A recall election seeking to remove Cedric Cromwell and Gordon Harris from their positions as chairman and treasurer, respectively, of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council in Massachusetts will be held on September 15.
Cromwell and Harris were targeted for recall along with vice chairwoman Jessie “Little Doe” Baird in April 2019. Recall supporters cited wrongful conduct, a debt of $500 million owed to the tribe’s financial backer, Baird staying in office after she offered her resignation in January 2019, and Harris missing council meetings in February and April as reasons for the recall effort. The petition against Baird was deemed insufficient by the tribe’s election committee, but the petitions against Cromwell and Harris were approved to move forward with a recall election. None of the three targeted tribal members responded to the recall efforts against them.
The tribe’s constitution allows registered voters of the tribe to recall elected officials by turning in petitions with at least 100 voter signatures. Recall supporters and recall opponents will be both able to speak at a hearing prior to the recall votes. Both the hearing and the vote will occur on September 15. For the results of the vote to stand, at least “40 percent of the total number of registered voters who voted in the preceding annual election,” must vote in the recall election, according to the Cape Cod Times. To remove the officeholders from their positions, 60 percent of voters must vote in favor of the recall.