Tahlequah Daily Press

July 3, 2013

Candidates challenge CN election

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Two candidates in the June 22 election for Cherokee Nation Tribal Council filed challenges with the tribe’s Supreme Court Monday evening.

Former District 15 Tribal Councilor Meredith Frailey has petitioned the court for a runoff election; At-large challenger Robin Mayes has asked the court to set a new election in his case.

According to certified election results, District 15 incumbent Meredith Frailey was narrowly defeated by Janees Taylor. Frailey earned 262 votes, compared to Taylor’s 289, or 50.70 percent of the ballots cast.

Frailey, who is represented by former Principal Chief Chad Smith, alleges that due to irregularities in the conduct of the District 15 election, 20 voters were improperly required to vote outside their home district, and that due to these irregularities, Taylor did not receive more than 50 percent of the votes in District 15. As a result, Frailey is requesting a runoff election be set between her and Taylor.

A summons has  been issued in Frailey’s case, but a hearing date has not been set.

Mayes was among six candidates for the at-large council post. Certified election results indicate incumbent Jack Baker earned 51.64 percent – 739 votes – of the 1,431 ballots cast. Mayes drew 75 votes, coming in fourth of the six.

Mayes, who is representing himself, has asked the court to void the results of the June 22 election and order a new election for the at-large candidates. In his petition, Mayes asserts the Cherokee Nation Election Commission, the CN Registration Department and CN Attorney General Todd Hembree excluded “in excess of 4,000 Cherokee citizens” from registering as citizens, while allowing several hundred of the same class – descendants of Freedmen – to vote and fully participate in the election.

Mayes’ case will be heard at 9 a.m., Friday, July 5, according to court documents.