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Outsiders Voting in Ohio:

A small house on the east side of Columbus, Ohio is getting lots of attention. It houses several activists with Vote from Home, a new group formed to encourage voter registration and early voting in Ohio. The attention, and some controversy, arises from the fact that several of the home's temporary residents registered to vote by absentee in Ohio, despite the lack of any meaningful connection to the state. The Columbus Dispatch investigated, and found that several residents have already voted. While some are registered to vote in other jurisdictions, the Dispatch has found no evidence any of the individuals have voted twice. There is some question whether all have satisfied Ohio's residency requirements.

"A group of us came up with the idea at Oxford. It's an opportunity for a new get-out-the-vote effort," said Marc Gustafson, a 31-year-old New York City resident who is a Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford in England. . . .

They formed a political action committee, based in New York, called Vote from Home, and registered it with the Federal Election Commission. They then raised more than $52,000, mostly in donations from friends and relatives, according to federal records. . . .

By the end of July, they began trickling into Ohio. Some went to Cincinnati; others moved into the Brownlee Avenue house owned by Joel E. Speyer, an Ohio native who moved to New York in 2004. . . .

Group members said they were motivated to come to Ohio because of problems with long voting lines in traditionally Democratic precincts in 2004.

With subsequent changes in Ohio law that allowed early voting, the group wanted to get as many people as possible to cast a vote in Ohio. . . .

In August, they said their stay in Ohio would be temporary. Many said they planned to leave the state in October. Some had to return to school in England by Oct. 12. Others needed to get back to their jobs in other states.

Bpbatista (mail):
Unfortunately, Jennifer Brunner has made it painfully clear that she is indifferent to vote fraud in Ohio.
10.19.2008 11:25am
A Conservative Teacher (mail) (www):
Interesting. How much evidence do you suppose has to be gathered before the mainstreem media will begin to even ask the question about voter fraud? Every website I know, including my own, has evidence of voter fraud, all of it in favor of Obama, and people on the street are talking about it too- and yet, no mention of it on any TV channel buy FOX. Thanks for adding to the narrative with this post- I think we're getting a good picture of how it is now possible to steal an election in America for a communist.
10.19.2008 11:30am
Chris Bell (mail) (www):
Perhaps people would take you more seriously if you weren't calling Obama a communist.

Officer, I'd like to report a murder, and I saw a ghost!

----

I know people that grew up in Ohio and maintain their voting address with their parents, even though they don't live there and don't intend to return. I would probably do the same if I came from a "key" state. (And these people are voting McCain!)
10.19.2008 11:41am
Cornellian (mail):
I have to wonder if all this drum-beating about electoral fraud is just laying the ground work for a lot of Bush v. Gore type lawsuits if McCain loses the election.
10.19.2008 12:04pm
MQuinn:
A Conservative Teacher said:

I think we're getting a good picture of how it is now possible to steal an election in America for a communist.

Impressive example of a moderate, well-reasoned belief system! I read this and thought -- I hope that A Conservative Teacher is a public teacher of our children? So I visited his/her site, and, yes, he/she appears to be. I loved this quote from his/her site:

Turns out the Republicans didn't have a monopoly on corruption, ethics violations, and illegal activities- in fact, the Democrats apparently do more of these things than the GOP ever did!

Exactly. We all know that Democrats have cornered the market on corruption. Well I guess that makes sense because:

it [is] impressive how quick the left goes to work on destroying people's lives

And we have every reason to believe this! After all, despite every poll stating the contrary, we know for sure that the the third presidential debate was:

a narrow victory for McCain- that gives McCain 3 narrow victories over Obama.

After all, Obama is a communist because he anchors all his responses to questions in:

a lot of words

Surely he is not fit to be president with all those words he uses! We should all be very scarred this election! After all, according to A Conservative Teacher, this election is:

a once in a lifetime opportunity for the left to dupe the American public into electing a communist who will permanently change our country for the worse

Ahhh! I am considering moving to another country if Obama wins! When you add up everything that Obama believes:

you get a dictator who wants to control what you say and think, who sets up a cult of personality, and who promotes wealth redistribution and socialism- that's a fair description of a fascist in my book

A fascist, indeed! Obama is a fascist! Jesus! How have those damn liberals let him advance so far in this election!?! This is especially frightening considering that Obama's:

ultimate goal was to get a communist mole into political power.

Wow! In light of the above, it is no wonder that A Conservative Teacher said the following:

Sometimes I feel a little depressed about the future of America. As I listened to the radio today, I really felt like I was in some other nation- not the America of my youth, but some bizarro land, where people who were formally free were not slaves of the government.

I guess all liberals are anti-American fascists! And to think that I am a democrat! I am changing my party affiliation immediately. Immediately!!!!!

A Conservative Teacher, thank you for your well-reasoned, measured, and moderate argumentation. And thank you for teaching our children. God save us all of Obama is elected.
10.19.2008 12:08pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
So what exactly are the residency requirements for voting in Ohio? is there any evidence they are violating the law. Do you realize how many American citizens vote in states they have very little "meaningful" connection to. I guarantee you the number of registered voters in Texas and Florida includes thousands of active duty military who were stationed there for three years and haven't set foot in those states for years. Why not investigate them?
10.19.2008 12:16pm
Alexia:
What's really upsetting about this is that neither party seems the least bit interested in having honest elections. Te 2000 and 2004 elections were also fraught with anomalies that garnered much press but little reform. This is all just the same stuff, different year.

Our election officials have had 4 years to work on solutions. Absolutely nothing has changed except the party holding the right to draft voter lists.

The intent of our officials seems only to be grabbing the power to control the fraud, instead of eliminating it.

