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Cherokee Nation extends balloting in ongoing Freedmen dispute

The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma will extend balloting for the principal chief election in order to resolve an ongoing dispute with Freedmen descendants.

The tribe missed two court-ordered deadlines to notify the Freedmen of their citizenship and voting rights. So the tribe agreed to a new order to allow walk-in voting for all members on September 29, October 1, October 4, October 6 and October 8.

"In summary, this order gave registered Freedmen voters additional days to vote since they did not receive the notice on time and registered Cherokee voters the same opportunity to vote on the same days on a walk-in basis," acting chief Joe Crittenden said in a press release.

Due to the new conditions, the tribe's election commission won't start counting ballots until 7pm on October 8. The outcome will determine whether Chad Smith, who was the incumbent, or Bill John Baker, a tribal councilor, will lead the tribe.

Get the Story:
Cherokees get more time to vote (The Muskogee Phoenix 9/28)
Cherokee Nation adds walk-in days in vote for principal chief (The Tulsa World 9/28)
EC affirms new walk-in voting dates for Cherokee voters (The Cherokee Phoenix 9/28)
New court order allows all registered voters in special election (The Cherokee Phoenix 9/27)

Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Decision:
Cherokee Nation Registrar v. Nash (August 22, 2011)

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