Navajo Nation Certifies Results From Presidential Election

By Associated Press
May 06, 2015
Courtesy of Russell Begaye
Russell Begaye

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Final results from the Navajo Nation presidential election show Russell Begaye winning nearly 63 percent of the vote to defeat Joe Shirley Jr.

Begaye had 25,902 votes to Shirley's 15,245 in the April 21 contest. About one-third of Navajos registered to vote in the special election cast a ballot for president.

The results are slightly different from election night and reflect counts from provisional ballots. Shirley's campaign also had requested a manual recount of 10 precincts to check the voting systems.

Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez will be sworn in Tuesday. They succeed Ben Shelly and Rex Lee Jim, who served an extended term while officials sorted out the chaos that arose when one candidate was challenged on his ability to speak fluent Navajo as required by tribal law.