Brunner is intent only on delivering Ohio to the Democrats, just as her predecessor was intent only on delivering it to the Republicans.
10.19.2008 12:42pm
Humble Law Student (mail) (www):
I don't know the Ohio-specific test for residenecy, but aren't such tests for residents "Physical presence plus an intent to remain indefinitely"? If they were only planning on staying for a few months, then aren't they likely violating the law?
10.19.2008 12:45pm
Fub:
A Conservative Teacher wrote at 10.19.2008 10:30am:
Thanks for adding to the narrative with this post- I think we're getting a good picture of how it is now possible to steal an election in America for a communist.
Obama is not a communist.

He's a community organizer who wants to spread the wealth around.
10.19.2008 12:46pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
Besides intending to spread the wealth around, what other requirements are there for being a communist? Most of the other components have been integrated into our tax code and various government programs for decades. Administrative law is conspicuous in how it is neither part of the constitution nor much of a restraint on government power.

At this point, all you need to have a communist revolution is for someone to come along with the intent to use what is already on the books instead of letting these bad precedents sit inert like a sort of benign tumor.

Does anyone seriously think that the law will be much of an impediment to an Obama EPA? An Obama ATF? An Obama DOJ? An Obama IRS? We've already seen that courts are extremely deferential to exercises of government authority going back decades and that any abuses take millions of dollars and many years to correct. And the targets of such abuses usually have neither to spend.
10.19.2008 1:06pm
Angus:

Besides intending to spread the wealth around, what other requirements are there for being a communist?
Last time I checked, it included state ownership of all property.
10.19.2008 1:10pm
just me (mail):
I know people that grew up in Ohio and maintain their voting address with their parents, even though they don't live there and don't intend to return. I would probably do the same if I came from a "key" state. (And these people are voting McCain!)

If you read the article you will realize that this isn't the case. Although, each state has different laws for what qualifies a person to vote in their state, and if you aren't a resident of the state and don't meet those requirements you are voting fraudulently even if that isn't your intent.

When my husband was in the military he kept his residency in Alabama and voted in Alabama through the absentee system. I always registered in the state we were living in and voted there.

So what exactly are the residency requirements for voting in Ohio?

From what I understand the two aspects that may be in violation with the people who live/lived in the house is you must live in the state 30 days prior to the election, and if you are working in the state temporarily and do not intend to live there permanently you are not eligible to vote. Now it is possible the residents of the house did not realize they were ineligible, and in that case their votes would simply be tossed out and not counted, but I can't imagine wanted to encourage people to vote from home, and not actually looking at the laws for the state in which you are going to vote yourself for what qualifies as residency.

If intent to fraudulently vote is required to convict, then likely charges won't be sought, because it is hard to argue they had intent to defraud the system-a ballot cast in their actual homestates though could possible go to proving intent.

This is the website where I have been reading about this story before it was picked up by the MSM. I know they had a copy of the statute and a discussion with the local prosecutor about the law and what would constitute a violation of it.
10.19.2008 1:13pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
J. F. Thomas: A large part of residency is the intention to remain a resident. FL and TX, due to their lack of income taxes, do have a large number of absentee voters. Those voters, having established residency in the state, intend to return to avoid future income taxes. That sure worked for me when I established residency in FL some 20 years ago, even though I was working for Uncle abroad for nearly all that time. Then, I voted by absentee ballot; now, I happily live in FL and still vote here.

Since the guys you're objecting to are absent due to military service which orders them out of the state--they're not just popping in to vote--your cavil seems even more uncivil.
10.19.2008 1:16pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
I don't know the Ohio-specific test for residenecy, but aren't such tests for residents "Physical presence plus an intent to remain indefinitely"?

Hardly. Ex-pats and even military who are stationed in other states (a lot of military personnel maintain Florida or Texas addresses and vote in those states because of the lack of state income taxes there) can pretty much vote wherever they can establish any kind of tenuous connection.

e.g., If you lived in New York but took a semi-permanent job in Japan, but your parents lived in Florida or Texas (states without income taxes), you could claim "residency" (for voting purposes and to avoid paying state income taxes on your income in Japan) in those states using their address even if you had no intention of moving there if and when you returned from your foreign adventure. When I lived in Germany I also simultaneously "moved in" with my in-laws in Tennessee (which also has no state income tax) even though I would rather slit my throat with a rusty butter knife than actually live in Chattanooga, TN.
10.19.2008 1:17pm
just me (mail):
This link is to one of the stories done by Palestra, and they have multiple stories and several interviews and discussions of the law. Watch the first story, then the second the second goes through the laws for establishing residency in order to vote in the state.
10.19.2008 1:19pm
anonlawstudent:

I guarantee you the number of registered voters in Texas and Florida includes thousands of active duty military who were stationed there for three years and haven't set foot in those states for years. Why not investigate them?

Because the residency of military personnel doesn't change in the same way civillian residency does. Absent an affirmative intent to change his residency, a servicemember retains residency in the state from which he entered active duty. Of course, many soldiers and sailors affirmatively elect to obtain Florida or Texas residency for state income tax reasons.

Based on your comment, I'm guessing that you knew this already, but the fact that the law draws a distinction between military personnel and civilians doesn't make for as snarky of a response.
10.19.2008 1:23pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Since the guys you're objecting to are absent due to military service which orders them out of the state--they're not just popping in to vote--your cavil seems even more uncivil.

You misunderstand me. I am not objecting to it at all. If military personnel or civilians who are living overseas for that matter want to take advantage of various state tax laws and maintain a legitimate address, I don't have a problem with it. If they are voting in more than one jurisdiction, that is when I am going to start having a problem.
10.19.2008 1:24pm
Nathan_M (mail):

I don't know the Ohio-specific test for residenecy, but aren't such tests for residents "Physical presence plus an intent to remain indefinitely"? If they were only planning on staying for a few months, then aren't they likely violating the law?

