Yesterday the Columbus Dispatch reported on voter registrations by campaign workers and others (like the Vote from Home folks) who did not live in Ohio, and how election officials are responding.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien is telling the presidential campaigns in Ohio that if their out-of-state staff members are just passing through for the Nov. 4 election with no plans to remain, they shouldn't vote in the state, either.
O'Brien has spoken to attorneys for both campaigns and asked election officials to review the residency status of John McCain's and Barack Obama's staff members, as well as those of other get-out-the-vote groups, who have few Ohio ties but registered and requested absentee ballots.
"One thing that is crystal-clear is the law -- if you are a temporary resident or a visitor, you are not entitled to register to vote and you're not entitled to vote," O'Brien, a Republican, told The Dispatch yesterday. . . .
O'Brien's comments about campaign staffers' residency came after a liberal group filed an election complaint alleging that members of McCain's campaign were no different than out-of-state Obama supporters accused of improperly registering and voting here. . . .
Both campaigns' Ohio spokesmen -- Paul Lindsay for McCain and Isaac Baker for Obama -- are among the out-of-staters who've registered in Ohio.
State law defines residency as a fixed habitation "to which, whenever the person is absent, the person has the intention of returning." But the statute also says: "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."