Tahlequah Daily Press

July 15, 2013

CN court rules in election flap

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court on Friday ruled 4-1 against a possible tribal council runoff election in District 15.

Former Tribal Councilor Meredith Frailey filed petitioned the court for a runoff between herself and challenger Janees Taylor, saying irregularities in the conduct of the District 15 election prevented a number of voters from casting ballots in their home district.

According to certified election results, Frailey was narrowly defeated by Taylor, earning 262 votes, compared to Taylor’s 289.

On Tuesday, the court heard testimony and received evidence from Frailey, Taylor and the Cherokee Nation Election Commission, and found Frailey failed to make a case for a runoff.

“The Constitution of the Cherokee Nation requires that those individuals residing within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation must vote within the district,” states the final order. “Based upon the evidence presented, the court finds that the Cherokee Nation Election Commission made every effort to ensure that this mandate was followed and should be commended for their efforts.”

Documents state the court found Frailey failed to prove that any substantial violations of the Cherokee Nation Election Code had been committed.

Justices ruling against Frailey included Chief Justice Darrell Dowty, Justice James Wilcoxen, Justice Troy Wayne Poteete and Justice John Garrett. Justice Angela Jones did not sign the order.