Leadership of Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians

OP 15362-571 Chief Cinon Duro, 1906OP 15362-227 Juan Lachusa, Mesa Grande, ndOP 15362-44 Antonio Balenzuela, Mesa Grande, 1907OP 12550-156 Ramon LachusaOP 15362-488 Ysidro Nejo, Mesa Grande, 1927OP 12550-104 Angel Quip, 1908

The Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians Election Committee is in charge of notification, development, and counting voting results of Tribal Elections under Article IV of the Articles of Association, which is followed by a third party, California Indian Legal Services (CILS) to ensure non biased election ordinance is followed.

Next Election will be for nominations in October 2017 for the offices of Vice Chairman, Council seats 4 and 5 with inauguration in January 2018 for four (4) year terms. 

ARTICLE IV. – ELECTIONS:

  1. Any enrolled member of the Band, eighteen (18) years of age or older, shall have the right to vote and, if duly elected, to hold office. All election of officers shall be by secret ballot.
  2. Nominations for the Business Committee shall be made at a General Council meeting called for that purpose, and all nominees certified by the existing Business Committee shall have their names placed on the ballot.
  3. Members shall hold office until their successors are elected, qualified and installed. All nominations and elections whether for officers or by way of referendum, shall be conducted in accordance with and ordinance or ordinances adopted by the governing body which shall provide dates thereof, for polling places, election committees and their duties, absentee balloting and other necessary requirements.

Amended and restated Election Ordinance

ORDINANCE No. 3

An ordinance to govern all Elections of the Mesa Grande Band

WHEREAS, the Mesa Grande Articles of Association, approved by the Commissioner of Indians Affairs on February 3rd 1971, provided in Article IV, elections, that states… “All nominations and elections whether for officers or by way of referendum, shall be conducted in accordance with an ordinance or ordinances adopted by the governing body.”

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved, that the governing body of the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians hereby ordains the following election regulations and procedures.

  1. Eligibility to vote

Any enrolled member of the Band, resident or non-resident, having attained the age of eighteen (18) years on or prior to the date of election, shall be entitled to vote in an election of the Mesa Grande Band.

  1. Eligibility to hold office

Any eligible voter of the Band, if duly nominated and elected, shall be entitled to hold office.

  1. Nominations

Candidates for election as officers or members of the Business Committee shall be nominated from the floor at the General Council meeting called for that purpose, and eligibility of the nominees shall be verified from the current membership roll by the Chairman and Secretary-Treasurer. A motion to close nominations requires a two-thirds vote of the eligible voters in attendance at the nomination meeting.

  1. Calling of Elections

The Business Committee shall call elections which are specifically called for in the Articles of Association and shall call the elections as authorized by the General Council.

  1. Ballots

All ballots, whether for officers and members of the Business Committee or for referendum purposes, shall be accomplished by the secret ballot process on ballot forms prepared by the Business Committee.

  1. Electioneering

No electioneering will be permitted within two-hundred (200) feet of the voting place during the hours the polls are open.

  1. Appeals

Appeals resulting from actions of the Business Committee or the Election Committee in connection with elections shall be heard by the General Council at any regular or special meeting, and the complaints protesting the conduct of an election or results thereof shall be presented and settled within thirty (30) days following said election and none shall be considered thereafter the expiration of the thirty day period.

  1. Election Responsibilities

Election responsibilities shall be shared by the General Council, the Committee, the Election Board, and Interpreter. The division of duties shall be as follows:

