Latest Information:
Local & Regional
11:22 am
Tue October 18, 2011

Cherokee Election Update

Tulsa, OK – Smith files appeal of Cherokee election

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Former Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith has filed an appeal with the tribe's Supreme Court, nearly a week after he lost a special election by nearly 1,600 votes.

Smith asked the court Monday for an injunction to prevent the swearing-in of any chief until there is a federal court decision on whether descendants of slaves once owned by the tribe's members are Cherokee citizens.

Votes from the descendants, known as freedmen, were allowed to be cast in the Sept. 24 special election, which resulted in a victory for longtime tribal councilman Bill John Baker.

Election results certified Wednesday by the tribe's election commission showed Baker defeating Smith 10,703 to 9,128 in balloting that ended Oct. 8.

Smith said then that he would take time to "examine all available options."