Sunday, October 26, 2014

Letter to SOS Jaeger - Please Help Foster County!

Post by Auditor Risovi to a web site where she is Moderator

Dear Mr. Jaeger,

I'm wondering if you are keeping up with the extraordinary performance of the auditor of Foster County, Teresa Risovi.

I'm curious to know if you have seen the above post from the web site that Auditor Risovi moderates: 

Auditor Risovi used to tell the Foster County community that she spoke to you personally on practically a daily basis.  However, after Doug Zink called you  to challenge her pronouncement and found out that she had not spoken to you (at a time when she said she had), she changed her pronouncements to "the SOS office."  Has she ever spoken to you personally?  And, do you continually tell her what a great job she is doing, as she continually tells us?

If one goes by the North Dakota Century code, Auditor Risovi committed three misdemeanors and one felony during the Primary election - regarding her mismanagement of the absentee ballots.  It has yet to be explained how two absentee ballots got into the ballot box, ballots without applications for absentee voting so signatures could be compared, ballots of voters who were not even listed in the official absentee poll book.  The Election Board rejected those two ballots, but Auditor Risovi convinced the Canvassing Board to accept the two ballots, due to the voters' "intent."  Did the BCI ever ask the two voters how their ballots got into the ballot box?  Is there a public record of the BCI's investigation of this issue?  If so, I would like to have a copy.

Do you know that during the Primary, the absentee votes were not protected and were taken from building to building across town without proper sealing and any kind of protection from tampering - other than Auditor Risovi's word that she did everything properly.  Marlene Boyer, a well-respected member of Foster County who has been on the Foster County Election Board for many years, will tell you a different story - as she witnessed Ms. Risovi's actions that night.  It's interesting that Auditor Risovi did not invite Mrs. Boyer to be on the Election Board for the November election - a fact that many community members are concerned about because of the trust they have in Mrs. Boyer and the lack of trust that they have in Ms. Risovi.

I've been told that several people have notified you of the extreme election problems that are taking place in Foster County and that you prefer to stay away from our concerns about the auditor.  One community member is circulating a petition, asking for your help with the November 10 election - hoping that you will send someone here to oversee the absentee and regular vote counting.  Many of us are hoping that you will do this.

Question:  Can the Auditor refuse to let news media set up a camera inside the polling place?

Question:  Can news media film the counting of the absentee ballots and the actual vote count?

I look forward to a response to my concerns and answers to my questions.  Thank you for your time and consideration of these matters.


Judith Lee Helton Keller
Carrington, Foster County, ND


  1. I received the following e-mail from Al Jaeger. Disappointing! Not only is he not going to help Foster County, he didn't answer the questions I asked about filming at the polls. I'm sure that Auditor Risovi will object to cameras being there, even though the Century Code says it's okay. After talking with a group of friends and reading Al Jaegar's unfeeling response, he should know that he lost quite a few votes from dedicated Republicans.

    Ms Keller,

    We do not have the time, resources, or personnel to handle the election in Foster County. We have to provide assistance and guidance to 53 counties. Unfortunately, all sides to this issue have distorted the truth as to the assistance from this office. We cannot and will not mediate or become involved in who said what or did what among the personalities in the county. We know what we have done. Unfortunately, there are too many all on sides that have spun it for their point of view. The situation is that the various officials in the county have to fulfill the requirements of their Oath of Office and do what needs to be done.

    Al Jaeger


    As you can see, Jaeger refused to send Foster County any help - even though he is obviously aware of the serious problems that are taking place with the election process in our county. He has been notified, not only by me, but by others, of Auditor Risovi's violation of election laws.

    It's beginning to seem like Risovi has been given unlimited immunity to continue to break the law in exchange for her testimony against Roger Schlotman and Jim Carr. (As you recall, Risovi and Straley took over the offices of the people they accused of criminal acts.) Otherwise, why hasn't Risovi been prosecuted for her violations of election laws?

    Jaeger says that he does not have the "resources, or personnel" to assist us with the election. He did manage to write a long letter criticizing State's Attorney Paul Murphy's misinterpretation of the ND Century Code regarding absentee ballots. You can read that letter in the current Foster County Independent. At least Paul Murphy triied to address the concerns of our community about having a fair vote and didn't ignore our concerns as Jaeger does.

    As it is, if someone doesn't oversee Auditor Risovi, she will probably be carrying the votes from City Hall to the Courthouse like she did during the Primary, and she will be left alone with them again. From reading the ND Century Code, my understanding is that all the voting machines and all the counting (including counting the absentee ballots) should be done at one site, the polling place, with all the ballots wrapped and sealed according to their category. The Election Board should stay with Risovi until the absentee ballots are counted and sealed on November 3rd. Then after the polls are closed on November 4th, no one should leave until all the ballots have been verified and wrapped and sealed according to their categories! This was not done during the Primary.

    It is my opinion that any county auditor who is running for office, who has an opponent, should not be in charge of that election. That person should step aside and let someone else be in charge. He/she should definitely not be left alone with the ballots. I really like the way the North Dakota Century Code is laid out, but I think this is a section that needs to be corrected, not only for the protection of the public, but also for the protection of honest auditors. If an election is managed properly by someone the community can trust, there should not be all the problems like the ones Foster County is experiencing.