Qualified elector means registered to vote. I assume he is registered to vote in Chicago. If not, I suspect he is SOL. "Resided" is defined by residency and the legal precedents in Illinois concerning what constitutes residency make it clear that it is not simply determined by where you were physically located. You are arguing that the term as used in the Chicago law means something different than what is meant in state voting and tax laws. However, nothing in the language you quote makes that evident. In the absence of very explicit definitions (such as are used, for example in New York State's tax codes), judges would be free to look at common usage of terms across all aspects of state law. This indicate a presumption of non-residence for someone absent for more than a year, but also make it clear that there are exceptions based on intent and context. The story you cited comments that some unidentified attorneys believe that law clearly excluded Rahm from running. I suspect that if those attorneys were identified, we would also find their names on complaints that will be filed. I also suspect that Rahm did not decide to quit his job and run without some competent legal advice suggesting that his candidacy would survive a legal challenge. I assume that there will be such a challenge and that there will be appeals. From a tactical perspective, if I were Rahm, I would actually initiate the litigation myself (obviously through a different voter) to avoid having legal challenges being delayed until the election is closer to ensure that there could be no final decision. The first line of argument is the administrative one -- the Chicago Board of Elections. With respect to them, it is clear that there is support for an argument for residency based on criteria other than physical presence.
Originally Posted by Eric Johnson
This is not a matter of "Chicago politics" as you imply, since similar arguments exist as established precedents in many areas of Illinois law. The nice thing about a court case is that everyone gets to put forward their own arguments, judges reach a decision, and that decision is subject to appeal. Obviously, there are times when such decisions are blatantly political (e.g. Bush v Gore in 2000 before the Supreme Court). For the most part, however, such decisions reflect a lot of thought and attention to detail.
"Two officials from the Chicago Board of Elections have clearly stated that the overriding legal issue is intent
, and the fact that Rahm owns a home and votes in Chicago means he's a Chicagoan -- regardless of his opponent's old-style political efforts to limit the choice for voters," Emanuel spokeswoman Lori Goldberg said.
Actually, Chicago Board of Elections officials have said, with the caveat that they cannot comment on specific cases and they won't know what objections will be raised against mayoral candidates until Nov. 29, that they start with the presumption of intent if a candidate maintains a home in Chicago and votes absentee there.
"It's the sense of the election board that if you keep ownership of the property, keep your registration there, you've voted absentee, as far as we know he hasn't registered anywhere else, it's just like members of the military who serve overseas in Iraq -- we don't deny them the right to vote; people who take corporate assignments overseas, and lease out their home as a fact of life, it doesn't mean they've left permanently," Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen said.
"If you are a registered voter and continue to vote from your residence, you establish what we consider the intent to be a resident of the city of Chicago," Chicago Election Board Chairman Langdon Neal told CBS2Chicago. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/electio...vote04.article
EDIT: I'm sure it's a coincidence, but the primary "expert" cited for this story is Burt Odelson, a Chicago based, politically active attorney who gained election law credentials in part through his work on the 2004 Florida recount for the Bush team. The Chicago Sun-Times story fails to mention this fact or the fact that Odelson is representing another candidate for mayor. The UPI, in a somewhat more balanced story, reports (http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2010/...1521286169987/):
"The guy does not meet the statutory requirements to run for mayor," Burt Odelson, an attorney representing another potential candidate for mayor, told the Sun-Times. "He hasn't been back there in 18 months. Residency cases are usually very hard to prove because the candidate gets an apartment or says he's living in his mother's basement. Here the facts are easy to prove. He doesn't dispute he's been in Washington for the past 18 months."
Other attorneys said Emanuel, who has yet to announce his intentions, could argue that he has maintained ownership of the home, completed an absentee ballot this year, pays property taxes, lists the address on his driver's license and always intended to return.