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A North Dakota democratic candidate’s eligibility to run in the general election is under question

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Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 9:46 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The November election is rapidly approaching -- and the North Dakota Supreme court is deciding if the Democratic insurance commissioner candidate is legally running.

The state Republican Party said, she’s not.

Democratic-NPL candidate Travisia Martin is running for state insurance commissioner, but NDGOP leaders said she’s ineligible based off issues with residency requirements.

Now, in a battle of one person’s word against another, it’s up to the state Supreme Court to decide if Martin can stay on the ballot.

NDGOP leaders believe Travisia Martin is ineligible to run for an elected position because of a vote she cast in a Nevada election in 2016.

“Declaring what your intention may be isn’t enough when your acts show differently. And that gets back to, your honors, what louder declaration of intent is there than casting your vote,” said the attorney for the NDGOP, Courtney Presthus.

According to the state constitution, a candidate must live in North Dakota for at least five years. But Martin said she has lived in North Dakota for the required five years, even though she did vote and have another residence in Nevada just four years ago.

“Miss Martin has been clear in the extraordinary limited circumstances she’s had to present facts in her case that her residency was North Dakota, and is North Dakota, and has been North Dakota for over half a decade,” said the attorney for candidate Martin, Mac Schneider.

Throughout the virtual hearing, questions continuously surfaced regarding whether or not Secretary of State Al Jaegar even has the authority to pull a candidate off of the ballot.

“That’s a pretty dangerous road to travel. Certainly we have good faith players in the state at this point, but what if we had people who were politically motivated who’d attempt to remove people for political reasons as opposed to legal reasons?” said North Dakota Supreme Court Justice Daniel Crothers.

A hard deadline of Aug. 31 needs to be set for deciding the case, as election nominations have to be in on that day. If the justices decide in favor of the Republican party, then the Democratic party would need time to find a new nominee. So, the judgment may need to come down quicker than normal.

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