Tonight, Bill John Baker was declared the winner of the Principal Chief's race in a recount that started around 3 pm this afternoon. According to the Cherokee Phoenix, the recount showed Baker with 7613 votes and Chad Smith with 7347 votes-- a staggering 266 vote difference.
So, is it over? Not by a long shot, we bet. When asked for a reaction to tonight’s recount, Smith said, “Tonight’s recount totals are perplexing and result in more questions than answers. The No. 1 questions is how I lost 262 votes while my opponent gained 11, and the total vote count in the election dropped by more than 250. We have not gotten an explanation from the Election Commission about the 250 vanishing votes.”
Meanwhile, Baker celebrated his victory, addressing supporters saying, “I truly want to thank everybody that’s been praying and all of my supporters. No one had better supporters than what I had. Now, it’s about the business of reuniting the Nation and taking care of our people.”
We'll wait to see in the coming days if those 250+ vanishing votes are addressed.