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GOP Board Member Resigns

October 21, 2004, 5:58 PM by Jodi Schwan

GOP Board Member Resigns

There's another resignation connected to the South Dakota republican party. But this person isn't under investigation for any wrong-doing; she's protesting the way campaigns are being run.

Former state representative Jan Nicolay resigned her position on the state republican executive board this week. Republican Jan Nicolay served in the state legislature for more than a decade, so she's used to political campaigning. But she says the tactics of this election bothered her so much, she didn't want to stay in her party's leadership.

Questionable campaigning on college campuses has already led to a criminal investigation. Members of the state republican party may have notarized absentee applications without witnessing them. It's also caused seven people connected with the organization or college republicans to resign. Now another member of the state party leadership is joining them.

Nicolay says, "It would be easier to sit back and say and do nothing but at the same time I couldn't do that. I just think it's a disservice to the young people that are probably for the first time getting involved or looking forward to getting involved."

Jan Nicolay resigned her position on the state party's executive board after talking to college students. She say they are disillusioned over the political process after coming in contact with workers from her party.

Nicolay says, "They thought they were mean and vindictive and I said that happens on both sides it's not just one party, but those were the most pronounced and I just said that's the way some people feel they have to do that to win and I have to tell you I don't agree with that."

She's also upset because other college students working for the party may not have been properly supervised.

Nicolay says, "And they're so excited, so enthused they're working on the campaign and we should have had people in there making sure we protected them."

Nicolay says the party did the right thing by enforcing a zero-tolerance policy, but she still doesn't want to be involved anymore.

She says, "I'm bothered. We need to keep it clean. We need to protect this process. And people that are involved in it need to understand that. The candidates need to set the highest standard and say this is what we need to do and I guess I don't think it's been done."

Nicolay says the party chairman told her he understood her decision. In a statement, the party says it has already acted appropriately to address the issues Nicolay raised as the cause for her resignation.

Also tonight, the secretary of state's office sent out letters to 182 voters asking them to provide photo ID with their applications. It's not clear whether those overlap with the 1,400 people the republican party is contacting. The Minnehaha county auditor also asked more people to send in IDs. We're told the reason for all this double-checking will be released at a press conference tomorrow.

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