Auditor: Candidates need to know rules
Cass County Auditor Mike Montplaisir says candidates are responsible for researching rules before entering a political race. His comments came after recorder candidate Karen Sauer of Fargo withdrew from the race after finding out she is ineligibl...
Cass County Auditor Mike Montplaisir says candidates are responsible for researching rules before entering a political race.
His comments came after recorder candidate Karen Sauer of Fargo withdrew from the race after finding out she is ineligible because of a home rule charter requirement.
The clause states candidates must be continuous county residents for at least six months before filing.
Sauer said she moved to Fargo in March and started looking into the rules in January. She said she was only told she needed to be a Cass County resident 30 days before the election.
Montplaisir said the petition requirements, including the home rule charter provision, were posted on the county's Web site in February.
"It's an unfortunate thing that happened and I can understand how she feels, but ultimately it is the candidate's responsibility to make sure that they meet all of the qualifications," he said.
Sauer said the Web site is not a reliable tool and that the provision should be included in the information packet that details election qualifications.
"The answer should have come when I specifically inquired about residency laws," she said. "I was given incorrect information, and that's the bottom line."
The primary election ballots have already been printed, so the names of all three candidates running for the office will appear.
Montplaisir said he is not sure whether anything will be posted letting voters know only two candidates are running.
Montplaisir said Sauer's votes will be counted. He said he hasn't received notice of her withdrawal from the race. If she were to get the most votes, Montplaisir said she could withdraw before the November general election. If she doesn't, Montplaisir said that's a legal question that will have to be answered then.
Nanci Krenelka and Jewel Spies, both of Fargo, are also seeking the post.
The recorder logs legal documents, maintains public archives, files personal property liens and wills, and runs the recorder's office.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526