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Challenge Prompts Review of Bosworth's Senate Petitions

April 2, 2014, 10:03 PM by Brady Mallory

Challenge Prompts Review of Bosworth's Senate Petitions

Challenges to a U.S. Senate candidate's nominating petitions bring some uncertainty, for some, to the ballot for the June primary election.

Cory Heidelberger, a blogger with the Madville Times, filed a formal challenge on Tuesday with the stat, claiming more than 1,000 of Dr. Annette Bosworth's petition signatures are invalid.

If the South Dakota Secretary of State finds he's right, Bosworth's name will not be on the ballot as a Republican candidate for Senate. Her attorney said the challenges "contain wild leaps of logic."

"He's got an ax to grind against Dr. Bosworth, no surprise he would try to do something like this. At the same time, we're not concerned," Joel Arends, Bosworth's Attorney, said.

Bosworth needs 1,995 signatures to get on the ballot, and she turned in 2,868.

South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant said some of Heidelberger's claims allege Bosworth is not a registered Republican, and some of her petitions are not properly notarized or filled out.

"It's a normal procedure that, within five days, any interested person can file a challenge, regarding their approval to be on the ballot," Gant said.

Heidelberger also mentions six petition sheets, which list Bosworth and her husband as the circulators. The sheets include signatures made from Jan. 5 to Jan. 15.  In his challenge, Heidelberger claims Bosworth and her husband were on a mission trip to the Philippines during that time. Gant said someone cannot sign on as a circulator, if they were not there to hand them out and witness the person signing.

"That's obviously a no-no," Gant said.

Gant will spend the next few days going through every signature in question, line-by-line, to make sure the ballot is finished and can go out to county auditors by the middle of this month. He expects the results to be finished by Friday. Arends said he is confident Bosworth's campaign followed all of the rules, and the signatures will hold up.

"We think we'll be on the ballot, absolutely," Arends said.

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