Court tosses Cherokee Nation election

TULSA, Okla. (AP) ? The Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court has ruled that a June 25 election to determine the chief of Oklahoma’s largest Indian tribe is invalid.

In an order issued Thursday, the court declared it was impossible to determine the winner of the election with mathematical certainty.

Tribal councilman Bill John Baker has twice been declared winner of the controversial election ? but so has his opponent, incumbent Principal Chief Chad Smith.

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.

Uncertainty about the accuracy of the results and repeated flip-flopping in terms of the declared winner has eroded confidence among Cherokee voters.