Chief Election-Take 2

Tahlequah, OK – Okla. tribe's members requesting absentee ballots

(Information in the following story is from: Tulsa World,

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) Cherokee Nation officials say more members have requested an absentee ballot for the Sept. 24 principal chief election.

Election Commission officer manager Wanda Beaver told the Tulsa World that 11,627 absentee ballots were mailed last week. That's an increase of more than 3,000 from the July 23 runoff and about 4,000 from the June 26 general election.

More than 15,000 ballots were cast in the June general election, which the tribe's Supreme Court nullified after justices couldn't determine whether Chief Chad Smith or tribal councilor Bill John Baker had won.

Baker and Smith said they expect a higher voter turnout at this month's election, in part because of the increase in absentee ballot requests.

The election commission must receive absentee ballots for the upcoming election by Sept. 24.