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Vote Certified in Election for Cherokee Chief (Oct 12, 2011)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The Cherokee Nation's election commission has certified voting results showing that longtime tribal councilman Bill John Baker has defeated incumbent Chad Smith for chief of Oklahoma's largest Indian tribe.

Wednesday's announcement put Baker ahead of Smith by nearly 1,600 votes - 10,703 to 9,128. Smith has five days to request a recount.

After the initial results came in Tuesday, Smith said he was "disappointed" in the election returns and hedged in a statement that he would wait for word from the election commission on the certified count.

Balloting was conducted initially in June, but the margins of victory in the vote and several recounts were so close that each man was declared the winner twice and a new election was ordered by the tribe's highest court.



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