There are hundreds of different definitions of "resident" (I mean that literally, it's an incredibly nebulous topic).

I don't know what Ohio's test for residency for voting is (if Ohio uses only one test for residency for all purposes its law is unusually straightforward), but what you posted looks more like a test for a person's domicile (or more accurately for a change in their domicile) than for their residence.

I'm most familiar with tax law. For tax purposes (this is a gross oversimplification), a person is considered to be resident in the US if (a) they were a lawful permanent resident of the US, or (b) they were physically present in the US at least 31 days of the previous year and 183 days of the previous three years.

I very much doubt Ohio uses that particular test for residency for voting purposes, but it is probably more typical of a test for residence than the very strict test you suggested. But hopefully someone knows the actual rule for Ohio, if it is well-defined.
10.19.2008 1:37pm
Skinny Pete:
Isn't any progressive tax system, in essence, a way to spread the wealth around?

Aren't government programs designed to help lower income folks buy homes, and to loan money to students who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford to attend college, ways to spread the wealth around?

Isn't the American Dream, ultimately, a way of spreading the wealth around...the idea that wealth isn't going to continue to aggregate in the hands of those who have it now, but rather, that anyone who has the drive and desire and ability to succeed will have the chance to accumulate some wealth themselves?

Hell, wasn't Reagan's "trickle down economics" a spread-the-wealth-around theory, ultimately?

Isn't the reality that some spreading of wealth around isn't, in and of itself, an evil thing, and the question is really whether the mechanisms by which one is attempting to do it reasonable or not? Does one want to strip all wealth from the populace, and redistribute it evenly, or does one want to make a few incremental measures such as those I mention above?
10.19.2008 1:41pm
Skinny Pete:
Also, the Ohio Sec'y of State's website has the information about residency requirements, and it doesn't appear that the people in question are violating those requirements:

You are qualified to register to vote in Ohio if you meet all the following requirements:

1. You are a citizen of the United States;
2. You will be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the general election. (If you will be 18 on or before November 4, you may vote in the primary election for candidates, but you cannot vote on issues until you are 18);
3. You will be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which you want to vote;
4. You are not incarcerated (in prison or jail) for a felony conviction under the laws of this state, another state or the United States;
5. You have not been declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court; and
6. You have not been permanently disenfranchised for violations of the election laws.

You are eligible to vote in elections held in your voting precinct more than 30 consecutive days after you are duly registered to vote in this state.

Ohio Sec'y of State website.
10.19.2008 1:44pm
c.j. ammenheuser:
MQuinn
I'm sure you're positively glowing with the satirical cut-down you issued A Conservative Teacher; but, was it necessary?

For what it's worth, what is the difference, if any, between a Communist and a communist?


As a conservative working in a liberal state I find myself conforming to the liberal viewpoint, if not, I risk losing my job. The environment is becoming so hostile to conservatives that a system of code seems to be developing as a way to communicate.
That said, I agree with A Conservative Teacher, that conservatives have lost the freedom to be conservative.


"We weren't terrorists," Ayers told an interviewer for the Chicago Tribune in 2001. "The reason we weren't terrorists is because we did not commit random acts of terror against people. Terrorism was what was being practiced in the countryside of Vietnam by the United States."
10.19.2008 1:56pm
just me (mail):
Skinny Pete: here is the rest of the post:

Where do I vote?

Ohio election officials determine a person's qualifying voting address using guidelines established by Ohio law (Revised Code (R.C.) 3503.02). Where an individual votes depends on where he or she is determined by law to reside. A voter may vote from only one residence. Your voting residence is the place in which your habitation is fixed and to which, whenever you are absent, you intend to return. Your voting residence should be one you consider to be permanent, not temporary. You will not lose your voting residency in Ohio if you leave temporarily and intend to return, unless you are absent from the state for four consecutive years. (Exception: You will not lose your residency after four years if your absence from Ohio is due to your employment with Ohio or the United States government, including military service, unless you vote in, or permanently move to, another state.)

If you do not have a fixed place of habitation, but you are a consistent or regular inhabitant of a shelter or other location to which you intend to return, you may use that shelter or other location as your residence for purposes of registering to vote.

For information on voting rights of U.S. citizens living outside the U.S., please click here, Uniformed and Overseas Citizens.

May a college student register and vote from his or her school address in Ohio?

Yes, a student may vote using his or her Ohio school residence address. However, the student may not also vote an absentee ballot where he or she last lived (e.g. with one or more parent or guardian). When a college student votes from his or her school address, the school residence is considered to be the place to which the student's habitation is fixed and to which, whenever the student is absent, the student intends to return, and is considered by the student to be his or her permanent residence at the time of voting.



Note that in Ohio you may not register as a college student if you also intend to vote in your home state.

I think whether the votes in question in the article are fraudulent will hinge on what is considered temporary and of course whether those voting understood thta they could or couldn't vote. Either way it sounds like they don't meet the requirements.
10.19.2008 2:02pm
just me (mail):
Skinny Pete: here is the rest of the post:

Where do I vote?

Ohio election officials determine a person's qualifying voting address using guidelines established by Ohio law (Revised Code (R.C.) 3503.02). Where an individual votes depends on where he or she is determined by law to reside. A voter may vote from only one residence. Your voting residence is the place in which your habitation is fixed and to which, whenever you are absent, you intend to return. Your voting residence should be one you consider to be permanent, not temporary. You will not lose your voting residency in Ohio if you leave temporarily and intend to return, unless you are absent from the state for four consecutive years. (Exception: You will not lose your residency after four years if your absence from Ohio is due to your employment with Ohio or the United States government, including military service, unless you vote in, or permanently move to, another state.)

