Carter to Observe Tribe Vote

Tahlequah, OK – Carter Center to observe Cherokee chief election

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) A team from the Carter Center will observe the scheduled Sept. 24 election of a principle chief for the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma.

The election was scheduled after a June election ended with both incumbent Chief Chad Smith and challenger Bill John Baker twice being declared the winner following counts and recounts.

The Carter Center said in a news release Wednesday that it is sending observers because of uncertainty following that election.

The September election became uncertain Tuesday after the federal government said it won't be valid unless the tribe's freedmen are allowed to vote. The tribe recently revoked tribal membership for the freedmen who are descendants of slaves held by tribal members.

The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.