AKWESASNE — A challenge has been made to results of a special election for chief and sub-chief on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation.
It follows on the heels of the one that set aside the vote tally of the initial election for those same positions.
The results of that June 1 vote named incumbent Chief Randy Hart and incumbent Sub-Chief Shelley Jacobs the winners. But, the successful appeal required a special election for those seats, which was held July 13.
The unofficial results from the July 13 special election named Beverly Cook the winner with 477 votes compared to 22 for Gary Cole and 451 write-in votes for Hart.
The unofficial June 1 tally for the chief’s spot had Hart receiving 436 write-in votes compared to 376 for Cook, 109 for Cole and 47 for Gerald Laughing.
On July 13, in the race for sub-chief, Jacobs received 416 votes, compared to 366 for Debra Martin, 120 for Andrew Cook and 15 for Jolene Jackson.
The June 1 results showed Jacobs again on top, with 434 votes, compared to 297 votes for Martin, 174 for Cook and 47 for Jackson.
But this week, the Tribal Election Board announced a challenge was made of the special-election results, and an investigation has begun into the claim.
The Election Board, which did not specify why the first results were nullified or the reasons the second tally was challenged, said in a news release it cannot certify the new tallies until its investigation is concluded.
Neither Cook nor Hart could immediately be reached for comment on Monday.
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