2023 Secretarial Election
This page is dedicated to reporting on the proposed amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.
See May 20, 2023 PDF Handout Here: Proposed Amendments to PLPT Constitution and By-laws 2023
See the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Constitution and By-Laws (with 2012 Amendments) here: Constitution & Bylaws
SPECIAL NOTE: All Pyramid Lake Tribal Members will be mailed Voter Registration Packets. All Tribal Members of eligible voting age *MUST* register to vote in this Federal Election!
90 Day Secretarial Election Timeline -Amendments Brief Overview
1: Secretarial Election request received by Agency containing:
- Document of amendment(s)
- Eligible Voter’s List
2.) Letter from Agency to Tribe acknowledging receipt of request.
3.) Agency will forward completed request to Region.
4.) Region will review and obtain legal review of request. (If needed correspond with PLPT Tribe on any suggested edits to proposed amendments and request an updated tribal request if needed.
Day 30 –
5.) Regional Direction will authorize Secretarial election and provide memo to Superintendent with instructions to call and conduct the Secretarial Election.
6.) Superintendent will appoint Chair of the Secretarial Election Board and by letter will request Trige to appoint at least two (2) Tribal Members to the Secretarial Election Board by close of business of 10th day of letter.
7.) Secretarial Election Board will have 1st Meeting within 5 days of appointment (discussing setting timeline, election packets, election process, etc…)
Day 60 –
8.) Send out Secretarial Election Notice Packets to all on eligible voters list.
9.) Registration Deadline (~14 days of when packets were mailed)
-Post Registered Voters List day of deadline or day after
10.) Challenges to Registered Voters List due.
– No time frame required by regulation but should allow time for mailing.
Challenges decided by Board within 3 days – post final Eligible Voter’s List (if applicable)
11.) Mail out Ballot Packet to those on final Registered Voters List
Day 90 –
12.) Ballots Due
(~14 days of when packets mailed)
– No specific time required by regulation
– Certify and post results
13.) Challenges to Election and other Secretarial Election material forwarded by Board to Regional Director for final decision – 45 days from election to decide.
14.) Regional Director has 45 days from election to decide on any challenges and approve/disapprove results.
Key Points to Proposals to Amendments:
Amendment A: Article III Governing Body
- Remove term limits on the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson. For example, person elected as Chair can run beyond the 2 year term.
- Change titles to gender inclusivity; i.e., Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Council Members
This removal of term limits on Chair and Vice-Chair can provide a smoother continuity within the government.
– Less change in leadership suggests that relationships have time to develop.
– Less change in leadership suggests that projects can be completed and not transitioned to the next elected leader.
Proposed Amendment B – Article IV Nominations and Elections
- Allow all members of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe to vote during the PLPT Tribal General Election by removing the residency requirement.
- The change will require continuous legal residency on the reservation for candidacy.
- Change titles to gender inclusivity, i.e., Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Council Members.
- Proposed voting/election changes will strengthen voting procedures by ordinance
Proposed Amendment C: Article V-Vacancies and Removal From Office
** This will add a new section to Article V.
The purpose will expand and define the legal residency requirement for staying and elected official. Amendment C to Article V-Vacancies and Removal from Office is so that every elected official must maintain continuous legal residency on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation for the entirety of their term, or be subject to removal.
Currently, the legal residency requirement is that the elected “must have lived on the Pyramid Lake Reservation for not less than one (1) year immediately preceding his announcement for candidacy.”
- Chairman and Vice Chairman. The chairman and vice-chairman shall be elected through popular vote and each shall serve for a term of two (2) years or until their successors elected. Candidates for the offices of chairman and vice-chairman shall be members of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, twenty-five (25) years of age or older at the time of election (see bylaws, Article II- Qualifications for Office, and must have lived continuously on the Pyramid Lake Reservation for not less than one (1) year immediately preceding his announcement of such candidacy. The chairman and vice-chairman may serve two (2) terms in succession.
- The councilmen shall be elected by eligible, voters of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and shall serve for a term of two (2) years or until their successors are elected; except that at the December election following the adoption of these amendments half of the councilmen receiving the highest number of votes shall serve a two (2) year term and the remaining half shall serve a period of one (1) year. Candidates for councilmen shall be members of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, twenty-five (25) years of age or older, and must have lived on the Pyramid Lake Reservation. for not less than one (1) year immediately preceding his announcement or such candidacy. All councilmen shall serve any number of terms in succession.
Proposed Amendment D- Article II-Membership
These proposed changes will inherit and strengthen Tribal self-governance without general oversight from these agencies. This section also proposes further definition of the council’s role in these listed procedures.
The purpose of Amendment D will be to:
- Article II-Membership
To allow Council to have the power to propose ordinances governing future membership and adoption of members by the tribe, provided that no existing property rights shall be affected by this section without review of the Secretary of the Interior.
- Article VI – Powers and Duties of the Tribal Council
Section 1. To allow fullest extent allowed under federal law without approval from Secretary of the Interior. Only actions under federal law or regulation will be subject to the Secretary of Interior’s approval.
* (h) to create/maintain PLPT Council Fund, and to require performance of community labor in lieu of or by levying taxes/license fees upon non-members doing business within the PLPT Reservation.
*(i) to provide ordinance for removal/exclusion from the PLPT Reservation whose presence may be injurious to members of the tribe.
*(j) to promote ordinances for purpose of safeguarding peace and safety of PLPT residents, and to establish courts for the adjudication of claims and disputes; for the trial and penalizing of all persons acting within the exterior boundaries of the PLPT Reservation charged with offenses as set in these ordinances.
*(k) to regulate the inheritance of trust property within the PLPT Reservation (property structured within the reservation)
*(l) to provide authoritative decree for the appointment of guardians for minors and mentally incapacitated PLPT Members.
Sec 2. Future powers- the PLPT Council may use futher powers delegated to the Tribe by the Secretary of the Interior or other equally authorized official or agency of the United States Government.
Section 3. Reserved Powers – any legal rights or powers but not expressly referred to in this constitution, shall not be abridged by this article, but may be exercised by the people of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe through the adoption of appropriate by-laws and Constitutional amendments.