Category Archives: residency

“N.H. Supreme Court Says SB3 Can Stay In Place, Reversing Lower Court Order”


In a hearing on Thursday, Brown shot down that request and attempted to address any lingering questions the state had about his initial order, but — in a unanimous ruling issued at 5 p.m. Friday — the New Hampshire Supreme Court took the state’s side.

The justices took no position on the merits of the underlying voter registration law at the center of the ongoing court case, but they said the state made a convincing argument that it’s too close to the election to switch out the registration rules.

The timing of Brown’s order, the justices wrote, “entered by the trial court a mere two weeks before the November 6 election, creates both a substantial risk of confusion and disruption of the orderly conduct of the election, and the prospect that similarly situated voters may be subjected to differing voter registration and voting procedures in the same election cycle.”

(h/t Doug Chapin)

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“Records contradict Bayh’s assertion over staying in Indiana”


Evan Bayh pushed back at an interviewer last month when he was asked if he would move back to Indiana now that he is running to win back his old Senate seat.

“I’ve never left,” he told WISH-TV.
It turns out he did.
A CNN review of public records since Bayh left office in 2011 shows the Democrat repeatedly listed his two multi-million dollar homes in Washington as his main places of residence — not the $53,000 condo he owns in Indianapolis.
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“Hillsboro mayor, standup comedian Drew Hastings indicted”

Cincinnati Enquirer:

A small-city mayor who’s also a veteran standup comedian was indicted Tuesday on four felony counts including election falsification and theft in office.

The state auditor’s office announcement followed a monthslong investigation of Republican Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings by special prosecutors appointed by a Highland County judge. The counts also include theft and tampering with records.

Hastings said he has done nothing wrong and was “mystified” when he was served with the indictment while having lunch at a restaurant.

“I’m only guilty of trying to represent our citizens without the consent of an established political structure,” Hastings said.

Among allegations probed were improper personal use of Hillsboro city trash bins, a $500 vacant building fee refund he received and election falsification concerning his residency in the city of 6,600 residents, where he has a downtown apartment. He has called the investigation a politically motivated “witch hunt” and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

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“Court upholds former California senator’s voter fraud conviction”


A Los Angeles County appeals court on Tuesday upheld former state Sen. Rod Wright’s conviction on charges of perjury and voter fraud.

In 2014, a jury found Wright guilty of eight felonies for registering to vote at a home he owned in Inglewood, even though he actually lived several miles away in the upscale neighborhood of Baldwin Hills, just outside the district where he ran for office in 2008.

You can find the unpublished unanimous opinion of the California Court of Appeal at this link.
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“Airbnb listing spells trouble for Wisconsin Republican”

Roll Call:

Note to congressional hopefuls: If you are trying to prove residency in a district, it might not be a good idea to advertise that residence on Airbnb.

Especially if you also own a much nicer house in a district that would force you to run against a crazy popular incumbent like House Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

Case in point: Wisconsin Republican Frank Lasee is facing questions in his home state about whether he actually lives in the two-bedroom, “luxury apartment,” he was advertising for rent until recently for $210 a night on, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Saturday.

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“Residency and Democracy”

Gene Mazo has posted this draft on SSRN (forthcoming, FSU L Rev).  Here is the abstract:

Geographical residency is part of democracy. Politicians are elected from geographical districts, and they represent the people of those districts in office. A United States Senator is elected to represent the people of his state. A Congressman represents the people of a particular district in that state. In turn, a citizen from a geographically bounded state votes for a Senator who will represent that state, just as a resident of a geographically bounded district votes for that district’s Congressman. No one would seriously expect or advocate the residents of a different state or district to vote for these government officials. What is less appreciated is that a new resident of the state or district who wishes to vote for his preferred candidate may often not be able to do so until he first meets a durational residency requirement. This means that a citizen not only has to reside in a certain geographical district to vote for its representatives, but he must also demonstrate his legal residence there for a certain period of time.

Durational residency requirements exist for candidates as well. Just as voters have to satisfy certain durational residency requirements before they can cast a ballot in a given district, so too do politicians have to meet durational residency qualifications in most states and municipalities before they can run for office. The durational residency hurdles that political candidates face, however, often look very different from those that voters encounter. The durational residency requirements for politicians are typically much longer in length, and they have not been subject to the same kinds of constitutional challenges as those for voters, other than in rare circumstances.

