The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court tossed out the disputed election results in last month’s tribal election that determined the next chief.
The largest American Indian nation in the country has been in limbo the past few weeks as numbers from the poll have continued to fluctuate with every count.
The ruling means a new election will be held, but a date has yet to be determined by the five-justice court.
Since the June 25 election, challenger and tribal councilman Bill John Baker has twice been declared the winner, while the same can be said about incumbent Principal Chief Chad Smith.
“Throughout this election, every time all the ballots were properly counted and tallied, I had the most votes,” Smith said after Thursday’s ruling in a conversation with the Associated Press. “Because my margin of victory was so narrow, the court has decided a new election is required. I welcome the new election, and I’m confident that when the ballots are counted after the new election, I’ll still have the most votes.”
According to an article on Washington Post, the results have been a sign of the bitter back and forth during the campaign from both sides as it at times was a nasty, finger-pointing outing.