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Cherokee Supreme Court Looks at Vote Totals (Jul 01, 2011)

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — The Cherokee Nation's Supreme Court has met to examine vote totals from a recount in the race to become the American Indian tribe's next principal chief.

The result from Friday's meeting appeared to be the same as it was Thursday after the recount determined longtime tribal councilman Bill John Baker defeated three-term incumbent Chad Smith by 266 votes out of almost 15,000 ballots cast.

Baker's attorney, tribal councilman Chuck Hoskin Jr., says Baker "is the new chief of the Nation" and defended the recount process as being thorough.

Smith says the tribal election commission "has lost credibility" and plans to appeal the result.

Unofficial results released Sunday showed Baker leading Smith by 11 votes, but when the election commission certified the vote on Monday, Smith led by seven votes.

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