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Cherokee Nation Supreme Court weighs appeal in election

The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court has until Thursday to decide whether to accept an appeal from Chad Smith, who lost his re-election bid for principal chief.

Smith lost to Bill John Baker by more than 1,500 votes. He says the results are invalid because balloting was extended and because the Freedmen, who are the descendants of former slaves, were allowed to vote.

How can you have a legitimate election when hundreds of people voted illegally?" Smith told The Tulsa World. "Our election should be constitutionally sound, not politically expedient."

Even if the Freedmen votes were excluded, Baker says he still would have defeated Smith. But Smith wants to keep Baker from taking office until the issue is resolved.

Get the Story:
Cherokee election appeal heads to tribal court (The Tulsa World 1/19)

An Opinion:
Marge Burton: Freedmen gave up Cherokee rights (The Muskogee Phoenix 10/18)

Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Decisions:
Vann v. Salazar (October 11, 2011)
Cherokee Nation Registrar v. Nash (August 22, 2011)

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Letter: Acting Cherokee Nation chief defies tribe on Freedmen (10/17)
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