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Ballot case delayed: Mack will take 10 days to decide Warriors for Justice case

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Ballot case delayed: Mack will take 10 days to decide Warriors for Justice case
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

A final decision on whether two Warriors for Justice candidates may gain access to the Nov. 2 ballot will run its full course.

Beltrami County Auditor-Treasurer Kay Mack said Monday that on advise of the Secretary of State's Office, she will take the full 10 days as prescribed by law to decide on the Warriors for Justice case.

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She had said last week that a decision would be made on Monday.

Nicole Beaulieu and Greg Paquin had hoped to start a new political party, Warriors for Justice, and run under that banner on Nov. 2.

Beaulieu seeks the House 4A seat held by Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, and Paquin seeks the Senate 4 post held by Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji.

Mack made an initial decision after filing closed June 1 that Beaulieu and Paquin didn't have the required 500 signatures on a petition to gain the November. At issue were more than 100 signatures of people showing post office box numbers as their residence.

Under Minnesota election law, petition signers must include their physical residence, including a street and house number.

Beaulieu and Paquin allege they were told by someone in the Secretary of State's Office that they could use P.O. Box numbers.

"We're going to use the extra time to go through all the signatures on the petition," Mack said Monday. "We know that not only are there a lot of P.O. Box addresses, there are also some with no addresses and others with addresses outside the district, which also don't count."

A final decision should be made by Friday.

Meanwhile Tuesday, Beaulieu, Paquin and a small group of supports protested at several locations on the Beltrami County campus.

They said they visited with American Civil Liberties Union staff, who have sent a letter to Mack stating their belief that state law allows P.O. box addresses on American Indian reservations.

Both Beaulieu and Paquin have decided to stay in the race as write-in candidates should Mack declare their petitions invalid.

Warriors for Justice hopes to create awareness of what it believes is institutional racism in Bemidji. Paquin has used the lack of a affirmation action policies in the construction of the Bemidji Regional Event Center as his centerpiece.

A lawsuit he filed to contest the lack of affirmative action policies against the city and contractor was dismissed. Paquin, however, plans to appeal the ruling to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Y bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

A final decision on whether two Warriors for Justice candidates may gain access to the Nov. 2 ballot will run its full course.

Beltrami County Auditor-Treasurer Kay Mack said Monday that on advise of the Secretary of State's Office, she will take the full 10 days as prescribed by law to decide on the Warriors for Justice case.

She had said last week that a decision would be made on Monday.

Nicole Beaulieu and Greg Paquin had hoped to start a new political party, Warriors for Justice, and run under that banner on Nov. 2.

Beaulieu seeks the House 4A seat held by Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, and Paquin seeks the Senate 4 post held by Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji.

Mack made an initial decision after filing closed June 1 that Beaulieu and Paquin didn't have the required 500 signatures on a petition to gain the November. At issue were more than 100 signatures of people showing post office box numbers as their residence.

Under Minnesota election law, petition signers must include their physical residence, including a street and house number.

Beaulieu and Paquin allege they were told by someone in the Secretary of State's Office that they could use P.O. Box numbers.

"We're going to use the extra time to go through all the signatures on the petition," Mack said Monday. "We know that not only are there a lot of P.O. Box addresses, there are also some with no addresses and others with addresses outside the district, which also don't count."

A final decision should be made by Friday.

Meanwhile Tuesday, Beaulieu, Paquin and a small group of supports protested at several locations on the Beltrami County campus.

They said they visited with American Civil Liberties Union staff, who have sent a letter to Mack stating their belief that state law allows P.O. box addresses on American Indian reservations.

Both Beaulieu and Paquin have decided to stay in the race as write-in candidates should Mack declare their petitions invalid.

Warriors for Justice hopes to create awareness of what it believes is institutional racism in Bemidji. Paquin has used the lack of a affirmation action policies in the construction of the Bemidji Regional Event Center as his centerpiece.

A lawsuit he filed to contest the lack of affirmative action policies against the city and contractor was dismissed. Paquin, however, plans to appeal the ruling to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

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