A second ballot is necessary to choose the next national chief of the Assembly of First Nations. At the top of the results with only a single vote separating them is Reginald Bellerose from Saskatchewan and RoseAnne Archibald from Ontario.
With 367 chiefs casting votes, Bellerose earned 91 and Archibald 90.
As per AFN Charter regulations candidates Cathy Martin (15 votes) and Lee Crowchild (7 votes) have been dropped from the second ballot.
Placing third is Alvin Fiddler from Ontario (79), fourth is Kevin T. Hart from Manitoba (44) and fifth is Jodi Calahoo-Stonehouse from Alberta (41).
For a candidate to be declared the next national chief, he or she must earn 60 per cent of the vote which is 221 votes. That number is based on the 367 chiefs and proxies who voted in the first ballot. However, that number may need to be slightly higher on the second ballot as, according to Chief Electoral Officer Ron Laufer, 406 chiefs and proxies have registered to vote.
Both Crowchild and Martin thanked their supporters, with Crowchild urging chiefs to “vote for real change.”
“I would like you to vote for those that are going to give real positive change. It’s not about what you can get from any of the candidates. This is real national change we are talking about,” said Crowchild.
If a third ballot is necessary, it will go ahead tonight despite earlier scheduling that had only two ballots taking place today.
Laufer said candidates had given unanimous consent to hold a third ballot if it is necessary.
Chiefs and proxies have from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. EDT to vote, with results for the second ballot scheduled to be announced at 7:15 p.m. EDT.
If a third ballot is needed, voting will take place from 7:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. EDT with results announced at 10 p.m. EDT.
By Shari Narine, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com, Windspeaker.com