If you do not have a fixed place of habitation, but you are a consistent or regular inhabitant of a shelter or other location to which you intend to return, you may use that shelter or other location as your residence for purposes of registering to vote.

For information on voting rights of U.S. citizens living outside the U.S., please click here, Uniformed and Overseas Citizens.

May a college student register and vote from his or her school address in Ohio?

Yes, a student may vote using his or her Ohio school residence address. However, the student may not also vote an absentee ballot where he or she last lived (e.g. with one or more parent or guardian). When a college student votes from his or her school address, the school residence is considered to be the place to which the student's habitation is fixed and to which, whenever the student is absent, the student intends to return, and is considered by the student to be his or her permanent residence at the time of voting.



Note that in Ohio you may not register as a college student if you also intend to vote in your home state.

I think whether the votes in question in the article are fraudulent will hinge on what is considered temporary and of course whether those voting understood thta they could or couldn't vote. Either way it sounds like they don't meet the requirements.
10.19.2008 2:02pm
Fub:
Jim at FSU wrote at 10.19.2008 12:06pm:
Besides intending to spread the wealth around, what other requirements are there for being a communist?
Don't communists have to wear funny hats with big red stars, address people as "comrade", and look grim and menacing for photo ops at big May Day parades, or wave little red books in the air, or something?
10.19.2008 2:10pm
Federal Dog:
Pete: If the people in question have already left or are leaving by mid-October, they are not residents of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which they want to vote.

Continuing abuse of the voting process has caused me to wonder about the long-term tenability of democracy as a form of governance. Once people have learned that they can vote themselves largesse out of the public treasury, then scam the voting process to do so, procedural integrity necessary to popular governance is too compromised to be sustained. Sooner or later, revolt is inevitable, or institution of some form of autocratic rule. Perhaps the only surprising thing is that it's lasted over 230 years. That's not a long time, but given the abuses in question, it's longer than one might expect.
10.19.2008 2:13pm
Random Commenter:
"I guarantee you the number of registered voters in Texas and Florida includes thousands of active duty military who were stationed there for three years and haven't set foot in those states for years. Why not investigate them?"

Indeed. If they're doing something illegal, let's bring a stop to it. Happy to have you aboard for a comprehensive assault on voter fraud, JF. Let's get to it.

"Don't communists have to wear funny hats with big red stars, address people as "comrade", and look grim and menacing for photo ops at big May Day parades, or wave little red books in the air, or something?"

Other than the traditional absence of a sense of humor, that's a pretty good meta-description of a lot of university departments.
10.19.2008 2:45pm
davod (mail):
The difference between the residency requirements listed on the Ohio Secretary of State's web site and what is written in the law is a demonstration of the larger issue. The Secretary of State leaves off an important limitation.

Much the same as her instructions regarding the adminstration of the voting proces conveniently leaves out any requirement of her office to maintain a centralized system for checking voters registration details against a centralized system, as called for by federal and Ohio law.

How is it possible that the responsible officer, the Secretary of State, can leave out parts of the law she doesn't like? At the very least there should be an independent investigation at the State level. Maybe there will be, after it doesn't matter.
10.19.2008 3:07pm
Stolidus:

Continuing abuse of the voting process has caused me to wonder about the long-term tenability of democracy as a form of governance.

I think some people will be waking up with one hell of an intellectual hangover sometime next month.
10.19.2008 3:11pm
douglas (mail):

"May a college student register and vote from his or her school address in Ohio?

Yes, a student may vote using his or her Ohio school residence address. However, the student may not also vote an absentee ballot where he or she last lived (e.g. with one or more parent or guardian). When a college student votes from his or her school address, the school residence is considered to be the place to which the student's habitation is fixed and to which, whenever the student is absent, the student intends to return, and is considered by the student to be his or her permanent residence at the time of voting."


So, given this, how would any college student voting in Ohio, but also voting in another state by maintaining 'residence' with their parents ever get caught?

Would never happen. It's practically an invitation to commit voter fraud.

Our system of voting is so screwed.
10.19.2008 3:20pm
just me (mail):
So, given this, how would any college student voting in Ohio, but also voting in another state by maintaining 'residence' with their parents ever get caught?

Would never happen. It's practically an invitation to commit voter fraud.

Our system of voting is so screwed.


I think the only way you could do it would be to have some kind of national voter registration or perhaps a national ID card, where when you register to vote, they notify your previous state that you are no longer a resident.

Not sure-there may not be a perfect way to actual find out about and prevent double voting in two different states-at least not constitutionally.

I do think we should stop registering people with volunteers or paid workers on the street. I think all people who desire to vote should have to go to an approved registration place and prove who they are, residency and citizenship. If this inconvieniences some people-tough, get the appropriate paperwork-maybe this would be a good idea for ACORN-they can help people find and locate the appropriate paperwork and help them get registered at the legal places, but having paperwork that just anyone hands to you, and you hand back seems ripe for fraud.
10.19.2008 3:53pm
Dan M.:
Democracy is overrated, anyway.
10.19.2008 4:16pm
DangerMouse:
Would never happen. It's practically an invitation to commit voter fraud.

That's entirely the point.

If you claim residency in Ohio, you are obligated to pay Ohio taxes as well. If they're not paying taxes, they're defrauding the State and should be prosecuted. Perhaps that little tidbit of info should be posed on the Secretary of State's website also?

And I agree that some sort of national check needs to be in place. People are completely gaming the system. It's a well known secret that lots of New York liberals who spend time in Florida vote both there and in New York. Nobody checks it.
10.19.2008 4:17pm
David Warner:
Ohio's in flyover country. We're all outsiders anyway. What's the big deal?
10.19.2008 4:34pm
Dan M.:
No, we don't need a national check. We simply need a wave of local rules about elections. If towns start enforcing strict residency requirements, then I don't see why they shouldn't be able to simply keep out all of the people who don't really live there. This type of shit undermines our entire democratic process. All in all, it's probably not going to be a big enough issue to actually swing the presidential election.

