Ensuring Safe and Fair Tribal Elections

Attend this LIVE, ONLINE TRAINING presented by our expert, who will be using all the interactive training tools used in the classroom and more. You’ll be able to ask questions, respond to polls, and collaborate with others. Don’t let anything interrupt your training needs. Join us online and experience a different way of learning! Please click here for Distance Learning FAQs.


"I think all elected officials of a tribe should take this class, as well as their enrollment departments and election boards. I would recommend our tribal attorney attend too. This information is sorely needed by our tribe!" - Election Manager

Tribal elections can be the most controversial events on Indian reservations and now, with COVID-19, they can be unsafe for some tribal members. In this class, we’ll explore the basics of conducting a fair election and offer some emergency and long-term strategies that will help keep tribal members safe. We’ll go through the steps that election boards can take to facilitate a smooth process, increase voter confidence and set the stage for a successful transition period.

T O P I C S   I N C L U D E
Tribal Elections
  • Tribal vs. secretarial elections
  • Impact of elections
  • Delegation of authority
  • Constitutional principles
  • The election ordinance
  • Provisions of an election ordinance
  • Typical election problems
  • Elections and enrollment
  • Case studies — successful and unsuccessful elections, election fraud
Election Board
  • Selecting board members
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Authority of the board
  • Board decision appeals
  • Removal of board members
Voter Registration
  • Determining qualifications
  • Cut-off before elections
  • Off-reservation registration
  • Voter registration cards
  • Working with non-tribal registrars


  • By district
  • Publicizing results
  • Role of election officials
  • Absentee voting
  • Ballot security
  • The vote
  • Runoff election
  • Conducting referendum votes

How to Ensure Safe and Fair Elections

  • Emergency and long-term provisions
  • Vote by mail procedures
  • Vote in person procedures
  • Communicating changes in procedures
  • Encouraging participation
  • Easing deadlines and filing requirements
Election Ordinances
  • Authority
  • Purpose of ordinance
  • Conflicts with constitution
  • Approval of ordinance
  • Appeals
  • Sample ordinances

Election of Tribal Officials

  • Election dates
  • Sequencing events
  • Process for becoming a candidate:
    • Petitioning
    • Eligibility
    • Qualifications
  • Filling vacancies
  • Orderly transfer of power


  • Overview of modern elections technologies
  • Features and benefits of election software
  • Implementing a new system
  • Issues and challenges

*Topics subject to change.

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