Washoe Tribal elections complete -- results held for five days

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Twelve-year-incumbent Brian Wallace appears to have won a fourth term as the Washoe Tribal chairman after Saturday's general election, according to tribal member Bernadette Markussen.

The results of the election will not be official until a mandatory five-day waiting period -- allowing tribal members time to file any grievances with the Election Board -- is satisfied.

"I don't recall the exact numbers, but it was Wallace by a considerable amount," said Markussen. "The margin was great enough that people aren't going to be able to argue that it was close. He got almost double the amount of any other candidate."

If anyone wants to contest the election, they must file a written complaint with the elections board by Friday, according to Markussen.

The five-day waiting period "is a section within an ordinance which deals with contested election," said Washoe Tribal Election Board Chairman Steven Dressler. He would not confirm or deny the results of the election until after the waiting period.

According to Markussen, Alfred Granados of San Francisco, who is planning to retire in Gardnerville, received the second-largest amount of votes and Benny Mills of Carson City received the third largest amount. Although Markussen could not place them in the order they finished in the race for tribal chair, the other three candidates were Steven Dexter of Carson City, Joseph Art Sam of Bridgeport, Calif. and Kathy Wyatt.

Markussen said there were no problems between voters during Saturday's election.

"No one tried to protest," she said. "Everyone was mingling together and laughing during the breaks."

Dressler was happy with the number of voters who turned out.

"I think it turned out better than we expected," he said. "We've had a lot of voter apathy in the community. But if you look at Washoe County, with only a 30 percent turn out, we look pretty good. We're showing numbers greater than surrounding communities are showing."

Dressler said that 490 tribal members voted out of the 1,100 eligible voters -- for a total of about 44 percent. The Washoe tribe has about 1,600 total members, according to Dressler.

"The people all came together to show their unity," he said. "They were well informed and they voted with their hearts."

Polling stations were at the Carson City colony gym, the Stewart Community Center, the Woodfords fire house, Dresslerville gym and Reno/Sparks multi-purpose room.


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