Only Libertarian on ND's primary ballot wants a recount

Jul 31, 2018

A Grand Forks man who ran for Secretary of State in the June primary as a Libertarian is asking the North Dakota Supreme Court to order a recount in his race.

Roland Riemers was the only Libertarian on the ballot. State law says a party needs 300 votes in the primary to have its own column on the general election ballot.

"I lost by 53 votes," Riemers told the Court. "I'm not only off the general election ballot, but it loses us our status as the Libertarian Party for the next two years."

Riemers said the effort for the recount is to find those 53 votes to get him and the party back on the ballot. And he said the way the state law is written, he's entitled to a recount.

"It says, if I lost the nomination by one percent or less compared to the top vote-getter for that office, which would have been Will Gardner, who had 54,000 votes, and one percent is 540 votes, then it's mandated that the state do a recount," Riemers argued.

Will Gardner was in the Republican column.

The attorney representing Secretary of State Al Jaeger told the court the statute was only meant for contested races – and for the primary, that meant a contested race for the nomination. But Riemers was the only Libertarian running.

"I don't think that the recount provision expressly provides for a recount when an individual fails to meet the 300 vote threshhold," said attorney Matthew Sagsveen. "It's not expressly written in the statute."

The High Court is studying the case.