BISMARCK — The secretary of state has requested that Travisia Martin, the Democratic-NPL candidate for North Dakota’s insurance commissioner, provide clarification about her residency in the state.
The state insurance commissioner must be a North Dakota resident for at least five years before the election to the position, per the state’s constitution. Secretary of State Al Jaeger, a Republican, stated in a letter to Martin sent last week that he had received information that she was still a registered voter in Nevada and had voted there in the 2016 election, meaning she would not be an eligible candidate.
It "appears you may not have met the required five-year residency requirements,” Jaeger wrote in his letter. “Therefore, I am requesting you provide relevant information regarding your status as a resident of North Dakota for the required five years.”
Martin disputes this, citing that she and her husband have been living in North Dakota since 2015. She is preparing documents to prove her residency in compliance with the secretary of state's request, said Doree Henry, Martin's campaign manager, in an email.
Jaeger does not have the authority to remove Martin from the Nov. 3 ballot and said in an email that he can only do so if Martin declines the state insurance commissioner nomination or if he was directed by a third-party lawsuit to do so.
Martin is running against Republican incumbent Jon Godfread in the June 9 primary election, which is being conducted entirely by mail-in ballots.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Michelle Griffith, a Report for America corps member, at firstname.lastname@example.org.