© 2024
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Burleigh County auditor explains his election lawsuit to the County Commission

Burleigh County’s auditor said a lawsuit he filed over the counting of mail-in ballots after Election Day is not official County business.

Mark Splonskowski told the County Commission he filed the suit on his own behalf.

Splonskoski said North Dakota law allows ballots to be accepted 13 days after Election Day, but federal law describes Election Day as just one specific day.

"There is a conflict between the two," Splonskowski said. "I care deeply about following the law. And as an individual, I may be subjected to criminal sanctions for violating either state or federal law. I cannot uphold state law without violating federal law, and vice-versa."

Splonskowski is suing State Elections Director Erika White in US District Court. He’s being aided by the Public Interest Legal Foundation.

Burleigh County States’ Attorney Julie Lawyer said no county funds are going to the lawsuit. She said even though the action is based on his position as county auditor, it was filed as a personal action. But County Commissioner Jerry Woodcox disagreed with that conclusion.

"When he sits in his office, and talks to the news medial about it, and when we as commissioners walk in and he talks about it, he's definitely representing Burleigh County," Woodcox said.

Some other North Dakota county auditors were approached by the Foundation, but they declined to file suit.

The case has not yet been set for trial.