Couchiching voters are choosing a chief and six councillors in band elections being held today.
Voting runs from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. at the multi-use facility.
The votes will be counted immediately after the polls close and the results will be declared right after the count, which usually ends by 2 or 3 a.m.
“It is important to have your votes counted because it effects this generation, as well as future generations,” said band executive director Patrick Morrisseau.
He added at least one-fifth of the eligible voting population cast a ballot at the last election.
The number of eligible voters in Couchiching is 2,039.
Chief Brian Perrault has been nominated to run in the upcoming election.
Bill Perreault, Delray Bruyere, Daniel Morrisseau, Scott McPherson, and Nikki Perrault also were nominated and will run for the position of chief.
Meanwhile, there are 22 people running for the six seats on council.
Current councillors Bill Perrault, David Bruyere, Lucille Morrisseau, Patrick Morrisseau, and Dean Bruyere all were nominated and are seeking re-election.
The other nominees include Joan Mainville, Sandra Windego, Margie Derendorf-Caul, Ronald Archie, Christine Jourdain, Robert P. Adams, Marilyn Allan, Norman Bruyere, Priscilla Simard, Gary Adams, Joanne Bruyere, Dan Morrisseau, Sandy Bruyere, Misty Perrault, Calvin Morrisseau Sr., and Telford Bruyere.
The candidates were nominated at a meeting held Jan. 17 at the multi-use facility.
In Couchiching, there is an election cycle every two years. But Patrick Morrisseau would like to see it changed to a four-year one.
“If it were a four-year election cycle, we would have a better opportunity to see through the programs and initiatives we want implemented,” he reasoned.
“For us, this is hopefully the last year we will have a two-year election [cycle].”
Morrisseau added many reserves across Canada are moving to a four-year term, and he hopes the change will be ratified by local band members.
The new chief and council will go into effect March 8.