All Cherokee Freedmen need to exercise their voting rights.
Released late Saturday night, unofficial returns show 8,787 people cast ballots at the 38 precincts across the tribe's 14-county jurisdiction.
Of the 15,000 votes cast in the June 25 general election, about 8,000 votes were cast in person.
Along with the 8,787 votes cast at precincts, preliminary figures show more than 1,100 votes were cast during early walk-in voting, an increase of about 100 votes.
Two additional walk-in voting days are scheduled for Thursday and Oct. 6 for freedmen voters only.
The election commission did not announce how many of the almost 12,000 absentee ballots requested were returned.
Non-freedmen voters were required to turn in their ballots by yesterday, while freedmen absentee voters have until Oct. 8.
In accordance with a federal district court order, the Cherokee Nation Election Commission will not count any ballots in the race between former chief Chad Smith and Tribal Councilor Bill John Baker until Oct. 8.
The ballots, ballot boxes and voting machines are locked in the commission's vault in the interim. Results from the original election, held in June, were called into question by both campaigns, with each candidate named the winner at least once.
The tribe's Supreme Court ultimately invalidated the June election, ruling that the results could not be verified with mathematical certainty.
Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20110926_12_A8_TAHLEQ890370