MINOT, N.D. — Forgetting about the North Dakota constitution’s five-year residency requirement for statewide elected office is understandable.
Lots of people forget about it. Late last year, I wrote a column about Fargo-based Republican Raheem Williams wanting to launch a campaign for treasurer. During my interview with him, he mentioned that he’d been living in North Dakota for about three years. After publication, I had to update my column with news that Williams wouldn’t be running for anything because both Williams, and his humble interviewer, forgot about that five-year requirement.
So I’m sympathetic to the situation Travisia Martin, the endorsed Democratic-NPL candidate for Insurance Commissioner, finds herself in.
Article V, Section 4 of the North Dakota Constitution states that to be eligible for executive branch elected office, “a person must be a qualified elector of this state, must be at least twenty-five years of age on the day of the election, and must have been a resident of this state for the five years preceding election office.”
As I noted in a May 20 column, Martin voted in Nevada in 2016 per that state’s publicly available records. Martin herself has admitted this to other members of the news media and me. Nevada’s election laws require that the address you use to register to vote must be your “sole legal place of residence.”
According to Nevada’s Secretary of State, voting there requires a person to “be a resident of Nevada for 30 days preceding any election.”
Martin could not have legally voted in Nevada while simultaneously being a resident of North Dakota.
Yet the North Dakota Democratic-NPL is insisting, on Martin’s behalf, that she has been a resident of North Dakota since 2015.