Oklahoma: Cherokee Nation commissioners mull election issues | Tahlequah Daily Press

The Cherokee Nation Election Commission decided Tuesday morning to delay filling a vacancy created by the resignation of former Chairman Roger Johnson. The EC opted to instead wait until after tribe’s attorney general issues opinions on the upcoming special election for principal chief, and a rules committee and special tribal council meeting have been held over the next two weeks.

Three of the four commissioners – Patsy Eads-Morton, Brenda Walker and Curtis Rohr – met with commission attorney Lloyd Cole Tuesday. Martha Calico was absent, but only three commissioners are needed to make a quorum.

Oklahoma: Cherokee Supreme Court hears testimony on the handling of ballots | Poten & Partners

The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court begun hearing testimony Friday morning on irregularities in the principal chief’s election. Principal Chief Chad Smith on Tuesday asked the nation’s supreme court justices to order a machine-conducted recount of ballots cast in the June 25 election or to invalidate the election and call for a new election.

On Friday, the Supreme Court heard election commissioners and staff members before breaking for lunch, with questions coming from the justices and then from each of the campaigns. Other witnesses that were planned to be called for testimony were sequestered for questioning later in the day.

All of the election commissioners present and Terry Rainey, a contractor who had been hired to provide and oversee electronic voting machines, agreed that the tally of votes at the end of the recount was in error.

Oklahoma: Cherokee Nation election chairman turns in resignation letter | Tulsa World

Cherokee Nation Election Commission chairman Roger Johnson filed a resignation letter early Tuesday morning. No action has been taken yet on the filed letter.

“My honor, character and integrity have been unreasonably damaged,” he wrote, citing inaccurate media reports in the election’s aftermath.

The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court has set a hearing for 8:30 a.m. Friday on all pending applications and motions.

Oklahoma: Cherokee chief-elect: Incumbent should step aside | MiamiHerald.com

The chief-elect of one of the nation’s largest American Indian tribes called on the incumbent to give up the post Tuesday, as tribe officials confirmed a new election could be called if the bitter back-and-forth and legal wrangling don’t stop.

A recount determined longtime councilman Bill John Baker had defeated chief Chad Smith by 266 votes in the June 25 election, but Smith wants another recount. The election was very close, with Baker first declared the winner by 11 votes, and then Smith announced as the winner by seven before the recount threw the election back to Baker.

Smith has since appealed, and the Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court set arguments for Friday. If things get any more contentious, the court could intervene and order a new election, officials said Tuesday.