Emory Bryan, News On 6
TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma -- A challenge has begun to the election for Chief of the Cherokee Nation. The official result was a close re-election for Chief Chad Smith, but challenger Bill John Baker has already gone to court to start asking how.
The results are subject to at least two levels of review. The first is from the Cherokee Election Commission and the second will be in the Cherokee Supreme Court.
According to the official results certified by the election commission, Principal Chief Chad Smith was re-elected. That was a change from the unofficial result announced just after the election on Saturday, when Bill John Baker was declared the winner.
On Monday, Election Commission Chair Roger Johnson explained the change.
"The unofficial results we announced Sunday were just that, unofficial. These are the official results," he said.
The Bill John Baker campaign is promising a challenge, and they're starting by asking the courts to make the election commission hand over their records on the election.
From there, they plan to ask for a recount that would begin Friday morning at the Election Commission offices. That would only be a recount of the ballots already counted.
The next level of review would happen in the courts, which could review the procedures used during the tally of the ballots, including whether or not it was proper to include, or exclude certain ballots.