Oddly enough, here in the center of the big city, there is no snow on the ground. That is not true elsewhere, we assure those of you who never get out of the big city.
Here's another oddity to scratch your head over.
Mark Shepard, the former state senator from Bennington who lost the GOP primary for Congress two years ago and is conducting a write-in campaign for that seat this year, doesn't completely live in Vermont.
He still has a house in Bennington. He's still registered to vote there, and did vote early _ not for himself because he voted before he was running as a write-in _ but he and his wife and four kids rent a home in Seneca Falls, N.Y. (which just happens to be my mother's birthplace), where he works as an engineering consultant. Most of his clients are in that part of central New York.
So can Shepard vote here? Could he serve as our representative in Congress if elected?
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz says a state Supreme Court ruling found that a voter could remain on the rolls if he/she had specific intentions to return, such as after they were done caring for an ailing parent.
Shepard says he would like to return, but circumstances right now dictate otherwise. That doesn't quite fit the barometer Markowitz spoke of. In fact, Bennington Town Clerk Tim Corcoran said the Shepards' house is for sale.
But Corcoran said he thinks Shepard has a perfect right to vote in Bennington. The measure for him, he said, is where one files income taxes, which Shepard does in Vermont.
Shepard said his status in New York state is similar to a businessman staying in a hotel. He ads that he still has a Vermont driver's license.
Interesting situation. Keep in mind that people in the military vote absentee sometimes through a long career to the address of the house where they grew up, whether mom and dad still live there or not. In the 1984 election, I was in Africa in the Peace Corps, thought about getting an absentee ballot, but didn't know if I was still allowed to vote at my parents' address, since my parents had while I was away sold the house and moved away (losing my baseball cards in the process). Turns out maybe I coulda.
Just came across this from Massachusetts, however. An odd compromise that makes somebody a voter of a state but not of any locality.
BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a new law allowing Massachusetts
voters who have moved in the past 18 months to vote Tuesday at their old
address if they failed to re-register at their new home.
The law will apply only to this election, in part to address concerns about voters forced out of their homes and apartments due to the foreclosure crisis. The ballots will be limited to votes for president, U.S. senator and the three statewide ballot
Under current law, voters who move must re-register within six
months. The new law extends that grace period by a year. Secretary of
State William Galvin said that without the new law, voters who attempted to cast
ballots at their old precincts would have to cast provisional ballots.
- Terri Hallenbeck