ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Former tribal veep fell just three votes shy of council seat.
Oliver Enjady, a noted artist and former tribal vice president, has won his bid for a recount in last week's election for Tribal Council, in which he fell just three votes short of his nearest rival, the Ruidoso News reported on its Web site.
But Enjady failed to persuade the tribe's election board to allow an independent observer oversee the recount, the News reported.
The top vote-getters in last Tuesday's election for the four open seats on the Mescalero Tribal Council were Larry Shay, 509 votes; Carleton Naiche-Palmer, 495 votes; incumbent Raymond Kirgan, 465 votes; and Alfred LaPaz, 459 votes, according to the News.
Enjady received three votes fewer than LaPaz in the election board's certified results, the News said.
But Enjady claimed in his request for a recount that the numbers of votes on voting machines didn't tally with the certified results, once invalid and spoiled ballots were tossed out, according to the News.
"It's tainted and the certification is tainted," Enjady told the News on Tuesday. "Either the election board or the tribal council has to do its duty and call for a new election, which I really don't like."
"We're just trying to be fair and (Enjady) is entitled to have a recount and we are giving him that courtesy," election board chairwoman Glenda Brusuelas told the paper.