With the May 15 primary rapidly approaching, two legislative candidates in Northern Idaho have found themselves stricken from the ballot.
The first candidate to be stricken from the ballot was Phil Hart. His removal came at the end of April. The former GOP lawmaker was hoping to win a seat in a new district around Riggins. However, he’s only been registered in the district he’s seeking to represent since November. Candidates have to be registered for at least a year their district to run for the state legislature.
This week, it was Republican candidate Kathy Sims who got booted from the ballot after trying to run for a seat in Post Falls.
The Secretary of State’s chief deputy, Tim Hurst, says it was citizens who brought both cases to light.
“We catch a lot of them – or most of them – at the time of filing,” Hurst says. These just slipped through; we didn’t get them.”
Hurst says his office is still looking into how Sims and Hart both managed to get as far as they did without raising red flags. Much of the vetting is still done manually, according to Hurst. He says that could soon change.
“You know, our voter registration system is twelve years old, and we’re looking at replacing that next year with a feature that will do more of that checking automatically,” says Hurst. “So we’re looking at correcting the problem instead of doing it by hand.”
Hurst says he’s aware of three other candidates that were disqualified earlier in the current election cycle.
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