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8:50 am
Tue July 12, 2011

Cherokee Election: The Latest

Tahlequah, OK – Smith: Cherokee election recount 'fatally flawed'

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith says the latest count of the total votes cast in the recent election for chief shows a recount of the votes "was fatally flawed."

Smith spoke at a news conference Monday after the tribal election commission counted the ballots Sunday night.

Smith was initially declared the winner of the June 25 election by seven votes over challenger Bill John Baker. A recount was ordered at the request of Baker and showed Baker with a 266 vote lead.

Smith claims the recount shortchanged him by several hundred votes. Baker did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

Smith says the next step is for the tribe's Supreme Court to hold hearings on the results of the latest count.