Update: Kerrey Responds to Secretary of State Gale's Remarks

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

Posted March 19

Bob Kerrey has responded to questions raised by Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale last week in determining whether the former Senator will appear on the ballot.

Gale ruled that Kerrey's name can appear on the ballot because the U.S. Constitution's requirements to be eligible allow for it. At the same time, Gale said if it were just up to Nebraska state law, Kerrey did not meet residency requirements.

In a letter sent today, Kerrey complained about the comments. "It is as if you wrote the statement for the expressed purpose of giving Karl Rove some language to use in one of his commercials against me.

Kerry added: "In four pages of so-called "analysis", you throw unnecessary and unjustified doubt onto my right to vote. Toward this end, you reviewed not just my own voter registrations, but also those of my sister, my brother-in-law, and my friend... You said that I "did not appear to have bodily presence" at my new home...on February 29, even though I actually did."

Posted March 16

Secretary of State John Gale Friday sustained in part, but overruled in part, an objection by the Nebraska State Republican Party to Bob Kerrey’s presence on the ballot for the May 15th primary election and the November 6th general election ballot.

Gale ruled that Kerrey did not meet the statutory terms of required residency under Nebraska law at the time of filing his candidate ballot form on February 29th.

However, Nebraska law also prescribes the qualifications for a U.S. Senate candidate to be those of the U.S. Constitution. Following the less strict federal Constitution as required by state law, Gale ruled that Bob Kerrey’s name can appear on the May 15th primary election ballot for United States Senate.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for fair, competitive elections," said Paul Johnson, Kerrey's campaign manager. "The ruling exposes the shameful attempt by Republican leaders to steal an election, instead of letting voters decide. We understand that partisan leaders are scared of running against Bob Kerrey. However, winning election by virtue, not theft, is the Nebraska Way."

Gale’s decision listed a number of resources he used in making his determination including the Republican Party’s challenge letter, two written responses from Kerrey and his attorney which responded to a number of questions from the Secretary of State, Douglas County voter registration and property records, and state and federal law.

Gale said, “This situation was complicated by Mr. Kerrey’s candidacy filing right before the deadline and right after filing two voter registration forms with different addresses within 24 hours.”

Gale noted that usually “surrounding circumstances” can help resolve residency issues, but in this case, due to the short time frame, there was a limited amount of surrounding circumstances to consider.

Gale’s ruling mentioned GOP allegations of criminal election falsification relating to the voter registration applications, but stated that any discussion or investigation into criminal charges were the responsibility of local law enforcement and county attorneys.

Kerrey will join Steven Lustgarten, Sherman Yates, Larry Marvin, and Chuck Hassebrook on the ballot for the Democratic nomination for US Senate.

Hassebrook has previously stated that he was withdrawing from the race, but was too late to have his name removed.

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