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Cherokee Nation Council to Consider Additional Safeguards for Run-Off Election

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In the latest turn in the Cherokee Nation elections, Meredith Frailey, Cherokee Nation Speaker of the Council, called for a special Rules Committee meeting to be held July 12 in the Tribal Council Chambers.

The elections that were held June 25, with a recount of the votes that changed the outcome numbers three times, and shows Bill John Baker, the unofficial winner, have seen injunctions and appeals filed from both Baker and incumbent Chad “Corntassel” Smith.

The meeting is possibly the first step by the Rules Committee to take action in repairing what many Cherokee citizens feel is a broken system. Requests for a fix have been coming from everywhere to be made by the July 23 run-off election and any other special elections that might be required to fill vacant Tribal Council seats according to a press release.

“Elections are where Cherokee citizens make primary decisions that affect all citizens. They need to have confidence in the way their elections are run,” said Frailey. “The recent general election process, as presented to the public, has eroded their confidence. The recount vote tally in particular is inconsistent. My phone has been ringing constantly with Cherokees telling me we need immediate change to ensure integrity in all future elections, including the July 23 run-off election. For the Cherokee Nation to have a strong government, we must ensure tribal citizens believe there is integrity in the voting process.”

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Among the options that will be discussed is obtaining an independent election service, that would be more efficient and effective while maintaining the balance of powers within the government.

Any Special Tribal Council meetings within 30 days of a regular Tribal Council meeting, need to be called by the Principal Chief, and Smith agreed to Frailey’s request.

“Chief Smith agreed with my request so that any action taken by the council can be implemented in time for the run-off election and, hopefully, restore faith in our elections,” said Frailey.