You vote where you live

The July 31 Sun Journal included a column written by Douglas Rooks, titled "Webster's real problem is with the Constitution."

After reading his comments, I realize that he and I have at least one thing in common — neither of us are attorneys. The lawyers that I have spoken with have a different opinion than Mr. Rooks.

Rooks is right that the Supreme Court has ruled that students attending college are allowed to vote where they reside. In other words, the fact that they are students does not disqualify them from becoming eligible to vote.

Where I believe the confusion is that students or anyone legally qualified may vote where they intend to reside.

I have been told by several attorneys that the key factor is "intent."

Once you register to vote you are, at that moment, indicating that you "intend" to become a resident of the town, and state, where you register, because you are declaring residency. At that moment, you must obey the laws, just like every other citizen.

Residents of Maine must pay income taxes (if they have an income); they must register their car (if they own one); and, if you have drivers license, must (within 30 days) either change your license to a Maine license or update it with the appropriate address. These are requirements once you choose residency.

I feel strongly that everyone who is a resident of our community should become active voters in every election. On the other hand, I do not believe that people who live in another state should be allowed to vote in Maine. If someone wishes to join our community, declare their residency and obey our laws, I welcome them with open arms. For me, the right to vote is important.

I honestly believe when a senior citizen or local carpenter stops by to vote on the way back from work, his vote should mean something. They need to feel comfortable knowing that their vote potentially won't be cancelled out by someone from New Jersey who doesn't even reside in their town, or state, and has no intention on doing so. Their right to vote is important.

I'm sure that the Constitution is clear in this regard; you vote were you live and obey the laws of your municipalities and state.

Charles Webster, Farmington

Chairman, Maine Republican Party

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ERNEST LABBE's picture


Exactly however one more item should be added. I obtain residency status you should live in the in the state you intend to vote in for a full year. The you can vote on all issues, otherwise you can vote on national matters only.

Gop's voter supression activity

Any righteous citizen or entity would see the fallacy of this hypocrisy!Grow up Republicans; have you no shame?
Bob Mennealy


Charlie went from plumbing and heating

to constitutional law.

In fairness - he claims to have consulted an unnamed lawyer (Coulter?) who says the Supremes really meant students had to vote where Mommy and Daddy live. But my unnamed lawyer says Charlie's unnamed lawyer is wrong.

The point is, legal opinions are like interpretations of the Bible - if you don't like what your clergyman says, it's not too hard to find another one who will tell you what you want to hear.

More to the point - the Republicans are Hell bent to suppress voting nationwide. Charlie and his sycophants at Maine colleges (the boyish looking ones with the regimental tie and white sidewall haircut who live in NH and run for office in Maine) are just doing their part to keep those Commie , liberal pinkos from voting.

See paragraph 7 of Mr. Rimi's letter Charlie if you don't like my lawyers opinion of the SCOTUS ruling.

 's picture


"anyone legally qualified may vote where they intend to reside." If I intend to live somewhere a little warmer when I retire, can I go ahead and start voting there now?

RONALD RIML's picture

Actually Maine Law is quite clear on your 'Voting Residence'

§112. Residence for voting purposes

Voting residence is governed by the following provisions. [1985, c. 161, §6 (NEW).]

1. Residence. The residence of a person is that place where the person has established a fixed and principal home to which the person, whenever temporarily absent, intends to return.
A. The following factors may be offered by an applicant and considered by a registrar in determining a person's residence under this section. The registrar need not find all of these factors to be present in order to conclude that an applicant qualifies to register to vote in the municipality:
(1) A direct statement of intention by the person pursuant to section 121, subsection 1;
(2) The location of any dwelling currently occupied by the person;
(6) The place where any motor vehicle owned by the person is registered;
(8) The residence address, not a post office box, shown on a current income tax return;
(9) The residence address, not a post office box, at which the person's mail is received;
(10) The residence address, not a post office box, shown on any current resident hunting or fishing licenses held by the person;
(12) The residence address, not a post office box, shown on any motor vehicle operator's license held by the person;
(14) The receipt of any public benefit conditioned upon residency, defined substantially as provided in this subsection; or
(16) Any other objective facts tending to indicate a person's place of residence. [2009, c. 253, §10 (AMD).]


7. Uniformed service voters, students, institutional patients, Indians.

A person does not gain or lose a residence solely because of the person's presence or absence while employed in the uniformed service or the merchant marine of the United States, while a student in any institution of learning, while kept in any institution at public expense or while residing upon any Indian or military reservations. This subsection may not be construed to prevent a student at any institution of learning from qualifying as a voter in the municipality where the student resides while attending that institution.


 's picture

You sir should be criminally charged

Mr Webster, your actions stashing a fleet of publicly owned busses so that they could not be used to transport Maine citizens to the polls on election day last november were criminal. The fact that you admitted to planning and doing it along with others means you were involved in a conspiracy to keep people away from the polls. I realize that since you are members of the same party that our Secretary of State and Attorney General will not care to investigate, but I'm certain the US Attorney General's office will take it much more seriously. You exhibit the actions of what is the worst and ugliest of party politics, and your actions remind me of a group of 12 year olds. You obviously have very little knowledge of the law when it comes to voting and registration, it's also obvious that you have no knowledge of ethics.

 's picture


Tell us exactly how you determine intent, Charlie. And is there a time limit or requirement on residency somewhere? If a student says "I intend to live here for the next 9 months," is that okay? Can they then "vote where they live"?

Jason Theriault's picture

Still BS

Sorry Mr Webster - this law is BS.

If you want to stop students from voting, make a law that says they can't vote. The Maine Constitution says students can be denied suffrage.

But this law isn't doing that.

 's picture

Hypocrisy, thy name is Dan.

When a Democrat takes advantage of a law, it's always in the name of fairness and justice; when a Republican takes advantage of the same law, it's a "loophole" that suppresses the downtrodden masses.

 's picture

Hypocrisy, thy name is Dan.

When a Democrat takes advantage of a law, it's always in the name of fairness and justice; when a Republican takes advantage of the same law, it's a "loophole" that suppresses the downtrodden masses.

 's picture

Sorry for the double post.

I'm in Florida, taking advantage of loopholes, and using a computer I'm not familiar with.

GARY SAVARD's picture

Dan, good point, but two

Dan, good point, but two wrongs don't make a right. For years I have been disgusted with the fact that students at Bates College could come out in force and vote on local issues, knowing full well that they are only here to attend school and that Lewiston will never play a part in their future after they graduate. Do many of these students vote back home as well? I'll bet that many do.

Jason Theriault's picture

But, really, they live here

The student live here. Yeah, they don't pay taxes, but according to the Fox news, 50% of the people don't pay taxes. They are far more affected by what goes on here than their hometowns.

And they came up with 260 examples. It's not like there is a major impact here.

RONALD RIML's picture

Bates Students pay no taxes???

How do they get around the sales tax, and taxes on alcohol and cigarettes????

Jim Cyr's picture

Pay only irrelevant taxes!

How about those who don't par take in your hobbies? How about those driver licenses and vehicle registrations? Do those not constitute residency? And paying "your fair share", what ever that is supposed to mean!

RONALD RIML's picture

Are you taking "Par" this morning Jim.....

Or did you shoot a Bogey three last night and your partner's P.O'd????

Jason Theriault's picture

Well, if I believe fox news

They are all smoking weed, which there is no sales tax on.


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