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Cherokee Nation begins counting of ballots for principal chief





The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma began counting ballots on Sunday in the second election for principal chief.

As of 3pm yesterday, Bill John Baker received 6,223 votes compared to 4,046 votes for Chad Smith, who was the incumbent. However, about 12,000 absentee ballots remain to be counted.

"Although we are releasing these numbers early, it is important that Cherokee citizens and the candidates understand that this will only be a portion of the numbers," Susan Plumb, the chair of the Cherokee Nation Election Commission, said in a press release. "And as we all know; no winner is decided until the last Cherokee citizen's vote is counted."

The commission has said unofficial results should be ready by Wednesday, with certified results due by Friday.

Get the Story:
Count of in-person voting puts challenger ahead in Cherokee election; absentee ballots to go (AP 10/9)
Cherokees begin counting principal chief ballots on Sunday (The Tulsa World 10/9)

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

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