By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
Today the Secretary of State has denied NY Times columnist Nick Kristof a candidacy for Oregon Governor based on his ineligibility due to not meeting residency requirements while living in New York. As Kristof responded by saying “A failing political establishment in Oregon has chosen to protect itself, rather than give voters a choice. We will challenge this decision in court, and we are confident we will prevail, because the law is on our side.”
Secretary of State release:
“The Oregon Elections Division notified the Nicholas Kristof campaign this morning that it is rejecting his filing for Governor because he does not meet the constitutional requirements to serve. Article V, § 2 of the Oregon Constitution requires a candidate for governor to have been a ”resident within this state” for three years before the election.
“The rules are the rules and they apply equally to all candidates for office in Oregon. I stand by the determination of the experts in the Oregon Elections Division that Mr. Kristof does not currently meet the Constitutional requirements to run or serve as Oregon Governor,” said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. “As Oregon’s chief elections official, it is my responsibility to make sure all candidates on the statewide ballot are qualified to serve if elected. The Oregon Elections Division and local election officials use the same standards to determine qualifications for hundreds of candidates in dozens of offices every year. In this instance, the candidate clearly does not meet the constitutional requirement to run or serve as governor of Oregon.”
ORS 249.031(1)(f) requires all candidates to provide a signed statement affirming that they will qualify for office if elected. Oregon elections officials evaluate whether prospective candidates meet residency requirements by checking Oregon voter registration records. If those records are insufficient to verify residency, or if officials become aware of other concerns about residency, they ask prospective candidates to provide additional facts. Elections officials across the state routinely review the residency of prospective candidates; it is not uncommon for officials to reject prospective candidates who do not meet eligibility requirements.
“If Mr. Kristof chooses to appeal, the Oregon Elections Division is committed to doing everything possible to allow Oregon courts to decide promptly,” said Deborah Scroggin, Oregon Elections Director. “My office remains focused on ensuring a fair process and meeting our March 17th deadline, after which clerks begin printing ballots. While the primary election is in May, for Oregon’s elections administrators, the work begins much sooner.”
ORS 246.910 states that a person who is adversely affected by any act of the Secretary of State or by any order, rule, directive, or instruction made by the Secretary of State under any election law, may appeal to the appropriate circuit court. Oregon statute requires the Secretary of State to provide a list of qualified candidates to county clerks by March 17, 2022, allowing them to design, print, and mail ballots for the May 2022 primary election. ”