Cherokee Nation citizens will head to the polls in a little over a month to determine who will lead the tribe for the next four years. Following the June 25 general election, the Supreme Court of the Cherokee Nation ruled the election for principal chief invalid, due to the inability to determine the results between former Principal Chief Chad Smith and challenger Bill John Baker, a two-term tribal councilor. A new election for principal chief has been called for Saturday, Sept. 24.
Acting Principal Chief Joe Crittenden, who will resume his duties as deputy chief once the Sept. 24 election concludes, wants all citizens to participate in the process.
“I would like to encourage all citizens of the Cherokee Nation to select the leadership of our future by exercising their inherent right to vote in the upcoming election, which will bring closure to this election cycle,” said Crittenden. “Exercising our right to vote is a true statement of our sovereignty, and it is both a privilege and duty of all Cherokee citizens.”
At the June 25 election, the Cherokee Nation Election Commission processed nearly 15,000 ballots, and the special election may draw even more voters.
According to data provided by the Cherokee Nation Communications Office, the Cherokee Nation has 313,003 citizens; of that total, 52, 747 are registered voters.