Primary candidates file election lawsuit

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 7:23 PM CDT
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The two primary election candidates who called for an investigation into the voting procedure have now filed a lawsuit against Governor Doug Burgum, R-N.D., and Secretary of State Al Jaeger.

Charles Tuttle and Roland Riemers lost their respective primary races earlier this month. But since then, they’ve have been calling foul and requesting investigations.

Now they're taking the primary from the polls to the courts.

In their election challenge, Tuttle and Riemers question the legality of the primary process. Arguing that Governor Burgum's executive order removing the requirement of physical polling locations was illegal.

"The main thing is to get the rights of North Dakota voters recognized... We've got a lot of questions we'd like answered,” Riemers said.

They say they aren't doing this to get back in the race. Rather, hoping to avoid what they call a "severely flawed election", citing un-received ballots, spoiled ballots, and a lack of election observers. Both Riemers and Tuttle were found standing by ballot drop-off boxes on election day.

"If you cross over, and you're at the polling place, when you go to place a ballot in the machine, the machine will reject it. How many of those would've been saved by having help at the polling place?" Tuttle said.

Just one week ago, the pair sent a letter to the Secretary of State calling for an investigation. However, they said their timelines require quicker action.

"One of the reasons we did the administrative letter with Al Jaeger was to give the state a little bit of a heads up, so they have a little more time to review the issues, and to some up with some answers or solutions,” Riemers said.

Tuttle said rather than a primary do-over, he'd like all partisan candidates to move forward onto the November. However, his race is nonpartisan. So, he wouldn't move onto November.

The Governor and the Secretary of State chose not to comment.