by Ed Naile
Here are selected, relevant, portions of the recent Annemarie Guare v. NH Supreme Court Appeal:
“In September 2012, the petitioners filed the instant action, alleging that the challenged language is confusing because it conflates the statutory definitions of “domicile” and “residence,” and, therefore, violates a citizen’s constitutional right to vote. See RSA 654:1, I (Supp. 2014) (defining “domicile”); RSA 21:6 (2012) (defining “resident”); RSA 21:6–a (2012) (defining “residence”).
Following several hearings, the superior court issued a preliminary injunction, which removed the language from the voter registration form pending final resolution of this case. In October 2012, the State filed with this court an emergency motion for a stay. We denied the State’s motion on October 9, 2012.”
“The legislature has defined “residence” differently from “domicile.” “Residence” is “a person’s place of abode or domicile,” and the phrase “place of abode or domicile” is defined as “that [place] designated by a person as his principal place of physical presence for the indefinite future to the exclusion of all others.” RSA 21:6–a. Pursuant to RSA 21:6, a “resident” is “a person who is domiciled or has a place of abode or both in this state ․, and who has, through all of his actions, demonstrated a current intent to designate that place of abode as his principal place of physical presence for the indefinite future to the exclusion of all others.” Our motor vehicle laws use this definition of “resident.” See RSA 259:88 (2014). Upon becoming a “resident” of New Hampshire, one has 60 days in which to register one’s vehicle here and to obtain a New Hampshire driver’s license. See RSA 261:45 (2014); RSA 263:35 (2014).
These requirements do not apply to citizens who are not “residents” of New Hampshire although they have their “domicile” here. The basic difference between a “resident” and a person who merely has a New Hampshire “domicile,” is that a “resident” has manifested an intent to remain in New Hampshire for the indefinite future, while a person who merely has a New Hampshire “domicile” has not manifested that same intent.”
For the purposes of this appeal, the State has agreed that the 2012 law that added the challenged language to the voter registration form, Laws 2012, 285:2, does not alter the statutory definitions of “domicile” and “residence.” The State has also acknowledged that the statutory definition of “domicile” and the statutory definition of “residence” differ. Further, the State has agreed that, to vote in New Hampshire, a citizen need only have a New Hampshire “domicile,” and need not be a New Hampshire “resident.”
“We agree with the petitioners that the challenged language inaccurately states New Hampshire law. The challenged language informs a potential voter that, upon declaring New Hampshire as her domicile, she is “subject to the laws of the state of New Hampshire which apply to all residents, including laws requiring a driver to register a motor vehicle and apply for a New Hampshire driver’s license within 60 days of becoming a resident.” Laws 2012, 285:2. This is inaccurate. A person who has only a New Hampshire domicile, but who does not meet the statutory definition of “resident,” is not “subject to the laws of the state of New Hampshire which apply to all residents.”
Superior and Supreme Court sleight of hand is complete. The definition of domicile is reversed – without even looking at a dictionary, intent of the law or the framers of State Constitution.
How could they use the standard method for determining a case and get away with this scheme?
Here is how the rest of the world and other states define domicile:
Domicile is but the established, fixed, permanent, or ordinary dwelling-place or place of residence of a person, as distinguished from his temporary and transient, though actual, place of residence. It is his legal residence, as distinguished from his temporary place of abode; or his home, as distinguished from a place to which business or pleasure may temporarily call him.
“Domicile” and “residence” are not synonymous. The domicile is the home, the fixed place of habitation; while residence is a transient place of dwelling. The domicile is the habitation fixed in any place villi an intention of always staying there, while simple residence is much more temporary in its character.
Webster’s Third Dictionary which the NH Supra uses:
Domicile Has Latin Roots
Domicile traces to Latin domus, meaning “home,” and English speakers have been using it as a word for “home” since at least the 15th century. In the eyes of the law, a domicile can also be a legal residence, the address from which one registers to vote, licenses a car, and pays income tax. Wealthy people may have several homes in which they live at different times of the year, but only one of their homes can be their official domicile for all legal purposes.
But no matter how NH Courts, the Secretary of State, and the AG play word games – it is illegal under Federal law to lie about your legal residence in a Federal Election.
US Code 52
§10307. Prohibited acts
(a) Failure or refusal to permit casting or tabulation of vote
No person acting under color of law shall fail or refuse to permit any person to vote who is entitled to vote under any provision of chapters 103 to 107 of this title or is otherwise qualified to vote, or willfully fail or refuse to tabulate, count, and report such person’s vote.
(b) Intimidation, threats, or coercion
No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for voting or attempting to vote, or intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for urging or aiding any person to vote or attempt to vote, or intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for exercising any powers or duties under section 10302(a), 10305, 10306, or 10308(e) of this title or section 1973d or 1973g of title 42.1
(c) False information in registering or voting; penalties
Whoever knowingly or willfully gives false information as to his name, address or period of residence in the voting district for the purpose of establishing his eligibility to register or vote, or conspires with another individual for the purpose of encouraging his false registration to vote or illegal voting, or pays or offers to pay or accepts payment either for registration to vote or for voting shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both: Provided, however, That this provision shall be applicable only to general, special, or primary elections held solely or in part for the purpose of selecting or electing any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, presidential elector, Member of the United States Senate, Member of the United States House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, Guam, or the Virgin Islands, or Resident Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
(d) Falsification or concealment of material facts or giving of false statements in matters within jurisdiction of examiners or hearing officers; penalties.
Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of an examiner or hearing officer knowingly and willfully falsifies or conceals a material fact, or makes any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(e) Voting more than once
(1) Whoever votes more than once in an election referred to in paragraph (2) shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(2) The prohibition of this subsection applies with respect to any general, special, or primary election held solely or in part for the purpose of selecting or electing any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, presidential elector, Member of the United States Senate, Member of the United States House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, Guam, or the Virgin Islands, or Resident Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
(3) As used in this subsection, the term “votes more than once” does not include the casting of an additional ballot if all prior ballots of that voter were invalidated, nor does it include the voting in two jurisdictions under section 10502 of this title, to the extent two ballots are not cast for an election to the same candidacy or office.
( Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §11, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 443 ; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 91–285, §2, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314 ; amended Pub. L. 91–405, title II, §204(e), Sept. 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 853 ; Pub. L. 94–73, title IV, §§404, 409, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 404 , 405.)