By Jerome Tharaud/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
Chippewa Cree voters will choose a new tribal associate judge from among eight candidates in a special election at Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation on Tuesday.
The eight candidates are Enos Johnson, Richard "Moldy" Morsette, Mike Parker Sr., Lily Corcoran, Joanne Ahenakew, Valerie "Penny" Denny, Geneva Stump and Jody LaMere. Denny is the aunt of former Judge Crystal Lavern Denny, who resigned in February.
The election will take place in the old Stone Child College gymnasium at Rocky Boy between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters must be enrolled members of the Chippewa Cree Tribe over the age of 18, and must provide a tribal identification card at the polling place. Other forms of I.D., including driver's licenses, will not be accepted.
The results of the election are expected to be known before midnight on Tuesday, said Mary Ruth St. Pierre, a tribal election board member.
The new judge will be required by tribal law to take office within seven days after the election, and will serve out the rest of the current term until the general election in November 2004, St. Pierre said.
The tribal associate judge position has been vacant since Crystal Lavern Denny sent a letter of resignation to the tribal council on Feb. 20 after pleading guilty to a charge of obstruction of justice in U.S. District Court on Feb. 14.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, FBI agents discovered in June that Denny had warned a person to "put his stuff away" because the FBI had a search warrant for the person's residence.
Denny, 31, was elected in November of 2000.
St. Pierre said voter turnout on the reservation has been increasing, and the last two elections at Rocky Boy have had a turnout of 1,100 to 1,200 voters, but that normally there is a lower turnout when only one position is being filled.