As most Blackfeet voters know, their Tribe is constitutionally required to hold in-person voting in Tribal elections. This means off-Reservation members must travel to the polling place in Browning (this year it’s at Blackfeet Community College) in order to have their votes counted. It also means Tribal members are legally prohibited from voting by mail.
In the absence of a constitutional amendment, this puts the Tribe in the position of creating an environment in which voters will feel it is safe to make their choices on the four seats available this election cycle.
Tribal Election Administrator Becky Rosenberger said the first five voting precincts will cast their ballots at BCC.
“It will be entirely a drive-up process from the safety of the vehicle,” she said. “The election employees will be wearing masks and gloves and carrying disinfectant, along with many pencils. When one pencil is used, it will be sprayed with disinfectant and a new one will be given to the next voter.”
The remaining six precincts will vote mostly in Head Start buildings, Rosenberger said, where voters will enter one-by-one in the front entrance, vote, and exit by another doorway, reducing the possibility of interaction among voters.
Browning Precinct 6 will vote at the Starr School Head Start while Browning Precinct 7 will vote at the Babb Head Start. Heart Butte Precinct 8 votes at the Heart Butte Head Start Center while voters in Seville Precinct 9 will vote at their Head Start Center. Old Agency Precinct 10 votes at the Galbreath Residence, and Old Agency Precinct 11 votes at the East Glacier Park Head Start Center.
The Blackfeet Primary is slated for Tuesday, June 2, while the General Election will be held on Tuesday, June 30. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.