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Recount of Navajo Nation presidential primary reveals uncounted votes

Ethel Branch
Felicia Fonseca
Associated Press
Former Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch is among four 2022 presidential primary candidates who are voicing concerns about transparency in the election and have requested a recount along with more information about election procedures, voting machines and ballots. Candidates Rosanna Jumbo-Fitch, Emily Ellison and Greg Bigman joined Branch in the request.

The full recount of the Navajo Nation’s presidential primary election has uncovered at least 36 uncounted votes. The Navajo Times reported that the 36 ballots were found Tuesday during the recount of the Chilchinbeto Chapter.

One of the ballots was actually from a different chapter entirely – the Coppermine Chapter. Officials told the Navajo Times that the newly discovered ballot had not yet been counted.

The election board opted to recount the ballots of all 110 chapters from the primary election after concerns voiced by more than half of the candidates over transparency, voting machines, ballots and other details related to the race.

Navajo Election Administration officials say the recount is expected to last until Friday.

Incumbent Navajo President Jonathan Nez and Buu Nygren will face off in the November general election.