will have 3 days to certify the election.

New council members will be sworn in after the 10- day waiting period if the election is not challenged.


YAN News Photos

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