But do you want some fucking out-of-staters electing your mayor? Your state legislature? Your governor? Your Congressmen? Hell no.

I'd rather an illegal alien who actually lives in my town cast a vote than have some fucking asshole from out of state driving down here to establish a temporary residence and swing every single city, county, and statewide election.

Corrupt politicians and radicals could have a field day with this shit, completely undermining the will of the people who actually have to deal with those elected officials.
10.19.2008 4:37pm
Calculated Risk:
just me,

I don't know if you are right that the votes are improper. Let's parse this language:


Your voting residence is the place in which your habitation is fixed and to which, whenever you are absent, you intend to return. Your voting residence should be one you consider to be permanent, not temporary.


I am still not so sure.

First, it sound like they meet the requirements in the first sentence. For now, whenever they leave the house they are staying at in Ohio, they tend to return.

The second sentence is tricky. Think about this hypothetical. What if I am a person who likes to travel. In fact, I have planned my life such that every five years, I intend to move to a different state.

In that case, assuming all the states had the same definition of residence as Ohio here, would that mean that I am never a resident of any of the states I live in? That can't be right. I think that intent to stay permanently has to be taken a little less than literally.

Also, what about people using shelters? Pretty much any self-respecting person would not truly intend to stay in a shelter permanently (where permanently is defined as for the rest of their lives). Nonetheless, the Secretary of State's office mentions people living in a shelter as being able to vote, as long as they intend to return to that shelter whenever they leave.

Oh, and if we were taking permanent really seriously, would it have to include death? I mean, our lives are only temporary. Does this mean, to be a resident of a particular household, I have to intend to be buried in the backyard? If I intend to be buried in the cemetery in town rather than the backyard, am I not a resident? And what if, based on my religion, I believe that I will be someplace else, even if I am buried in my backyard. In other words, I in fact do not intend to permanently haunt the house I currently live in as a ghost after I die. Can I be a resident?

Clearly, the word permanent just cannot be taken in an absolutely literal manner. Otherwise, nearly none of us would every be qualified to vote.

Given that we cannot take the word literally and we have to take it less than literally, then what constitutes "permanence" is a judgment call. The question really is what do we think that permanent should mean in this context. And of course, to answer that question, we would consult the opinions of others who have been faced with this same subjective question in the past (in particular, judges confronted with concrete cases) and try to defer to them as much as sensible for the sake of stability in the law. But still, we should realize that in deciding on the meaning of "permanence" the original judge (in the absence of more concrete definition by the legislature) was exercising some sort of discretion in choosing the meaning.

Overall, one can conclude that use of the word "permanent" in the law without precise definition is probably a foolish choice by a legislature. They should be more clear. For example, they could say you can vote "if you have either resided in the state for at least six months or have resided in the state for one month and plan to stay for at least six month, you can vote" Of course, this is still not without problems, but it is better. What if I have lived in the state for 2-months and plan on leaving in 3-month if X happen, but plan to stay indefinitely if Y happens?

The bottom-line is that in our highly mobile society, it is very difficult to come up with a fully satisfying definition of residency. But, at the very least, the legislature could provide clear guidance rather than just using a word that simply cannot be taken literally, like "permanently."
10.19.2008 4:41pm
MQuinn:
c.j. ammenheuser,

My post was not designed to be an attack on conservatives, nor do I think that it can reasonably be interpreted as such. Instead, it is an attack on wildly radical and unfounded beliefs. I am sorry to hear that you feel that conservatives are discriminated against; however, I assure you that polls suggest that conservatives outnumber liberals, see, e.g., here.

Considering your hypersensitive assumption that my post was an attack on conservatives, perhaps your belief that conservatives are a discriminated class is in your head. In any event, the facts -- including polls and our nation's recent history of electing conservative presidents -- belies your belief.
10.19.2008 4:46pm
Calculated Risk:

I think all people who desire to vote should have to go to an approved registration place and prove who they are, residency and citizenship. If this inconvieniences some people-tough


How long are you willing to wait in line to vote? If you had to wait 10 hours in a DMV-like line with really irritating government clerks waiting to tell you exactly what i you didn't don't and t you didn't cross before sending you home so you could wait in line for another 10 hours, would you go through all that just to cast a vote that in all probability will have zero impact on the election anyway?

I think the problem that I have with your "tough" it doesn't matter how inconvenient or costly in terms of time and money to vote attitude is that voting is highly irrational from a cost-benefit perspective anyway. The probability that your vote will be determinative in any given election is very close to zero. To the extent that you go vote anyway, you are acting irrationally from a cost benefit perspective. The only way that voting could make your life concretely better is if it had an impact on the election, but that is not likely to happen. So, you spending real time (and time is money) to vote is a cost that you are expending for zero expected benefit.

Well, voting may be highly irrational from an individual cost-benefit perspective, but it is nonetheless very necessary from a social perspective. If no one was willing to vote, we would have to live in a dictatorship of some sort -- and that would be bad. So, what is highly irrational for the individual, i.e. voting, is nonetheless highly rational for the society.

I think that if the cost of voting increased to high for individuals, they would no longer engage in this socially beneficial act. I think your "tough" attitude is precisely the wrong attitude.

