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No challenges filed so far in White Earth election

It's official: Brent Gish and Michael Fairbanks are the top two vote-getters in Tuesday's special primary election for White Earth tribal chairman.

The White Earth Election Board certified the results Wednesday. There were no changes from the preliminary results reported on Tuesday. No candidate has asked for a recount.

Tuesday at 4:30 p.m is the deadline for candidates to contest the Special Primary Election, which would be filed with the reservation election judge and the executive director of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

The Special Election last week was held to fill the remaining term of Chairman Terry Tibbetts, who passed away from an on-going illness on March 17. Tibbetts was elected to a four-year term in 2016.

In April, the tribe announced that eight tribal members applied for the Election Board and the White Earth RBC accepted all eight applicants. Appointed to the Board were: Joy Annette, Vernie Hisgun, Toni Vizenor and Mildred Fairbanks. Alternates are Beverly Smith, Doreen Clark, Pam Aspinwall and Mindy Wolbert.

The RBC appointed attorney Frank Bibeau as the White Earth Contest Judge. Bibeau was the contest judge for the White Earth Elections in 2018.

The Council also approved the AutoVote EPollBook system by Automated Election Services (AES) to provide more security and integrity to the electoral system.

Each polling site now has two EPollBooks connected by a secure internet connection to AutoVote hosted by AES. EPollBooks log into the AutoVote server with a unique user name and password identifying the particular polling site.

Voters are located in the EPollBook and if they are confirmed eligible, they sign the EPollBook capturing the signature electronically. The signature marks the voter status as "voted at the polls" and also captures the date and time.

The voter is then presented a ballot to mark and insert into the ballot tabulator. If a voter has already voted at another location or submitted an absentee ballot, the voter record is locked to prevent duplicate voting.