Scope of review limited to whether candidate met residency qualifications for office.

Topic: Elections, Decided by Judge Walker 
Docket Number: 1638940 , Decision Date: 2016-05-18 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

A candidate for State House District 151 failed to establish that he met the residency requirements for that office.  The evidence showed that, as a result of decennial redistricting by the state legislature, James Ricardo Williams’s residence was moved from District 151 to District 154 starting with the 2012 election cycle.  However, the county election board failed to properly reassign Williams to District 154.  As a result, Williams continued to vote in District 151, and the county board did not correct the error until after Williams had sought to qualify for the District 151 seat.  Although Williams had valid reason to believe that he was eligible to run for the District 151 seat, OSAH’s scope of review is limited to whether a candidate has met the constitutional and statutory qualifications for office.  Here, Williams could not prove that he would have been a resident of District 151 for one year prior to election.  Though not entertained by OSAH, Williams’s additional claims—including his assertion that the Secretary of State’s Office unlawfully instructed the elections board to change his district—were preserved in the record for purposes of appeal to the superior court.