Many Choctaws shocked over election being thrown out

Published: Jul. 8, 2011 at 4:16 PM CDT|Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 at 2:01 AM CST
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Phyllis Anderson
Phyllis Anderson

Some Mississippi Choctaw Indians were shocked Friday at the news that their votes in the first election for Chief did not count.

"I'm just tired," said tribal member Helen Moore. "I've gone through two of them.   The people have spoken.  It should have stayed."

This comes a day after Phyliss Anderson was named the Tribe's first female Chief, beating incumbent Miko Beasley Denson.

"When Beasley lost he didn't want no woman to beat him so he's starting all this," said tribal member Carlos Ben.

A complaint filed with the Election Commission stated voters in line at one precinct were able to cast their ballots after the polls were closed during the June 14th primary election.  The Commission dismissed the complaint and allowed the votes.  When the unidentified person appealed to the Choctaw Tribal Council, member votes were split 8 to 8.  Miko Denson cast the deciding vote for a new election.

"We will rise again and let our voices be heard at the polls," Anderson said to supporters Friday.  "It's time to move past this election and put our government back on track.  We aren't going to allow them to steal our vote."

The voting discrepancy occurred in the primary election. Now that the election is starting over the race is open for all candidates to run again.  At least one man who ran in the primary election, Kevin Edwards, said he will not run again.  Instead he is campaigning for Anderson.

"This is pure politics.  This is a way for Beasley to stay in there 90 more days because at the end of it all Choctaws united can defeat this man," said Edwards.

Chief Denson would not comment.

One council member was missing for Friday's vote giving Miko Beasley Denson the deciding ballot.  The tribal council said a new election must be held within 30 days.

Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.