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Cherokee Nation votes for racial purity

Democracy throws up some baffling results sometimes, especially when most of the eligible voters don't bother.

Last weekend the voters in the Cherokee Nation approved a constitutional referendum, rescinding citizenship of the descendants of pre-civil war slaves.

As stated in a Cherokee Nation news release issued on Saturday:

"The amendment limits citizenship in the Cherokee Nation to descendants of people who are listed on the Final Rolls of the Cherokee Nation as Cherokee, Delaware or Shawnee and excludes descendants of those listed on Intermarried White and Freedmen rolls taken at the same time."

More than a quarter of a million people belong to the Cherokee Nation. Approximately 8700 voted on Saturday, preliminary results showing a vote in favour of the amendment of 77% to 23% against.

NPR has some background before the vote, while yesterday's The Oklahoman reports the aftermath.