Monday, January 28, 2013

Confirmed: Shreve Registered To Vote In Bloomington Inside 2-Year Residency Requirement To Serve On The Council

Advance Indiana exclusively reported to you over the weekend that newly-elected City-County Councilor Jefferson Shreve, who was chosen at a caucus of Republican precinct committeepersons in District 23 on Saturday to fill the seat of former Councilor Jeff Cardwell (R) had been a Bloomington resident for nearly the past 20 years and did not register to vote at 725 E. Markwood in Perry Township until October, 2011 shortly before the 2011 municipal general election. According to newly-obtained information from the Marion County Board of Elections, state voter registration records show Shreve was a registered voter at 530 E. Kirkwood in Bloomington, Indiana from May 15, 2007 until October 12, 2011. Interestingly, the 530 E. Kirkwood address is the same place Shreve instructed the Marion Co. Treasurer's office to mail property tax bills for his Marion County property:

Tax Bill ID: 88296452
Assessment Year: 2010
County: Marion
Parcel ID: 491136120029000574
Tax Payer Street Address: 530 E KIRKWOOD AV
Tax Payer State: IN
Tax Payer Zip: 47408
Tax District: 574

Under Indiana law (I.C. 3-8-1-25), "A candidate for membership on city-county council of a first class city must have resided in the district in which seeking election, if applicable, for at least two (2) years before the date of taking office." Shreve was elected at the caucus on January 26, 2012 and sworn into office immediately. Yet Shreve claimed to be a resident of Bloomington at least through the May, 2011 municipal primary election for voting purposes. Advance Indiana previously reported on legislation (SB 621) introduced by Sen. Mike Young, which would lower the residency requirement for city-county council candidates from two years to one year. That same bill would also reduce the residency requirement for Indianapolis mayor from five years to two years. If Shreve contends that he was actually residing at his Marion County residence the past two years and not his Bloomington address, then why did he wait until October 15, 2011 to change his voter registration to Marion County? If Shreve voted in elections at his registered voting address in Bloomington instead of his southside residence where he claims a homestead exemption, questions of vote fraud arise as has plagued plagued other candidates recently. Advance Indiana also wonders if Shreve's appointment to the health and hospital board in Bloomington is based upon his residency in Monroe County.

Residence for voting registration purposes is defined under Indiana law, "I.C. § 3-5-2-42.5, as: “[T]he place where (1) a person has a person’s true, fixed and permanent home and principal establishment; and (2) to which the person has, whenever absent, the intention of returning.” “A person who has a residence in a precinct retains residency in that precinct until the person abandons the residency by: (1) Having the intent to abandon the residency; and (2) Having the intent to establish a new residence; and (3) Acting as provided in this intent by establishing a residence in a new precinct.” “A person who knowingly . . . [a]pplies for or receives a ballot in a precinct other than that precinct in which the person is entitled to vote” commits a Class D felony under I.C. § 3-14-2-16. (emphasis added) “[A] person who knowingly voters or offers to vote in a precinct except the one in which the person is registered commits a Class D felony” under I.C. § 3-14-2-11 (emphasis added).

Think about it. Former Secretary of State Charlie White was convicted of several felonies and forced from office after a Hamilton County jury found him guilty of registering and casting votes from an address the prosecutors convinced the jury for a very short period of time he did not actually reside--his ex-wife's home. Former Sen. Richard Lugar was forced by the Marion Co. Elections Board to re-register at an actual residence he owned in Marion Co. after it was determined that he and his wife had been voting using a home he had sold nearly 35 years earlier. Why wouldn't the Marion Co. GOP leadership have properly vetted Shreve on this issue before pushing his candidacy at Saturday's caucus election over a long-time Perry Township resident and elected official like Michael Kalscheur? These serious questions of Shreve's residency cannot simply be ignored. In light of the evidence, Shreve should do the right thing and voluntarily step aside and allow Kalscheur to fill the council seat vacated  by Cardwell. The Marion Co. GOP and Shreve must address this issue before tonight's council meeting where two tax increase votes are scheduled to be acted upon.

Google Earth image of the 530 E. Kirkwood address where Shreve was previously registered to vote in Bloomington

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