The People Have Decided
A total of 1,666 votes were cast in the 2016 General Election on September 6 at two polling sites within the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
The Salt River Community Building was the District I polling site, and the Lehi Community Building was the District II polling site.
Polls were open at 6 a.m. at both locations. The six Community members running in the election were outside the polls encouraging members to vote, as they handed out promotional items, food and water.
The election was for two Tribal Council seats in District I–Salt River and one Tribal Council seat in District II–Lehi.
Incumbent Archie Kashoya received the most votes for District I–Salt River, followed by incumbent Ricardo Leonard.
“I think the Community is getting larger and it takes more dedication from our Council to look at the issues the Community has and to look at the finances and balance the budget correctly,” Leonard said. “There are so many issues, like the young people out there with special needs, such as housing, and just overall support from [the] Community. There are a lot of drug and alcohol issues that need to be [managed] and also [we need to provide] a lot of support towards our seniors.”
The election results from District I were Archie Kashoya, 417 votes; Ricardo Leonard, 389; Elaina Osife, 351; and Royce Manuel, 308.
“I think I have learned what self-governance is about. The issues are real and I think this gave me the opportunity to see which way I can change my thoughts and […] think outside of that box,” said Kashoya on his experience of being a Council member. “This year I want to push anything that has been for the Community, like jobs, education and health. It doesn’t stop here—I am always available, and if anyone wants to talk to me, I am here.”
|Council woman Deanna Scabby has been re-elected for a fourth term, representing District II - Lehi. Here, she is congratulated by a Community member.|
In District I, 760 Community members voted and could select up to two candidates. Thirty-nine people voted absentee. Three ballots were spoiled and not counted. Write-in votes were not allowed in District I, while they were allowed in District II because it didn’t have a primary election.
In District II, incumbent Deanna Scabby received 135 votes and Kimberly Manuel received 64 votes. Write-in candidates received two votes, bringing the total ballots cast to 201. Three absentee ballots were cast, and three ballots were spoiled and not counted.
Scabby has completed three terms as a Council member. This year, she plans to focus on the new health facility in order to provide better services for Community members.
“I will do the very best that I can, as I’ve always done,” Scabby said. “I work very hard, and I don’t take for granted the responsibility [of serving on Council]. I appreciate the trust that the members who have voted for me, as well as those who didn’t vote for me, [have instilled in me].
“I know that after 10 years of service to the Community, there’s always room for improvement,” she continued. “[I intend to] become more rounded as a leader. I just want to thank the Community for allowing me to be a representative of the people here. I truly appreciate it; I appreciate them as a whole, I appreciate my family who supports me, and of course all of the members of Council who sacrifice a lot of our time [away] from our families.”
|Community members took turns congratulating and taking pictures of the elected Council members.|
The SRPMIC Council certified the preliminary election results at the Salt River Community Building shortly after the results were released to the public. Candidates had 24 hours to contest the election results. It was not known if the results would be contested by the time this issue of Au-Authm Action News went to press.
Candidates and their families celebrated and congratulated each other after the results were certified.
The three Council members will be sworn in on December 16 during the 2016 SRPMIC Inauguration held at Talking Stick Resort.