Michael J. O’Hara, Democratic candidate for Nebraska State Treasurer, announced today that Don Stenberg might not be a registered voter. And, if so, Stenberg is barred from being a candidate for election as Nebraska State Treasurer this November 4th.
In a letter delivered today to Secretary of State John Gale, O’Hara challenged Stenberg’s qualifications to hold office and challenged Stenberg’s voter registration. O’Hara requested Gale rule on whether the office of State Treasurer is vacant because Stenberg is not in compliance with statute required residency.
O’Hara said, “Nebraska election laws can be complex, but sometimes they are real simple and clear. For example, it’s real clear that candidates are required to be registered voters and citizens must register to vote where they reside.” The only records showing Don Stenberg on a voting list are those in Sarpy County.
Nebraska statute 84-601 requires “The State Treasurer shall reside and keep his office at the seat of government.” Lancaster County contains the seat of Nebraska government.
O’Hara said, “Don Stenberg appears to be registered to vote in Sarpy County, but took an oath to reside in Lancaster County. Does that mean Stenberg is violating State statute by not residing in Lancaster County while claiming to be State Treasurer? Or does that mean Stenberg is violating State statute by claiming to be registered to vote in Sarpy County? Has Stenberg vacated the office of Nebraska State Treasurer?”
Is he a registered voter? When Stenberg took the oath of office, did he automatically change his place of residing from Sarpy to Lancaster County? If so, then Nebraska statute seems to provide for an automatic termination of his Sarpy voter registration. It is certain Stenberg is not registered to vote in Lancaster County. So, if he automatically terminated his Sarpy registration, and then did not register in Lancaster County, that would mean Stenberg is not a registered voter.
O’Hara said, “The law is real clear that to be a valid candidate a citizen must be a registered voter, but Stenberg does not appear to be a registered voter.”
Is Don Stenberg a qualified candidate for the office of Nebraska State Treasurer? Is the office of Nebraska State Treasurer vacant? O’Hara looks forward to Secretary of State Gale’s prompt determination.
Nebraska statute 84-601: Treasurer must reside at the seat of government (which is within Lancaster County).
State v. Hill, 38 Neb. 698, 57 N.W. 548 (1894).: Nebraska Supreme Court case upholding the requirement that State Treasurer reside at seat of government.
Nebraska statute 32-602: candidates must be registered voters.
Nebraska statute 32-314 (2): changing residence terminates registration.
Nebraska Constitution Art. IV, sec. 1: all executive officers must reside in Nebraska.
State ex rel. Spire v. Conway, 238 Neb. 766, 472 N.W.2d 403 (1991): Nebraska Supreme Court case holding taking oath of office of State Senator automatically caused resignation as a tenured faculty member at Wayne State College.
PRESS RELEASE BY:
Michael J. O’Hara
Democratic candidate for Nebraska State Treasurer