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TALEQUAH, OKLAHOMA - Reminiscent of the 2000 US presidential election when the election results went all the way to the US Supreme Court, the Cherokee Nation's June 25 race for the office of Principal Chief has reached the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court.
The race in question is between current Principal Chief Chad Smith and Bill John Baker. The race has teetered back and forth since the June 25 election.
On July 1, an official recount, the Election Commission has released the results, naming Bill John Baker of Tahlequah the next Principal Chief. The official results show that Baker edged out Smith with a vote of 7,613 to 7,347, a difference of 266 votes.
On Tuesday, July 12, the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court issued an order that a manual hand recount of the ballots for the office of Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation in the 2011 General Election shall be conducted at the Cherokee Nation Election Commission Office on the 16th day of July, 2011.
The order continues that the Court will supervise the manual hand recount. The recount will begin at 8:30 am at the Election Commission.
In separate news to avoid future election , during a Tuesday, July 12 special Tribal Council meeting, the Council passed a measure recommending that the Cherokee Nation Election Commission obtain an independent election service company to assist the commission in conducting any upcoming run-off or special elections.
"Elections are where Cherokee citizens make primary decisions that affect all citizens. They need to have confidence in the way their elections are run," said Cherokee Nation Speaker of the Council Meredith Frailey last week as she called for the special meeting.
"The recent general election process, as presented to the public, has eroded their confidence. The recount vote tally in particular is inconsistent."
posted July 13, 2011 7:20 am edt
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