That said, I do think that reasonable efforts are made and should continue to be made that those who vote are in fact eligible. And, I would in fact support increased efforts in this area, because voter fraud has a pernicious impact on people's ability to believe in the outcomes of elections and their confidence in the legitimacy of government. However, at the same time, I would be sensitive to the costs in terms of both time and money that you impose on innocent parties (i.e. those who wish to vote and are in fact legally eligible to vote) in order to get the bad guys.
10.19.2008 5:03pm
Dan M.:
The problem, MQuinn, is that you attacked another poster for content posted on a different site, and your attack had nothing to do with the content of this blog post or with the comment you were replying to. If you wish to have an argument about someone else's blog, perhaps you should take it to their blog rather than reposting their comments here and arguing with those comments.
10.19.2008 5:09pm
just me (mail):
Calculated Risk:


It is pretty clear that the issue of residency is the key-especially with regard to temporary.

I did find which says:
In Ohio, where a person may vote is determined by where that person is a "resident." The Ohio Constitution states that "[e]very citizen of the United States, of the age of eighteen years, who has been a resident of the state, county, township, or ward, . . . and has been registered to vote for thirty days, has the qualifications of an elector, and is entitled to vote at all elections." 3 The Ohio Revised Code further states that a person must be a resident of the county and precinct in which the person wishes to vote. 4 Thus the location of a college student's residence is a key determination when registering to vote.

The Ohio Revised Code states that, for elections purposes, a residence is the place where the person's "habitation is fixed and to which, whenever the person is absent, the person has the intention of returning." 5 A person does not lose a residence if he or she leaves temporarily, with the intention of returning, nor does a person gain a residence when in a state or county "for temporary purposes only." 6



From that link I found the actual statue about residency and voting here:

This I think is the key portion of the statute:

(C) A person shall not be considered to have gained a residence in any county of this state into which the person comes for temporary purposes only, without the intention of making such county the permanent place of abode.

I think it would be tough to make the case that volunteers that come into a state to work with a campaign or to work with an organization that intends to facilitate voter registration are intending to live in the state permanently. As a matter of fact at least some of the people in question in the original article have voted and now left the state.

I think it is pretty easy to make the case that they do not meet the residency requirement, I think the real question is whether they voted mistakenly-thinking they met the requirements or if they intentionally meant to defraud the state of Ohio.
10.19.2008 5:09pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
skinny:

Isn't any progressive tax system, in essence, a way to spread the wealth around?


Yes. Here's another way: give Wall St a $700 billion bailout. IOKIYAR.
10.19.2008 5:18pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cj:

As a conservative working in a liberal state I find myself conforming to the liberal viewpoint, if not, I risk losing my job.


Then presumably you have a lot of sympathy for this person:

Lynne Gobbell of Moulton, Ala., who on Sept. 9 was fired from her job at Enviromate, a company that makes housing insulation, for driving to work with a Kerry-Edwards bumper sticker
10.19.2008 5:18pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
calc:

I think that if the cost of voting increased to high for individuals, they would no longer engage in this socially beneficial act. I think your "tough" attitude is precisely the wrong attitude.


It's actually the right attitude if you're from the GOP. Because people with more privilege are always going to be in a better position to overcome the hurdles that are imposed. On the other hand, someone with two jobs and sick kids at home and no health insurance is going to decide that voting is a luxury they can't afford. If my highest aspiration is feeding my kids today, or finding a place to live that isn't a homeless shelter, then voting will probably not appear on my to-do list, unless it takes very little time and effort.

So the GOP knows what it's doing. And some people have no trouble promoting this attitude explicitly:

I don't see what's so wrong with property requirements for voting; should people with no ties to a community and who pay nothing in taxes be allowed to vote to impose taxes on others?
10.19.2008 5:19pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dan:

you attacked another poster for content posted on a different site


The other poster made an affirmative decision to link their home page in the header of their comment here. And the content they invited us to read is relevant to what's being discussed here. So it's reasonable to discuss it. It's not as if someone independently googled you and dragged in some irrelevant nonsense about your DUI from college.
10.19.2008 5:19pm
just me (mail):
jukebox why not end registration where people just fill out the card and some third party collects it and turns it in and have people go to a registration place.

ACORN could still work-it would just mean helping to get those people to those places to register, but the current methods aren't working and they are corrupting the system.

And fraudulent votes are being cast-even if they aren't criminally so.
10.19.2008 5:23pm
davod (mail):
"(C) A person shall not be considered to have gained a residence in any county of this state into which the person comes for temporary purposes only, without the intention of making such county the permanent place of abode."

I think this is the bit the Ohio Secretary of State left of the instructions on her web site.
10.19.2008 5:37pm
Calculated Risk:
just me,

Thank you for your efforts in providing further links to interesting information that helpfully further sheds light on Ohio law.

But, you really haven't addressed the issue, which is exactly what do these words mean in this particular legal context anyway.

I understand what the words "permanent" and the words "temporary" mean in a literal sense, but that does not help me. The fact is, nearly everyone moves sometime in their lives. Very few people in fact "permanently" inhabit a particular residence. Most people in fact have indefinite and vague desires to make such changes to their residence in some point in the future. For example, the hope some day to buy a house, or live in a better neighborhood.

If you ask such a person for a "permanent" residence, can they give you an honest answer? And anyway, is any residence truly permanent? Even if I have no present intentions of leaving, it is possible that future events will cause such an intention to arise in me, or I may have no choice but to leave my current residence. Can such a contingent living arrangement truly be said to be "permanent"? Isn't it, like all things including our lives themselves, "temporary"?

My point here is that more is needed here than just the mere words "permanent" and "temporary." It is quite clear that they are not actually be used in an absolute and literal way. In reality, all residents who are "permanent" from a legal perspective are actually "temporary" when the literal definition of that word is used.

So, I suppose the exact issue is this: Exactly which literally temporary things are we to consider "permanent" and which literally temporary things are we to consider "temporary" from a legal perspective?

In my view, it would be better if legislatures provided concrete guidance on these issues. Given that the words permanent and temporary cannot be taken literally, they are hopelessly vague (unless on perhaps engages in extensive legal research in the case law -- and even then, one suspects that a precise answer will not be found since so often judges are focused on deciding the case in front of them rather than providing clear and comprehensive definitions).

