In November of 2021, the North Dakota Legislature approved a re-districting map that was required due to the results of the 2020 U.S. Census that showed a change in population in different areas of North Dakota. For reference, here is an article describing this https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/north-dakota/articles/2021-11-10/north-dakota-legislature-approves-new-redistricting-map
In the Dickinson area where I live, I was aware that the re-districting map caused the need for there to be a new election of District 36 and District 39 officers, because some of the current elected officers no longer resided within these re-drawn districts.
In April of 2021, Andrew Kordonowy, Kari Roller, and Aliesha Simons were elected as District 36 Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary/Treasurer. For reference, here is an article about this, which mentions who the other candidates were https://www.thedickinsonpress.com/news/district-36-elects-new-chairman-as-constituency-disappointed-with-state-gop
For the past several weeks, I was interested to see the outcome of the District 39 re-organization meeting, partly because I wanted to see what district Andrew Kordonowy, Kari Roller, and Aliesha Simons belonged to now. I was hoping to see Luke Simons begin the process of returning to the North Dakota Legislature as a Representative, because I think that he was wrongfully removed from office last year, without due-process.
The District 39 re-organization meeting was advertised for several weeks in advance, and was to be held in the very small town of Amidon located on Hwy 85, on Monday evening January 31. This location was said to be “neutral”, which is probably true, but it is also centrally located within the re-drawn District 39.
On Tuesday evening, the day after, I watched the over 2-hour video of the District 39 re-organization meeting, candidate introduction, voting, and results. Here is this video
Ben Simons, who had been the District 39 Chair prior to April 2021, to my surprise he lost the vote about 70-150 to Jacob Odermann. (If you look at the April 2021 District 36 election of officers, John Odermann ran for Vice-Chair against Kari Roller.)
Aliesha Simons, who had been the District 36 Secretary, she lost the vote about 70-150 to Hope Klein for District 39 Secretary.
Kari Roller, who had been the District 36 Vice-Chair, she lost the vote about 97-110 to Andrew Larsen for District 39 Treasurer.
The reason why I am focusing on Ben Simons, Aliesha Simons, and Kari Roller, is because each of these Republicans who had been district officers prior to the re-districting, now held no position. The second reason why I am scrutinizing these three election results, is that from the vote count, there appeared to be about 150 voters that came to back the NEW candidates.
I was performing research on Tuesday and Wednesday about what the agenda of Jacob Odermann and Hope Klein was, who was backing them and why, when I began reading allegations that on Monday evening two large party-buses serving free alcohol had brought people to the Amidon District 39 meeting to vote against Ben, Aliesha, and Kari. This would explain the seemingly strange 150 voters who came to back the NEW candidates.
I think that it is wrong, and unethical to round-up people using a party bus serving alcohol to transport them to a District meeting with instructions on who to vote for. However, what probably makes this ILLEGAL, is that one individual paid the $39 Republican Party registration fee for each one of these voters. Once a voter receives a monetary benefit, specifically a $39 Republican Party registration fee payment, and is instructed to vote a certain way, this is ILLEGAL:
Whoever makes or offers to make an expenditure to any person, either to vote or withhold his vote, or to vote for or against any candidate; and
Whoever solicits, accepts, or receives any such expenditure in consideration of his vote or the withholding of his vote—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
The other thing that I can not understand, is why at this District 39 re-organization meeting, where Ben Simons had been District Chair in the past, the designated re-organization meeting leader, immediately turned over the leadership of the meeting to Jacob Odermann the instant the 70-150 vote count was read for District Chair, and Jacob was already prepared with how to proceed with the remainder of the nominations for officers, voting, vote counting, agenda items, and the over-head-projector screen presentation??? It was as if this election result must have been guaranteed prior to election night?
2 thoughts on “Allegations Of Improper, Possibly Illegal Voting At ND District 39 Meeting”
Anyone notice that Mr.Odermann was involved in re-writing the bylaws before he was even elected chair, yet the current chair Mr. Simons was not?
In reply to DOD,
Yes, that’s what was strange, Ben Simons who had been the District 39 Chair in the recent past, he appeared to not have been invited and prepared beforehand the same way never-been-Chair-before Jacob Odermann was prepared by interim leadership ahead of time to take over the District 39 meeting.
I was incorrect with one of my facts in the article I wrote, I had thought that Ben Simons was the most recent and current Chair of District 39, that wasn’t true, he had lost the April 2021 election to Gretchen Stenehjem. Here is a an excerpt from an article about what happened at the April 2021 District 39 meeting, prior to the re-districting map:
“…The incumbent district chairman Ben Simons, brother to Luke Simons, was defeated in a re-election bid by a landslide. Gretchen Stenehjem, a relative by marriage to Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, and wife to 1st International Bank CEO Steve Stenehjem got 136 votes to Simons’s 73 in a turnout that, I’m told, is about double what the district typically sees.
Bastiat-aligned Vice Chairman Perry Remond also lost, as did the incumbent Secretary and Treasurer. The people newly-elected to those positions are Cal Klewin, Jeff Schafer, and Calli Thorne, respectively…”