Yochum doesn’t live in the district where he’s a candidate
Merritt “Ike” Yochum, the Independent American Party candidate challenging Carson City Republican Mark Amodei for his Senate seat, is caught in a candidate’s version of no man’s land.
Yochum called Carson City Clerk Alan Glover this week demanding to know why his race wasn’t on his sample ballot. Instead of the Capital Senatorial District race against Amodei, his ballot featured the Washoe Senate District 4 race of Randolph Townsend.
After checking the records, Glover’s answer was not what Yochum wanted to hear: He got the right ballot.
“He filed for the Capital Senatorial District, but he does not live in the Capital Senatorial District,” Glover said. “He lives in Washoe Senate District 4, which is Randolph Townsend’s district.”
Townsend’s district covers most of southern Washoe County and the northern portion of Carson City.
Glover said Yochum’s name appears on the ballot but that it is too late for him to become a resident of Amodei’s district because state law requires legislative candidates to be residents of their district well before they even file for office – which occurred in May.
“So if he was elected, he could not be seated in the Senate. He can’t vote for himself, and you don’t get your money (a $100 filing fee) back either,” Glover said.
Glover said the blame is Yochum’s. He said the function of the Secretary of State and of local clerks during election filing is “strictly ministerial.”
“They don’t check residency or other qualifications for office,” he said. “They accept his filing and his money. We get the certified list of candidates and we print the sample ballots placing him as a candidate in the Capital Senatorial District.”
He said it is the responsibility of the candidate to know in which state senate district he lives.
“Normally, it’s up to your opponent to find out you’re not qualified for the office,” he said.
Yochum could not be reached for comment.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.