So, at this stage, I must still assert that I do not have enough information to judge whether the votes in question are improper or not. You will have to dig deeper. The mere presence of these very ambiguous terms (at least when taken non-literally, as here), "permanent" and "temporary" does not resolve anything.
10.19.2008 5:58pm
Calculated Risk:

jukebox why not end registration where people just fill out the card and some third party collects it and turns it in and have people go to a registration place.


Are you suggesting that the post office cannot be trusted with registration cards? But the clerk at a particular registration place can?

Here is what I think should be done about ACORN. Third-parties that gather registrations should be barred from doing so in the future if they consistently submit incorrect or false registrations. It is quite clear that ACORN, whether with evil motives or not, has failed to establish sufficient internal controls to ensure the accuracy of the registrations that are gathered.

One problem is the incentive structure. Third-party organizations should be prohibited from paying their employees on a per registration basis, because this provide their less ethical employees with too much of an incentive to cheat. In contrast, if they were payed hourly regardless of how many registrations they gathered, they would have much less incentive to provide false information.

I think the same principle could be usefully applied to those who gather signatures for ballot initiatives and such. When people are paid on a per-signature basis, they often use various forms of deception to gather signatures.

One can understand the desire of organizations to pay their employees on a per registration or per signature basis. After all, this lowers monitoring costs. Either the employee turns in registrations or signatures, or they do not. Also, perhaps the employee could more easily be an independent contractor rather than an actual employee, which would lower costs further.

Nonetheless, given the damage to the public interest that results, it makes sense to force forbid these third party organizations from paying their employees or independent contractors on a per signature or per registration basis.
10.19.2008 6:07pm
Reality-over-Delusions (mail):

""Besides intending to spread the wealth around, what other requirements are there for being a communist? Last time I checked, it included state ownership of all property""


Ahem...I realize that this obscure news received hardly any coverage, but you might want to direct your attention to the TRILLION dollar fed-gov Failout scam; wherein the US gov is directly buying the mortgages against untold amounts of private-property.

Did I mention that this is occuring at the brink of what's likely to be the greatest socioeconomic dislocation in history? (i.e., an awful lot of people are going to lose their income and home, which will then effectively be owned by the feds)

Another commenter said: "what's so wrong with an increment of spread-the-wealth?"

Answer: not much...if it were only and ever that one increment. Unfortunately, it has been a continuous slide of aggregate increments for over 70 years now; and yes, we are damn close to socialism-entire right now. Or perhaps more precisely, fascist-socialism.

Another comment ignored the above truth to try and paint conservatives as holding equal sway in US sociopolitical life over the years (i.e., the occurence of republican presidents). That ludicrous strawman completely ignores the fact that the GOP, especially over the past 20 years, has certainly not been 'conservative' in any meaningful way. More a case of 'socialist-slower', if anything.

Urban 'liberal' populations (heavy with gov 'workers' with a direct conflict of interest) now routinely outvote everyone else in a state. Further, the vast majority of urban-initiated and approved measures are inimical to rural and conservative towns, economies, and interests; and have been for decades.

Conservative and rural citizens truly have reached the point of total disenfranchisement now; even with the electoral-college (which doesn't protect them in any vote except the prez-race, and no longer helps much even there).

Disenfrachisement of half the population is generally considered a breach of faith, and a bad idea.
10.19.2008 6:21pm
Calculated Risk:

Answer: not much...if it were only and ever that one increment. Unfortunately, it has been a continuous slide of aggregate increments for over 70 years now; and yes, we are damn close to socialism-entire right now. Or perhaps more precisely, fascist-socialism.


I am curious how you square this thought with the fact that economic inequality has been increasing.

Is it that "spread the wealth" ideologies have held increasing sway for over 70 years, but the magnitude of actions taken under that ideology have simply failed to keep up with economic growth that has resulted in increasing concentrations of wealth?
10.19.2008 6:37pm
just me (mail):
Calculated Risk-I can agree that permanent and temporary are vague terms, I would also expect that there is somewhere in Ohio court decisions and/or elsewhere some attempts to define the term.

Either way, I am pretty sure volunteer campaign workers or get out the vote workers who came and left would have a difficult time defending their stay as permanent in the sense that they qualify to vote.

If I were sitting on a jury and got that defense of "well just what does permanent mean anyway" obfuscation, I would convict without much deliberation.

If they were actually working for X company for Y amount of time, I could see some argument-but the residents at that rental house obviously have no intention of living in Ohio beyond November and some of them who cast votes have already left the state. Are you actually trying to argue in their case they were permanent residents?
10.19.2008 7:12pm
davod (mail):
Calculated Risk: 10.19.2008 4:58pm

It all depends upon what the meaning of is is.
10.19.2008 7:41pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

Perhaps people would take you more seriously if you weren't calling Obama a communist.


Yet another term conservatives can't use except when they're illustrating themselves as hayseeds with single-digit IQ's.

The fact is, Obama's father proposed communism as a fix for Kenya, his mentor Frank Marshall was a communist, his Saul Alinsky-esque community in Chicago is at least socialist, and Bill Ayers and his wife are communists to this day. Reverend Wright and his Church of Hate and Blame America is soaked with socialism.

But for whatever reason, with all this background, anyone who refers to Obama or his policies using the "C word" is written off as a buffoon.

I can think of only twice while campaigning where Obama has been derailed into an ad lib conversation, and both times he's explained a policy that is flat-out income redistribution.

