The Tłı̨chǫ Grand Chief Election has been postponed until Nov. 18, 2021 due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the region, registrar Gabrielle Mackenzie-Scott said.
The election was originally scheduled for Sept. 30.
Behchokǫ̀ is experiencing community spread of COVID-19 and there are 16 cases there.
Mackenzie-Scott said in a news release that after consultations with the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer it was determined that it’s unsafe to conduct regular voting activities and in-person campaigning by candidates.
“All exchanges amongst people, including paper exchanges, need to be avoided at this time,” she said.
“Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, it is not possible for the Registrar to conduct the vote in a way that will provide Tłı̨chǫ voters the fair and equal opportunities they need to cast their ballot for Grand Chief during this unprecedented time.”
Mail-in ballots already received by the Registrar will be safely stored and counted.
Further information about revised election dates for mail-in ballots, special mobile polls, voting in the Office of
the Registrar and advance polls will be available on the election website at www.tlichoelection.com.
Three candidates are running for the position of Grand Chief, including the incumbent George Mackenzie, Eddie Erasmus and former Monfwi MLA Jackson Lafferty.
Erasmus was elected as Grand Chief in 2011 and re-elected in 2013.
Lafferty served as an MLA for 16 years before he resigned in June to join the Grand Chief election.