AG: Voting rights of those with foreclosed homes upheld

By Nick Rees | Oct 6, 2008

Doug Gansler (D)

BALTIMORE, Md. (Legal Newsline) -- Maryland's attorney general has issued a letter to state and local elections officials, saying the voting rights of those with recently foreclosed homes cannot be challenged based on residence.

"Both the Federal and State constitutions guarantee citizens the right to vote," Attorney General Doug Gansler said. "The strength of our democratic system depends on ensuring that all citizens entitled to vote may do so. Public confidence in the election process cannot be maintained if voters are impeded from exercising their right to vote by intimidation, misinformation or deceit."

Media reports and calls to the attorney general about the status of registered voters who have recently lost their homes to foreclosure lead to the issuing of the letter.

In Maryland, until a residence is establish in another ward or district, registered voters are entitled to vote in the ward or election district in which he or she resides.

A foreclosure list, the attorney general says, is not a valid reason to challenge a registered voter at the polls. Clear evidence must be available that the registered voter both had intent to abandon one residence and adopt a new one.

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