Sunday, February 05, 2006

Residency

I'm watching the politicos try to struggle with the displaced persons who are living abroad in places like Texas. Evidently some of them want to vote in the upcoming New Orleans elections and the voter officials here are trying to figure a way to do that.

And I'm wondering about residency requirements. A lot of folks who lived in New Orleans now live somewhere else. They ain't in Louisiana. A lot of those folks are eligible to vote in the places where they landed, which to my mind, constitues residency. Hell, they've been there four months or longer. The Texas links are just an example. The same would be true in any other state.

I went over to this page to try to fathom the various residency requirements of the various states, and what I get from it is that you are basically eligible to vote where you reside. If a person resides in Texas for thirty days immediately preceeding an election, they are eligible to vote in that state. Are they then eligible to vote in Louisiana? According to this law, a person who has moved into the State of Texas has 30 days to get a Texas Drivers License.

If you have an address in Texas, and you have lived there longer than 30 days, seems to me you are a resident of Texas. If you want to be a resident of Louisiana, then you better move your ass back to Louisiana. Make up your mind where you live.

What idiot would argue that a resident of one state should be eligible to vote in the elections of another state? I can hear the howls now. Lets not talk about disenfrancisement. I you live somewhere and want to vote, then you need to get down to the Registrar's office and register. Don't complain if you haven't done the paperwork.

In my view, a person should know where he/she lives. People who don't know where they live shouldn't be allowed to vote. We still need residency requirements, and if you don't have a residence, you shouldn't be allowed to vote. If the mail-in vote is allowed in this state, I see a powerful risk of voter fraud.

Make up your mind where you want to live. Vote there.

5 comments:

Kinch said...

I'm not a lawyer - but I played one on TV - but I don't think that residing in another state for a certain period of time automatically qualifies you as a resident. Suppose someone's work requires that they be someplace else for 60 days? Do they then have to register to vote there?

What I do think you have to have is a permanent residence. A hotel room probably doesn't qualify.

What the state law that you refer to is that once permenant residence has been established, you then have 30 days update your drivers license.

Pawpaw said...

Good points all, Kinch, but there has to be some rational limits placed on where the body sleeps and what is considered the state of residence.

There is, for example, no time requirements for establishing residence in several of the states. Suppose, for example, I wanted to vote in Massachusetts and keep my same residence in Louisiana. I could easily fly to Massachusetts, rent an apartment, register to vote, and vote absentee in every election. As long as I didn't vote in Louisiana, it wouldn't be illegal.

I think we can all agree that that scenario would be unacceptable.

I can make a case that someone who has actually lived in Texas for four months may not be a Louisiana resident any longer, unless they can demonstrate that they have a home to come home to.

Anonymous said...

I think at this point we need to be a little bit "liberal" in these requirements. If you have moved lets say from nola and have property there it kinda of sucks not to be able to vote when your trying to get back. In fact, because of circumstance that can be manipulated by the powers that be to deprive you of your property and other rights. If a person over the next two years or so has registered to vote at a new place then sorry cant vote at the old residence. To be honest I think the situation is similar to when students go off to college but still vote in their home towns. I think on the whole thats fair. THe devil is in the details on how you prevent fraud. If for instance a person has never register to vote then I would say their going to have to really prove they were there in the first place.

jh
homer louisiana

Anonymous said...

30 days to get a Texas license? Man, I might have been in trouble if a TX trooper had pulled me over last year. I lived in Kingwood for 6 month, and had work kept me in East TX I would have stayed there. However, I was waiting until my Louisiana license expired in 2008 b/c I wanted to continue to get my Louisiana fishing license for only $30.

Anonymous said...

>Make up your mind where you want to live. Vote there.

Pawpaw, that's exactly what they're trying to do.