A judge ruled that an upcoming general election must be rescheduled so it can be held in person as opposed to relying on mail-in ballots.
“A tribal court judge ruled Thursday that mail-in voting is against the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s constitution and ordered that the upcoming general election be rescheduled so it can be held in person,” a local news outlet summarized.
In the decision from Amanda L. WhiteEagle, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Alternate District Court Judge, she noted “the Constitution is the supreme law, and ordinances are to be consistent with the constitutional letter and spirit,” WhiteEagle said in the order.
The case, filed by tribal members including chairman candidate Aaron Tobey Jr, centered on whether or not ballot drop boxes could be viewed as polls in a manner consistent with the tribe’s constitution.
WhiteEagle ruled in favor of Tobey, noting that the defendants attempted a “linguistic somersault” by conflating a U.S. Postal Service a mailbox to a poll.
“As elected officials, we have the duty to do the right thing, and mail-in voting is not one of them, I’m glad the courts are enforcing the laws of the constitution. This is not the time to experiment with mail-in voting. Voting in person gives more confidence to the voters that the election will be a fair process,” Tobey noted.
“The election can be held safely, Tobey said, by following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines,” the outlet adds.