The time is now

The time is now to register to vote, fellow DC-metro-area peeps.  Do you know where / if you are registered? You should! (And if you live outside the area, but still in the U.S.,  fear not, go here for the National Mail-in Voter Registration. Several organizations (some partisan, some not) have organized electronic pages as well, including MTV’s well-known Rock the Vote. The Detroit Free Press has a great story on voter registration with links to every state’s voter registration.)

Here at home, in the hood, by which I mean the tri-state area (no, not those three states, New Yorkers, sigh)…

In DC, the  deadline is Oct. 6.
You need to attest and show proof that:

  • You are a United States Citizen
  • You live in the District of Columbia
  • You will be at least 18 years old on or before the next election
  • You are not in jail on a felony conviction
  • You have not been judged “mentally incompetent”in a court of law
  • You do not claim the right to vote anywhere outside DC.

In Maryland, the deadline is Oct.14.

To register in Maryland, you need to 

  • Be a U.S. citizen;
  • Be a Maryland resident;
  • Be at least 18 years old by the next general election;
  • Not be under guardianship for mental disability;
  • Not have been convicted of buying or selling votes;
  • Not have been convicted of a felony, or if you have, you have completed serving a court ordered sentence of imprisonment, including any term of parole or probation for the conviction.

And, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…..

In Virginia, the deadline is Oct.6.

You need to be: 18, a citizen, and a “resident” of Virginia, the burden of proving which is determined “by the applicant.” While things such as owned or rented property, mailing address, and work status count in the evaluation of that claim (if there is any dispute) residency is ultimately determined by “where you lay your head at night” as per a court decision that included provisions for the homeless. Interesting.

More specifically…
[1. See for example:  Virginia residency requirements]

Under the Virginia Constitution, a prospective voter must be a resident of the precinct where he seeks to register. In order to establish “residency”, a prospective voter must show that (1) he has an actual physical place of abode in the precinct, and (2) he is domiciled there.

To establish “domicile”, a person must live in a particular locality with the intent to remain there for an unlimited time. Sachs v. Horan, 252 Va. 247 (1996). Thus, no person can have more than one domicile or vote in more than one locality at the same time. Where a person establishes his domicile may result in consequences unrelated to voting, such as payment of taxes. The burden of proving domicile rests with the person asserting it. Each person must, however, have some place that they can vote, if they wish to be able to vote. Even the homeless may register by using the site “where they lay their head at night”.

Registrars in Virginia bear the responsibility of determining if applicants are eligible to vote in their localities. Under Virginia Code §24.2-101, registrars may give consideration to at least the following factors in determining domicile: 1.  A person’s “expressed intent”, and 2.  A person’s “conduct and all attendant circumstances”, including, but not limited to:

  • financial independence
  • business pursuits
  • employment
  • income sources
  • residence for income tax purposes
  • marital status and children
  • residence of parents
  • leaseholds and ownership of real property
  • where automobiles and other personal property are registered and taxed.

If a registrar has reason to question whether a person actually resides in the precinct where he seeks to vote, the registrar should make reasonable inquiries to help the applicant make an accurate determination. No single factor or response should be determine an applicant’s domicile. On the contrary, each prospective voter should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, weighing all of the relevant circumstances.

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  1. Frank L said,

    Wrote on October 2, 2008 @ 6:28 pm

    You can’t have a tri-state area when one of the places is not a state.

    New Yorkers rule!

    Frank Ls last post: Frankgeist 10/1

  2. washwords said,

    Wrote on October 2, 2008 @ 7:50 pm

    oh fine, technicality! the TWO-state-and-one-loverly-district area! better? or the commonwealth+district+state area?

    bah. how can a buffalonian be so pro nyc? 😉 gooooo upstate!

    washwordss last post: The time is now

  3. DCBlogs » DC Blogs Noted said,

    Wrote on October 3, 2008 @ 12:03 am

    […] which I promise not to do often, this one’s purely informational though: Registered to vote? The time is now. Seriously. DC and Virginia deadlines are THIS Monday, Oct. 6. Maryland is Oct. […]

  4. Shevonne said,

    Wrote on October 3, 2008 @ 10:18 am

    Thank you for posting this. I just found out I am registered to vote in Spotsylvania County still! Definitely absentee ballot will be done. Thanks again!

    Shevonnes last post: Finnish site pulls kindergarten shooting game (Reuters)

  5. Frank L said,

    Wrote on October 3, 2008 @ 1:02 pm

    Hey I don’t root for the Yankees, Jets, Mets or Giants. I know what’s what with the Upstate-I just am being picky 🙂

    Frank Ls last post: When Killers Try To Be Funny…Allegedly.

  6. washwords said,

    Wrote on October 3, 2008 @ 4:41 pm

    Glad you found it Shevonne! 🙂

    Happy voting everyone. Remember the old adage “vote early and often.” I kid, I kid. Don’t report me repubs. 🙂

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