TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court has thrown out the results of a disputed election to determine the chief of Oklahoma’s largest Native American tribe.
The ruling Thursday means a new election will be held. A date has not been set.
The court ruled that it was impossible to determine the winner of the June 25 election with mathematical certainty.
Tribal councilman Bill John Baker has twice been declared winner, but so has his opponent, incumbent Principal Chief Chad Smith. Uncertainty about the accuracy of the results and repeated flip-flopping in terms of the declared winner has eroded confidence among Cherokee voters.
The official results of the most recent recount put Smith ahead by four votes Tuesday, but that’s one fewer than in the unofficial results announced Sunday.