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Legislature In No Hurry To Address Residency Rules

The residency issue has come up in a number of recent, high-profile campaigns.

Indiana House Seal

Photo: Dan Goldblatt (WFIU News)

A summer study committee says there is not much clamor for lawmakers to look into changing residency rules for candidates.

There does not appear to be any rush at the statehouse to tinker with Indiana’s residency laws for candidates.

A year ago, the Indiana Recount Commission invited legislators to consider clarifying residency requirements, after grappling with the case of then-Secretary of State Charlie White. The commission ruled White‘s voter registration address complied with the law, though he was later removed from office after being convicted on criminal charges related to his shifting addresses.

Since then, Senator Richard Lugar has been forced to switch his registration address to his Indianapolis farm to quell a legal skirmish. And former Congressman David McIntosh‘s narrow loss in a comeback bid may have been partly attributable to his move to Washington and back, though state and local election officials concluded he met all residency requirements.

State Rep. Kathy Richardson (R-Noblesville) says despite the controversies, the existing law has worked. She says complicated situations like White‘s, with divorces, remarriages, and new home purchases, does not change the central question: a candidate‘s intent to make an address his permanent home.

Richardson chairs a study committee on election matters. She says neither citizens nor legislators have asked the panel to review the issue, though she says she‘d be open to any suggestions for changes.

Senate Elections Chairman Sue Landske (R-Cedar Lake) says she is not aware of any bills being drafted in her chamber either.

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