Obviously, you missed the Cold War.
10.19.2008 8:03pm
MQuinn:
Dave M,

I wasn't aware of that rule. Of course you won't mind pointing me to where this rule is posted, or at least implied? Otherwise, please explain why a individual's twisted rantings about Obama being a fascist are irrelevant to a blog thread where the individual called Obama a communist. As I explained, the point of my post was to lay out a satire critiquing the fringe, unrealistic beliefs of one that proffer's Obama as a communist. Seems pretty relevant to me!

The most absurd aspect of your attack on my post, however, is this -- A Conservative Teacher linked to his/her blog when he/she made the post that I attacked! If that isn't fair game, then I don't know what is!

You then proceeded to attack my post for being irrelevant to the subject matter of this thread. When I posted, I was responding to an unnecessary and irrelevant smear levied by A Conservative Teacher. I am hardly unique for doing that. After all, your response to my post is guilty of the same "sin"!!!

Finally, I am a little surprised that my response to an irrelevant and non-substantiated smear warranted your ire.
10.19.2008 9:07pm
MQuinn:
Dave M,

I just re-read my original post (that you critiqued). Okay, so I will admit that...

A Conservative Teacher, thank you for your well-reasoned, measured, and moderate argumentation. And thank you for teaching our children. God save us all of Obama is elected.

...might have been over the line, as it got a little personal. For that, I apologize sincerely to A Conservative Teacher and the other readers. However, I stand by every other word in my post, and I challenge you to articulate how it was otherwise improper.
10.19.2008 9:13pm
Tom Perkins (mail):

The fact is, Obama's father proposed communism as a fix for Kenya, his mentor Frank Marshall was a communist, his Saul Alinsky-esque community in Chicago is at least socialist, and Bill Ayers and his wife are communists to this day. Reverend Wright and his Church of Hate and Blame America is soaked with socialism.

But for whatever reason, with all this background, anyone who refers to Obama or his policies using the "C word" is written off as a buffoon.

I can think of only twice while campaigning where Obama has been derailed into an ad lib conversation, and both times he's explained a policy that is flat-out income redistribution.


A fact which should end this election McCain's favor if this is still an even vaguely moral nation...

...which may be the problem.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.19.2008 10:25pm
Calculated Risk:

Are you actually trying to argue in their case they were permanent residents?


Not at all. I am only arguing I do not know if they are "permanent" residents or not, depending on exactly how this term is defined in Ohio law.

My gut instinct is the same as yours. I kind of sort of have an intuitive sense for the distinction that the law is trying to get at with the word "permanent" and in the absence of research regarding the meanings, I would intuitively guess they are not permanent.

However, I much prefer case law to intuition, especially since using permanent in non-literal way is already non-intuitive and further I think the legislature is neglecting its duties to the extent it fails to provide more precise guidance that everyday people can understand.
10.19.2008 11:57pm
RPT (mail):
The new definition of "communism" on the VC is an ideology which favors equal opportunity and opposes the radical redistribution of wealth upward, as has occurred over the last several decades. By the way, it's time to pay those Wall Street "performance" bonuses soon!
10.20.2008 12:56am
Lev:

I understand what the words "permanent" and the words "temporary" mean in a literal sense, but that does not help me. The fact is, nearly everyone moves sometime in their lives. Very few people in fact "permanently" inhabit a particular residence. Most people in fact have indefinite and vague desires to make such changes to their residence in some point in the future. For example, the hope some day to buy a house, or live in a better neighborhood.


Is it really that hard?


"A group of us came up with the idea at Oxford. It's an opportunity for a new get-out-the-vote effort," said Marc Gustafson, a 31-year-old New York City resident who is a Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford in England.



and


In August, they said their stay in Ohio would be temporary. Many said they planned to leave the state in October. Some had to return to school in England by Oct. 12. Others needed to get back to their jobs in other states.


Is it really that hard?


The difference between the Vote from Home group and out-of-state college students rests in intent. College students establish some roots. They open checking accounts and sign up for utilities. They get mail. They work. So they generally are eligible to vote from either their home or where they attend college.
10.20.2008 1:57am
vivictius (mail):

Obviously, you missed the Cold War.



No, Glenn, I think he is just still upset his side lost.
10.20.2008 2:12am
Calculated Risk:
Lev,

If you aren't smart enough to understand that their is ambiguity here, that is your problem.
10.20.2008 2:46am
Urthona (mail):
Chris Bell:

Re: your comment. Name three out-of-state but Ohio nonetheless McCain voters you apparently "personally" know. Then name a (one) funded PAC recruiting and promoting pro-McCain conduct like that described by the Oxford PAC. I am disinclined to believe your individual anecdotal assertions and I add that in any event the scale of voter fraud is not "equivalent" which seems to be the result you want people to draw from your (supported in fact?) observations. Youranecdotes versus Oxford grad students getting $52,000 from "friends and family" (really, I'd like to trace that money trail, it seems suspicious) and a "creative" idea about how to use that money for a PAC to leverage their political views, illegally I suspect. But its OK, it's "equivalent," yes?
10.20.2008 8:39am
qwerty (mail):
Calculated Risk: there is obviously a spectrum between "temporary" and "permanent." as is often the case with legal definitions, there are grey areas. however, a short-term stay with a clear expiration date (as in, on Oct 16 I must return to England where I'm supposed to live for at least another year) clearly falls on the "temporary" side. if such stay were classified as permanent, can you come up in good faith with anything that would be "temporary"?
10.20.2008 12:35pm
Lev:
Calculated Risk:


If you aren't smart enough to understand that their is ambiguity here, that is your problem


I understand that their is a pettifogging and nitpicking argument made by someone to try and justify there position that their is nothing contrary to the Ohio election statutes going on.

And in the mind of that person, their is an ambiguity that prevents application of the law to there fellows such as the chaps from NY who airlifted in to Ohio from the UK and returned their never intending to remain in Ohio.
10.21.2008 12:16am