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Paquin appeals ballot ruling to Supreme Court

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Greg Paquin, the Senate 4 Warriors for Justice candidate denied ballot access by Beltrami County Auditor-Treasurer Kay Mack, has appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

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In a petition filed Monday with the state's high court, Paquin alleges that his petition with more than 500 signatures was "institutionally denied in a racially inherent manner by following the letter of the law requiring an address deemed insufficient by Kay Make that disallowed the special circumstances inherent to native tribal people within the exterior boundaries of a reservation ..."

He alleges that the 170 names Mack denied because they contained only P.O. box numbers should have been admitted as many reservation residents do not use physical resident addresses.

American Indians living on the reservation provided only P.O. box numbers "for many different reasons, i.e. fear, homelessness, which Kay Mack could have verified through a phone call to the post office regarding the owner of the P.O. box address system or a much easier way which would have been to cross reference any of these names who are registered voters who used those same P.O. box addresses to elect Barack Obama and Al Franken," Paquin said in his petition.

Paquin and House 4A candidate Nicole Beaulieu filed petitions under the Warriors for Justice banner for the Nov. 2 election. Each needed 500 valid signatures to secure the ballot, but Mack disallowed signatures chiefly because they carried only P.O. boxes and not physical addresses, as charged by state law.

Paquin's petition had 557 names. Mack ruled 214 signatures as invalid, with 170 having the P.O. box number problem. Another 23 addresses were outside the Senate 4 district and 17 had no addresses at all. Four were dismissed for other reasons.

"The statute and rules are very clear that persons signing a nominating petition must list their residence address," Mack said in her ruling.

In an earlier interview, Mack denied that her decision involved "institutional racism."

"When the laws were drafted, they weren't drafted with any specific race, with any specific geographical area or person in mind," Mack said. "Election law just literally wants to be sure that there is one person, one vote, and to precinct them. They have to put them in a physical location for their residence. And that's consistent across all election law."

People can't reside in a P.O. box, Mack said.

Paquin also claims he had contacted staff at the Secretary of State's Office to ask about P.O. box numbers and was told that "P.O. box along with township cited would suffice ..." He mentions the staff member by name in the petition.

"You indicated that you spoke with someone at the Secretary of State's Office and were told that post office boxes are acceptable to show residence," Mack said in her June 14 decision. "I have spoken with both staff and legal counsel for the secretary of state, and have been told that staff at the Secretary of State's Office would not have indicated to anyone calling the office that a post office box was acceptable."

Paquin is asking the Supreme Court to place his name under the Warrior for Justice Party label on the Nov. 2 ballot. He is also asking , on Beaulieu's behalf, to have her name placed on the ballot.

"This law Kay Mack cites to deny the Warriors for Justice ballot status has the effect of unduly inhibiting tribal self-governance which violates the preemption test and the infringement test the federal government assesses cases regarding state civil jurisdiction on Indian reservations," Paquin wrote in his petition.

In an order signed by Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, the case was set for scheduling the filing of documents and affidavits of service. It was also given expedited status.

The case, A101177, is Gregory Wayne Paquin vs. Kay Mack, Beltrami County Auditor.

Y bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

Greg Paquin, the Senate 4 Warriors for Justice candidate denied ballot access by Beltrami County Auditor-Treasurer Kay Mack, has appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

In a petition filed Monday with the state's high court, Paquin alleges that his petition with more than 500 signatures was "institutionally denied in a racially inherent manner by following the letter of the law requiring an address deemed insufficient by Kay Make that disallowed the special circumstances inherent to native tribal people within the exterior boundaries of a reservation ..."

He alleges that the 170 names Mack denied because they contained only P.O. box numbers should have been admitted as many reservation residents do not use physical resident addresses.

American Indians living on the reservation provided only P.O. box numbers "for many different reasons, i.e. fear, homelessness, which Kay Mack could have verified through a phone call to the post office regarding the owner of the P.O. box address system or a much easier way which would have been to cross reference any of these names who are registered voters who used those same P.O. box addresses to elect Barack Obama and Al Franken," Paquin said in his petition.

Paquin and House 4A candidate Nicole Beaulieu filed petitions under the Warriors for Justice banner for the Nov. 2 election. Each needed 500 valid signatures to secure the ballot, but Mack disallowed signatures chiefly because they carried only P.O. boxes and not physical addresses, as charged by state law.

Paquin's petition had 557 names. Mack ruled 214 signatures as invalid, with 170 having the P.O. box number problem. Another 23 addresses were outside the Senate 4 district and 17 had no addresses at all. Four were dismissed for other reasons.

"The statute and rules are very clear that persons signing a nominating petition must list their residence address," Mack said in her ruling.

In an earlier interview, Mack denied that her decision involved "institutional racism."

"When the laws were drafted, they weren't drafted with any specific race, with any specific geographical area or person in mind," Mack said. "Election law just literally wants to be sure that there is one person, one vote, and to precinct them. They have to put them in a physical location for their residence. And that's consistent across all election law."

People can't reside in a P.O. box, Mack said.

Paquin also claims he had contacted staff at the Secretary of State's Office to ask about P.O. box numbers and was told that "P.O. box along with township cited would suffice ..." He mentions the staff member by name in the petition.

"You indicated that you spoke with someone at the Secretary of State's Office and were told that post office boxes are acceptable to show residence," Mack said in her June 14 decision. "I have spoken with both staff and legal counsel for the secretary of state, and have been told that staff at the Secretary of State's Office would not have indicated to anyone calling the office that a post office box was acceptable."

Paquin is asking the Supreme Court to place his name under the Warrior for Justice Party label on the Nov. 2 ballot. He is also asking , on Beaulieu's behalf, to have her name placed on the ballot.

"This law Kay Mack cites to deny the Warriors for Justice ballot status has the effect of unduly inhibiting tribal self-governance which violates the preemption test and the infringement test the federal government assesses cases regarding state civil jurisdiction on Indian reservations," Paquin wrote in his petition.

In an order signed by Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, the case was set for scheduling the filing of documents and affidavits of service. It was also given expedited status.

The case, A101177, is Gregory Wayne Paquin vs. Kay Mack, Beltrami County Auditor.

bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

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