Close Election For Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Under Scrutiny

Sunday, June 26th 2011, 8:01 pm
By: News On 6

TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma -- The Cherokee Nation voted for its first new chief in more than a decade Saturday.

Current Principal Chief Chad Smith received 7,589 votes. Challenger Bill John Baker received 7,600 votes. That's a different of just eleven votes.

06/25/2011 Related Story: Cherokee Nation Elects New Principal Chief, Bill John Baker

With Such a slim margin, Smith said he will be looking at the election very closely.

"In the coming days, we will examine the record and make sure our election was conducted properly and accurately under our law," Smith said in a statement.

It's not known if Smith will ask for a recount.

Some of the other races were too close to call. A runoff election is set for July 23rd to decide several of the tribal council seats and who will serve as Deputy Chief.

As for the constitutional amendments on the ballot, members voted to keep term limits in place for Chiefs and Council members.

See The Results

They also authorized special elections to fill vacant council seats.