Surprisingly, the WashPo did a fairly lengthy article on Del. Dave Marsden’s rented room that he is using to qualify to run for state senate in the special election next Tue.
I thought the following passage was interesting:
The voter residency policy states that a residence must both be a “place of abode” — a second home, a hotel, an apartment or even under a bridge — and a “domicile,” defined as the primary place where the resident intends to live his or her life. Essentially, many places can be an “abode” but there can be only one true home, said James Alcorn, deputy secretary of the state elections board.
So, what defines a “home”?
His campaign manager, Mark Henson, pledges that Marsden, 61, is sleeping in the guest bedroom and that he goes back to his Jackson Street home, which is officially designated as his legislative office, every day to check mail and see his family.
So, his family doesn’t live with him (his own wife can’t even vote for him!) and his mail apparently goes to his “former” residence despite him changing his voter registration and drivers license to the new address… Doesn’t sound like his rented room constitutes “the primary place where the resident intends to live his or her life” now, does it?
Dave Marsden is a liberal partisan Democrat who deserves to be beaten alone on the merits by the superior candidate Steve Hunt. But this just takes the cake. At least the other carpet-bagging candidates mentioned in the Post article actually moved their families with them to new places before they were soundly beaten. This, however, is such a blatantly fraudulent scheme that it deserves to be prosecuted.
Think this can’t be prosecuted? Well, let’s get in the Wayback Machine, shall we Sherman?
Steve H. Chapman, the young Manassas businessman challenging longtime Del. Harry J. Parrish in the Republican primary, turned himself in to authorities yesterday to face charges that he lied about where he lived when he registered to vote last fall and then voted illegally in November.
. . .
The indictment charges Chapman with election fraud, a felony that carries a maximum 10-year sentence, for making false statements on a voter registration form. Chapman is also charged with illegal voting or knowingly voting although he was not qualified, a misdemeanor.
. . .
In 1998, there was a similar case in Prince William. Debra A. Wilson, a GOP candidate for delegate, was convicted of fraud for lying on her voter registration form.
The facts of the Chapman case were almost identical to the Marsden situation with one exception. Chapman wasn’t married and it was more believable that he actually lived in the room he was renting.