Republican candidate for District 1 House Logan Manhart is likes to lie about the 2020 election. He is also apparently willing to lie about his qualifications to run for elected office in South Dakota.
Article 3 Section 3 of the South Dakota Constitution requires that individuals wishing to serve as legislators must, among other criteria, have “been a resident of the state for two years next preceding election.” That means that every person running for House or Senate this year must have lived in South Dakota since November 8, 2020.
Logan Manhart moved to Wisconsin in 2019 “to further his education.” In 2020, Manhart campaigned in Wisconsin for Trump. In 2021, Manhart completed a certificate in leadership development and management at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. (Note: the leadership development certificate requires six credits; the supervisory management certificate requires nine credits. So when Manhart says he graduated with a “certificate degree,” he may be overstating his credentials.) GOPVictory.com lists Manhart as the organizer of a Republican mobilization/strategy/get-out-the-vote meeting at the Eau Claire County GOP office in Eau Claire on September 4, 2021:
Manhart was campaigning in person in Eau Claire at VFW Post 305 in September 2021:
Among whatever tasks Manhart busied himself with between politicking and packing in Eau Claire, he appears not to have included canceling his Wisconsin voter registration. Manhart still comes up as an active voter in Wisconsin’s online voter database:
My Vote Wisconsin reports that Logan Manhart voted in four Wisconsin elections, including, most recently, the spring election on April 6, 2021:
This online report is not an error: in an email to Dakota Free Press this morning, Eau Claire City Clerk Carrie Riepl confirms that Logan Manhart voted in the four Wisconsin elections listed in the screencap above: February 18, 2020; August 11, 2020; November 3, 2020; and April 6, 2021.
April 6, 2021, was nineteen months, less than two years, before the 2022 general election.
Partisan candidates in South Dakota swear on their nominating petitions that they are eligible to seek the offices for which they are candidates. When Manhart swore that he was eligible to seek a seat in the South Dakota House, he swore that he had been a resident of South Dakota since November 8, 2020. South Dakota’s definition of residency is notoriously fuzzy, but Manhart had to be a resident of Wisconsin to maintain and exercise his right to vote in Wisconsin on April 6, 2021, 1.6 years before the 2022 general election. Manhart thus will not have fully legally resided in South Dakota for two years by the time of the November 2022 general election and is not eligible to serve in the South Dakota House.
Of course, Manhart’s fellow Republicans are free to ignore such facts and the constitutional residency requirement itself. They did so in 1977, when they seated Rodney Gutzler as District 9 Representative despite the fact that Gutzler had lived in Minnesota until 1975, and the South Dakota Supreme Court said they could, citing the House’s authority to determine its members’ qualifications under Article 3 Section 9 as supreme and judicially uncheckable once the voters have spoken. The 1977 court left open the option of challenging Manhart’s qualifications as a candidate before the voters have spoken. Manhart’s opponents in the District 1 House contest—Democratic Representative Jennifer Healy Keintz of Eden, former Democratic legislator Steven McCleerey, and Republican Representative Tamara St. John—may thus have standing to go to court before the election and argue that Manhart’s nominating petition is invalidated by his false statement that he is legally eligible for the office.
Now it is possible that Manhart did move back to South Dakota a day or two after voting for Trump on November 3, 2020, to reëstablish his permanent residence in Bath for the purpose of running for District 1 House in 2022 and just kept traveling to Wisconsin to hang out with his Republican pals. But then he would have illegally cast his vote in Wisconsin in April 2021.