Bachmeier Pulled from District 13 Ballot over Residency Requirements
In an unusual turn of events, a Republican candidate who had already been certified for the primary election taking place in August, has been ruled ineligible to run on the ballot.
Barbara Bachmeier, a real estate agent and Army veteran, who has spent time homeless in the last twelve months, was stripped from the ballot on July 2nd by the director of the Division of Elections, Gail Fenumiai.
If Bachmeier wants to challenge the decision by Fenumiai, she will have to go to court. Time is short if she wants to seek that avenue to be re-instated in time for the primary, ballots are being printed this week and some ballots will hit the mail by weekend.
As her reason for the unusual move to strip a candidate who has already been certified for the ballot, Fenumiai said public records showed that Bachmeier had during the eligibility period, registered to vote in Juneau and has lived in two other homes outside of the district.
According to records supporting residency in District 13, Bachmeier's residency started in early August of 2011, which is at least two months short of the requirement.
Although the complaint to have Bachmeier removed from the ballot was received from Scott Kendall, an Anchorage attorney, who filed it on behalf of two Alaska voters, Scott Smestad and John Nelson, Bachmeier says she believes that the complaint originated with her competition Gabrielle LeDoux, the other candidate for the newly minted District 13.
Smestad only would say he got the info from “somebody.” and denied knowing Nelson.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, Gabrielle Ledoux didn't deny or confirm the accusation, "I actually don't think that's a relevant question," LeDoux said. "I think the only important question is whether or not Barbara Bachmeier was constitutionally eligible to run in this district. And the Division of Elections found that she had not lived in the district long enough. You know, somebody tried to get away with something, but the division didn't let them do it."
Ledoux is no newcomer to residency questions, her residency came up in the elections two years ago.
Before stripping here from the ballot last week, Fenumiai said she had given Bachmeier two weeks then another seven days, but never heard back from her.
Hal Gazaway is the Democrat candidate vying for the seat, he is running unopposed after Shirley Wendt withdrew.