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Tribal Chief Hasn't Set New Election Date Yet (Jul 28, 2011)

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith hasn't scheduled a special election yet to decide who will be the tribe's next chief.

Spokesman Mike Miller said Thursday that Smith wanted to wait until after the Cherokee Nation Council met to consider possible changes to election law. The council has planned a meeting for Friday.

The tribe's Supreme Court threw out the results of the June 25 election, saying it couldn't be determined with certainty whether Smith or challenger Bill John Baker received more votes.

Smith's term expires on Aug. 14. Miller says deputy chief S. Joe Crittenden will serve as acting principal chief until a new chief is elected and sworn in.

The 300,000-member Cherokee Nation is Oklahoma's largest tribes and one of the biggest in the nation.

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