|Photo credit Tulsa World|
Just when we thought we could take the day off.
On Sunday morning, the Cherokee Nation Election Commission posted the unofficial results of the election which showed after pulling an all-nighter that Bill John Baker had bested incumbent Chief Chad Smith by 11 votes and won. Even though the results were not official, and Smith had not yet conceded the election, Baker addressed his supporters in a statement saying, "I’m humbled and honored to be the new Chief of the Cherokee Nation. I want to thank everyone who supported me. Your prayers, hard work and dedication made the difference. I think it's fair to say that every vote counted. We've come far, but we have far to go."
Chief Smith also issued a statement Sunday saying, "Early this morning, the Election Commission posted unofficial election results to this point, which shows my opponent leading by 11 votes. With such a slim margin among 15,000 ballots, it is important to make sure that each and every one of them were properly cast and were counted correctly."
This afternoon, the election commission posted the official results on the door. And the world turned upside down for both candidates.
|Photo courtesy of a CT reader who posted on our FB page earlier today|
Early Sunday morning, unofficial results showed Chad Smith with 7,589 votes and Bill John Baker with 7,600 votes. But this afternoon, the official results showed Smith with 7,609 votes and Baker with 7,602. Chad Smith, according to the Election Commission's official tally, won the office of Principal Chief.
Chad Smith, on his Facebook page and website today, said in part, "We were ahead at 3 am on Sunday, then fell behind about 7 am on Sunday, but today when the final results were certified by the election commission, we came out on top. With a margin this close, I expect my opponent may ask for a recount, so we know the process may still continue." He went on to thank his volunteers and the Cherokee people.
What happens next? Bill John Baker has until Wednesday to ask for a recount, and we're sure he will because--who wouldn't? So, most assuredly this isn't our last blog of the week.
Stay tuned! There's no good TV on in the summer anyway.