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Baker Asks Court to Toss Ballots, Hold New Vote (Jul 19, 2011)

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — The challenger in the disputed Cherokee Nation principal chief's election is asking the tribe's Supreme Court to either throw out disputed ballots or schedule a new election.

Longtime tribal councilman Bill John Baker made the requests in court filings Tuesday morning, hours before the court's scheduled Tuesday night hearing. Baker says if the court doesn't set aside the disputed ballots, the election's winner can't be determined and a new election is necessary.

Three-term incumbent Chief Chad Smith wants justices to confirm results from a second recount showing him ahead by five votes.

Baker was declared the winner by 11 votes the day after the June 25 election, but the tribal election commission then certified Smith as the winner by seven votes. The first recount had Baker leading by 266 votes.

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