  1. Duties of the General Council
    1. At the first meeting of the General Council following the biennial elections of a Business Committee, the General Council shall appoint an Election Committee consisting of a Judge and two (2) tellers to serve for a term of two (2) years. Vacancies on the Election Committee shall be filled by appointment of the General Council at any regular or special meeting.
    2. In the same manner provided for the appointment of an Election Committee, the General Council shall appoint an Interpreter to assist those voters who request assistance at the polls.
  • The General Council shall hear and settle all election appeals and complaints as provided in section 7, Appeals.
  1. Duties of the Business Committee
    1. Set the date, time and place of all elections.
    2. Prepare and post notices on the Reservation of the date of the meeting at which nominations for the Business Committee candidates will receive and mail a copy of such notices to all non-resident eligible voters.
  • Prepare and post notices on the reservation at least fifteen (15) days in advance of the date of all elections, giving the following information: (A) Purpose of the Election, (B) date, time and place of the election, (C) method of casting ballots, (D) where to obtain absentee ballots, (E) where to return absentee ballots, (F) date by which an absentee ballot must be received in order to be counted.
  1. Furnish the Election Committee with a copy of the election ordinance to inform the committee of its duties.
  2. Furnish the Election Committee with a supply of the election notices, and a copy of the current membership roll.
  3. Prepare ballot forms for use at the election polls for use by absentee voters, and furnish a supply of the same to the Election Committee.
  • Post the results of elections on the Reservation immediately following the elections, and notify absentee voters of the election results.
  • Furnish a report on results of all elections to the Bureau through the Southern California Agency
  1. Refer any written appeals or complaints regarding elections to the General Council at the next regular or special meeting following receipt of same.
  1. Duties of the Election Committee
    1. Prepare a list of eligible voters from the current membership roll and post the list on the reservation at least ten (10) days prior to the date of a called election.
    2. Mail a copy of the election notices and absentee ballots to each eligible voter who is a non-resident, furnishing a return envelope marked “Absentee Ballot” and give or mail election notices and absentee ballots to all eligible voters who request them.
    3. Prepare a list of eligible voters to whom election material was sent, the date of mailing and the date and time of receipt of returned ballot.
    4. Prepare a register of eligible voters for use at the polls.
    5. Supervise all elections as follows:
      1. Open the polls at the specified time
      2. The Judge shall announce the closing of the polls at the proper time, and no voting shall take place thereafter.
  • Make certain that the ballot box is empty, and then locked when the polls are opened, and that the box remains locked while the polls are open.
  1. When the polls are opened, remove the absentee ballots from their envelopes and place them folded in the ballot box.
  2. Enter the words “Voted absentee” opposite the name of each person on the voter’s register who voted absentee, and who’s ballot was returned within the required time.
  3. Require each eligible voter who votes at the polls to sign the register of eligible voters before they receive a ballot, and no person whose name is not on the voter’s register shall be given a ballot, and no person shall be allowed to vote by proxy, or to vote more than one at a time.
  • Following the closing of the polls, the Judge shall unlock the ballot box, and the tally shall take place with the Judge reading aloud the vote from the ballots, and the tellers keeping tally. A recount shall take place with one of the Tellers calling out the votes, and Judge and the other Teller keeping a tally. If the results of both counts are the same, it shall be called correct. If the two counts bring different results, the votes shall be counted twice, and so on, until agreement is reached.
  • The Election Board shall then prepare a written report of the election, including the number of voters and the results of the vote, and shall certify to its accuracy. The report shall be given promptly to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Business Committee.
  1. All election material shall be kept by the Judge under lock and key for thirty (30) days in the event of a protest or order for recount.
  1. Duties of the Interpreter
    1. The Interpreter shall be present at elections throughout the period when the polls open.
    2. The Interpreter shall remain in the vicinity of the voting booth or table, and shall concern himself only with giving requested assistance by explaining the voting procedure or the language used on the ballot, taking care not to express his opinions on the election issue, or to influence voting in any way.
  1. Terms of Office.
    1. All members of the Business Committee consisting of five (5) members shall be elected by the General Council to staggered terms beginning with the election commencing in the year At the election to be held in December year 2015, committee seats (1) Chairman and a Business Committee member (3) shall initially be elected for a term of four (4) years. Candidates for Vice Chairman (2) and the remaining two Business Committee seats four (4) and five (5) shall initially be elected for a term of two (2) years, beginning with inauguration on the General Council meeting of January 2016.
  1. 2019 Election. At the election to be held in December year 2019, those candidates who were first elected from seats (1) Chairman and (3) Business Committee member to serve a four (4) year term shall thereafter serve four (4) year terms.
  1. 2018 Election. At the election to be held in December year 2017, those candidates who were first elected for (2) Vice Chairman and Business Committee seats (4) and (5) to serve a two (2) year term shall thereafter serve four (4) year terms.
  1. 2015 Election. The tally of the most votes for the Business Committee candidate for seats three (3) four (4) and five (5) shall be seated as Business Committee member seat three (3) and shall serve the four (4) year term as specified in Terms in office Section A.

Previous Leadership Timeline

1903 Captain:  Narcisso LaChapa Policemen:  Salvador Duro and Julio Ortega Judge:  Antonio LaChappa

1904 Captain: Rafael Charley Judge:  Antonio LaChappa Policeman:  Salvador Duro

1905 No Information

1906 No Information

1907 No Information

1908 Captain:  Adolph Beresford, later, Antonio LaChappa Judge:  Tomas Curo Policeman:  Salvador Duro

1909 Captain:  Antonio LaChapa Judge:  Tomas Curo Judges, Court of Indian Offenses: Ramon Charlie, Roscindo Couro, Ysidro Nejo Policeman:  Luciano Guassac

1910 No Information

1911 Captain:  Arturo Charlie, later,  Richard Nejo

1912 Captain:  Richard Nejo Judge:  Antonio LaChappa Chief of Police:  Sylvester LaChappa

1913 Chief of Indian Police:  Sylvester LaChappa

1914 President:  Antonio LaChappa Policeman:  Charles Pena

1915 President:  Antonio LaChappa Judge:  Ysidro Nejo

1916 Committee:  Julio Ortega, Juan Diego LaChusa Chief of Police:  Charles Pena

1917 Committee:  Julio Ortega, Juan Diego LaChusa, Charles Pena

1918 Judge:  Julio Ortega

1919 Chief of Police:  Charles Pena

1920 No Information

1921 No Information

1922 No Information

1923 Captain:  Roscindo Curo

1924 Captain:  Roscindo Curo Judge:  Leandro Soto Policeman:  Ramon Charlie

1925 Captain:  Ramone Charlie Judge:  Roscindo Curo

1926 Captain:  Roscindo Curo

1927 No Information

1928 No Information

1929 No Information

1930 No Information

1931 Captain:  Roscindo Curo

1932 Captain:  Valentine LaChusa

1933 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Grace LaChusa, Ramon Charlie, Gilbert Clelland, Sebastian Guassac

