Ruling that Democrat Insurance Commissioner candidate Travisia Martin failed to meet North Dakota’s residency requirements, the North Dakota Supreme Court Wednesday afternoon ordered Martin’s name off the November General Election ballot.
“Martin is not eligible to hold the office of insurance commissioner,” the court’s opinion stated, “and it would be erroneous to place her name on the ballot. We therefore enjoin [Secretary of State Al] Jaeger from placing Martin’s name on the general election ballot.”
North Dakota Republican Party chairman Rick Berg filed suit against Jaeger and Martin to stop Jaeger from placing Martin’s name on the ballot.
Berg claimed Martin did not meet the state’s five-year residency requirement to be a candidate for elective office, pointing out Martin voted as a Nevada resident in 2016, meaning she was, therefore, a resident of North Dakota for only four years before she filed for elective office.
Martin said she had been living in North Dakota since 2015.
Jaeger refused to remove Martin from the ballot, saying he could only do so if the candidate refused to accept a party’s nomination or if ordered by the courts to do so.
That sent the issue to the North Dakota Supreme Court in July.
The court found, while Martin may have been in North Dakota in 2015, she hadn’t “changed any of her addresses on any of her government-issued identification cards.”
But the critical issue was the fact she voted as a Nevada resident on Nov. 8, 2016.
“In doing so,” the court opinion noted, “she specifically chose not to avail herself of the rights of citizenship in North Dakota, but instead to avail herself of the rights of citizenship in Nevada. She did this in-person by physically appearing at the polling location in Nevada. She identified herself with her passport, which contained her Nevada address. In doing so, Martin consciously availed herself of that Nevada address in order to cast her vote. Her intent was clearly to cast a legal vote. And in doing so, she did not intend to exercise any rights of citizenship in North Dakota, but intended to exercise them in Nevada.”