Last week, Bill John Baker gave us a laundry list of harsh accusations about election criminality, and offered no proof. Baker told us that Chad Smith was ‘trying to steal an election he clearly lost’ instead of conceding. He said a guy named Terry Rainey ‘went into the vault that contains the ballots two times and altered the numbers,’ so Smith would win. He said ‘it’s obvious that the ballot box was stuffed by people with access to the vault.’ And he said a lot more that was just plain angry, directed at Smith.
What we’ve learned since then is that all of this isn’t true. The Tulsa World has had some very good coverage since election night, and they got their hands on the security video that the Supreme Court has already seen. (It’s also available on the Smith web site).
What it shows is revealing: a bunch of very bored people doing exactly what they told the court they were doing, which is going inside the vault, picking up an envelope and coming right back out. Less than a minute total, between the two trips. At least four people present at all times, including an election commissioner whom Baker and the Tribal Council appointed, Roger Johnson. No extra ballots to quickly stuff in some random box. No evidence at all backing Baker’s accusations.
Baker continues to drag the Election Commission and this Rainey guy through the mud, with absolutely no evidence. Worse, it appears he flat out lied about what they did! We don’t know why he did it, but we do know he was wrong about the original recount. We know the Cherokee people who serve on the Election Commission deserve better. They’ve made mistakes, certainly. But there’s a difference between a mistake and criminal conspiracy, and it appears that Baker either can’t or won’t tell the difference, even if it means trashing Cherokee citizens doing a thankless job.
Thanks Tulsa World for uncovering some Cherokee Truth. Not just about what happened in the vault (ho-hum) but about Baker, too.