1934 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa

1935 No Information

1936 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa

1937 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Ben Ortega, Jose LaChusa, Jose LaChappa, Grace LaChusa

1938 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Joe LaChappa, Joe LaChusa, James Pena, Grace LaChusa

1939 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members:Joe LaChusa, Joe LaChappa, James Pena, Grace LaChusa

1940 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Joe LaChappa, James Pena, Joe LaChusa, Grace LaChusa

1941 No Information

1942 No Information

1943 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Jose LaChusa, Grace LaChusa, Sebastian Guassac, James Lloyd

1944 No Elections due to WW2

1945 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: James Lloyd, Grace LaChusa, Felix Pena, Jose LaChusa

1946 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Grace LaChusa, James Lloyd, Joe LaChusa, James Pena

1947 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Grace LaChusa, James Lloyd, Frank Ortega, Joe LaChusa

1948 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Grace LaChusa, Joe LaChusa, Frank Ortega, James Lloyd

1949 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: James Lloyd, Frank Ortega, Grace LaChusa, Jose LaChusa

1950 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Frank Ortega, James Lloyd, Grace LaChusa, Joe LaChusa

1950 Special Election Spokesman:  Gilbert Clelland Committee members: Frank Ortega, Delmar Nejo, James Pena, David Kitchen

1951 Spokesman:  Delmar Nejo Committee members: Alex Ortega, Frank Ortega, James Pena, David Kitchen Secretary/Treasurer: Martha Pena Bolt

1952 Two Year Terms, No Election

1953 Spokesman:  Delmar Nejo Committee members: James Pena, David Kitchen, Alex Ortega, Frank Ortega Secretary/Treasurer: Martha Pena Bolt

1954 Spokesman:  Delmar Nejo Committee members: James Pena, Gilbert Clelland, Alex Ortega, Frank Ortega Secretary/Treasurer: Martha Pena Bolt

1955 Two Year Terms, No Election

1956 Spokesman:  Delmar Nejo Committee members: James Pena, Gilbert Clelland, Mabel Subish, Pauline Subish LaChusa Secretary/Treasurer: Martha Pena Bolt

1957 Two Year Terms, No Election

1957 Special Election Spokesman:  Charles Ponchetti Committee members: Rosa LaChusa, Laura Hamilton, Alex Ortega, Gilbert Clelland

1958 Spokesman:  Charles Ponchetti Committee members: Rosa LaChusa, Laura Hamilton, James Pena, Pauline LaChusa

1959 Spokesman:  Charles Ponchetti Committee members: Rosa LaChusa, Laura Hamilton, Lawrence Aguilar, James Pena

1960 Spokesman:  Charles Ponchetti Committee members: Laura Hamilton, John Aguilar, Rosa LaChusa, Virgil Oyos

1961 Spokesman:  Charles Ponchetti Committee members: Rose LaChusa, Laura Hamilton, Virgil Oyas, John Aguilar

1962 Spokesman:  Charles Ponchetti Committee members: Laura Hamilton, Jack Hamilton, Rosa LaChusa, Virgil Oyos

1963 Spokesman:  Charles Ponchetti Committee members: Rosa LaChusa, Laura Hamilton, Virgil Oyos, Aguado Gussac

1964 Spokesman:  Charles Ponchetti Committee members: Rosa LaChusa, Laura Hamilton, Virgil Oyos, Aguedo Gussac, Lila LaChusa

1965 Spokesman:  Charles Ponchetti Committee members: Laura Hamilton, Virgil Oyos, Manuel LaChappa, Aguedo Gussac, Lila LaChusa

1966 Spokesman:  Charles Ponchetti Committee members: Laura Hamilton, Virgil Oyos, Manuel LaChappa, Aguedo Guassac, Lila LaChusa

1967 Spokesman:  Charles Ponchetti Committee members: Laura Hamilton, Virgil Oyas (Oyos), Aguedo Guassac, Manuel LaChappa

1968 Spokesman:  Virgil Oyos Committee members: Laura Hamilton, Lila LaChusa, Manuel LaChappa, Julia Nejo

1969 Spokesman:  Virgil Oyos Committee members: Manuel LaChappa, Julia Nejo, Alex Ortega, John Moretti, Laura Hamilton

1970 Spokesman:  Claude Devers Committee members: Manuel LaChappa, Julia Nejo, Charles Ponchetti, Jessie Beresford

1971 Spokesman:  Claude Devers Committee members: Manuel LaChappa, Julia Nejo, Charles Ponchetti, Jessie Beresford, Fern Southcott