After showing concern about its disclosure, Cherokee Nation Supreme Court justices on Saturday ordered the Election Commission to provide the court a list of names and tribal identification numbers of everyone who voted in the June 25 election.
The list was made available as part of Principal Chief Chad Smith’s appeal of the June 30 recount results that gave his opponent, Tribal Councilor Bill John Baker, a 266-vote victory. Baker is attempting to defend his victory in the appeal hearing that began Friday and lasted nearly 14 hours yesterday.
“It ended like the day began. The election commissioners acknowledged they made a mistake in issuing the certificate (certifying the recount), and through the course of the day that has not changed. It’s been a long day, but it still looks very good for us. We’re still very pleased,” Smith said. He added that he’s “pleased” the court allowed the release of the voters list.
Justice Kyle Haskin said he was concerned about releasing the list. The Smith and Baker camps assured the five justices that the list would be kept confidential. The list is only to be used to compare with the Registration Department’s list of citizens to determine if people who had relinquished their citizenship voted.
In Smith’s appeal filing, he alleges that 149 non-CN citizens voted and affected the election’s outcome. He further alleges those voters had relinquished their CN citizenship and were not eligible to vote.
Earlier in the day, the court allowed only identifying information to be released for that list of 149 people. Justices reversed themselves later in the day by allowing the