Local & Regional
5:03 pm
Sat July 2, 2011

Tribal Election Update

Tahlequah, OK – Councilman again declared Cherokee's new chief

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) The incumbent Cherokee Nation principal chief who lost in a recount of votes cast in last week's election wants the tribe's supreme court to keep the Election Commission from certifying the results until the ballots can be counted again by machine.

Chad Smith filed an injunctive relief application Friday, alleging the commission conducted a recount by hand of some, but not all of the votes.

Tribal attorneys confirmed that Bill John Baker beat Smith by 266 votes in Thursday's recount. Unofficial results gave Baker the victory by 11 votes, but when the election commission certified the vote on Monday, Smith was declared the winner by seven votes.

Smith says he hopes Baker will join his call for a proper accounting of all votes.

Baker says Smith should concede defeat.