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UPDATE: Baker Asks for Recount in Cherokee Race (Jun 29, 2011)

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — The challenger in a disputed race for principal chief of the Cherokee Nation is formally calling for a recount.

Speaking to supporters outside his Tahlequah furniture store, longtime tribal councilman Bill John Baker said Wednesday that he wants an explanation for why the tribal election commission overturned the original results from Saturday's election.

Unofficial final returns showed Baker leading three-term incumbent Chief Chad Smith by 11 votes. But when the election commission certified the election Monday, Smith had a seven-vote lead.

A message left Wednesday for the commission's chairman, Roger Johnson, wasn't immediately returned.

Baker on Tuesday asked the tribe's Supreme Court to order the election commission to produce copies of certified vote results for each district and for absentee ballots. Smith says he also wants to see those documents.



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