TAHLEQUAH — Two issues will go before Cherokee voters Saturday. Federal involvement First, voters will consider whether to remove the federal government from the tribe's constitutional approval process.
The measure is the same as an amendment approved in 2003. That amendment was rejected by the Bureau of Indian Affairs because non-Indian Freedmen were excluded from the vote. According to the tribe's Web page, allowing Freedmen to participate in the vote would have gone against tribal law at the time. About 14,000 Cherokee voters participated in the tribe's 2003 general election, tribe spokesman Mike Miller said. Chief and council Voters will also elect a chief. Principal Chief Chad Smith is being challenged by former Cherokee Supreme Court Justice Stacy Leeds, and Deputy Chief Joe Grayson is running against Raymond Vann. Also up for election are 17 tribal council members.