As a society, we take durational residency requirements for granted. Only a few scholars have ever examined these requirements in any serious or systematic way, and when they have, most scholars have argued against them. Preventing citizens from voting because they might live in the right district but have not lived there long enough is seen as being anti-democratic, while preventing candidates who do not meet a durational residency qualification from running for office is viewed as little more than a naked attempt to prevent carpet-bagging. This, at least, is what the literature on durational residency requirements argues. Yet states and municipalities have not always viewed things this way. Instead, they have advanced many reasons for preserving durational residency requirements. When one scratches the surface, durational residency requirements turn out to be more complicated than they appear. They also have a long history in American jurisprudence, a history that dates back to the colonies.

This Article seeks to examine America’s durational residency requirements in historical and comparative terms. In doing so, it aims to make the case that these requirements are not anti-democratic and that in some circumstances they are both necessary and essential for democracy. The few scholars who have examined durational residency requirements in the past have tried to argue against them without appreciating their place in our history. This Article seeks to blend history and modern law in a way that no one has attempted to do before. The Article argues that residency requirements have their place in democratic politics. Its purpose is to explain the origins of our durational residency requirements, to chronicle their current status, and probe the contours of when they may be justified in American democracy.

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Richard Alarcon Gets New Trial in CA Residency Case

The unananimous, unpublished Court of Appeal opinion is here. The basis for the reversal (for Alarcon and his wife) was instructional error: the court held that the use of a mandatory presumption impermissibly shifted the burden of proof from the prosecution to the defendants.

The government can now appeal further, try the Alarcons again, or drop the case.

UPDATE: Here is the LA Times story.

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“Lawmakers, ACLU protest 30-day residency voting requirement in New Hampshire”


Gov. Maggie Hassan is likely to veto legislation that would require people to live in New Hampshire for 30 days before they can vote in the state.

Hassan’s office said Thursday she worries the bill will restrict people’s constitutional right to vote. The comments from her office came after a coalition of Democratic lawmakers, election workers and the American Civil Liberties Union called the bill unconstitutional….

Supporters of the bill say the measure would eliminate voter fraud, including so-called drive-by voting by people who register to vote on Election Day when they don’t live in the state. People domiciled in New Hampshire can register on the day they vote. Secretary of State Bill Gardner backs the bill and has said he believes drive-by voting is a problem.

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“Only Voters Count? Conservatives ask the Supreme Court to restrict states’ rights and overturn precedent.”

I have written this new piece for Slate.  It begins:

For the second time in a year, the Supreme Court has agreed to wade into an election case at the urging of conservatives. In both cases it has done so despite the issue appearing to be settled by long-standing precedent. In a case expected to be decided next month, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, conservatives asked the court to bar states from using independent redistricting commissions to draw congressional lines. In a case the court agreed to hear Tuesday, Evenwel v. Abbott, conservatives asked the court to require states to draw their legislative district lines in a particular way: Rather than considering the total population in each district, conservatives argue, the lines should instead divide districts according to the number of people registered or eligible to vote. Most states use total population for drawing districts, which includes noncitizens, children, felons, and others ineligible to vote.

In both Supreme Court cases, there is great irony in the fact that they are being brought by conservatives, who usually claim to respect precedents and states’ rights. The challengers are not only asking the court to revisit issues that seemed to be settled by decades-old precedent. If successful, these cases will undermine federalism by limiting states’ rights to design their own political systems.

A ruling favorable to conservatives in the Evenwel case, especially if extended to congressional redistricting, could shift more power to Republicans, who are more likely to live in areas with high concentrations of voters.
It concludes:

The conservatives behind Evenwel don’t seem bothered much by the intrusion on states’ rights that a decision in their favor would engender. That’s because they are motivated more by the fact that noncitizens are getting representation, and in their belief that this is “diluting” the voting power of citizens. They are the same peoplewho backed attacks on affirmative action at the Supreme Court in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case and successfully got the Supreme Court to strike down a key portion of the Voting Rights Act in the Shelby County v. Holder case.

It is an agenda not about states’ rights but about getting the Supreme Court to force states to empower conservatives and force onto all of us the theories of representation and power they envision.

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