Molly Shaheen Knows Election Laws

Walters v. Weed (1988) 45 Cal.3d 1 , 752 P.2d 443; 246 Cal.Rptr. 5

Student voting in California.



This case presents the question whether voters who leave their domiciles with no intention of returning to live there lose their right to vote in their former domiciles even though they have not yet established new domiciles. In light of the principle that everyone must have a domicile somewhere, we conclude that such individuals retain their right to vote in the precincts of their former domiciles. fn. 1

The California Constitution provides that "[a] United States citizen 18 years of age and resident in this state may vote" and directs the Legislature to "define resident and provide for registration and free elections." (Cal. Const., art. II, §§ 2, 3.) To comply with this constitutional mandate, the Legislature enacted sections 200-217 of the Elections Code, setting forth the criteria to determine one's residence for voting purposes.

 Section 200 of the Elections Code provides: "(a) Except as provided in this article, the term 'residence' as used in this code for voting purposes means a person's domicile. [¶] (b) The domicile of a person is that place in which his or her habitation is fixed, wherein the person has the intention of remaining, and to which, whenever he or she is absent, the person has the intention of returning. At a given time, a person may only have one domicile. [¶] (c) The residence of a person, as used in this article, is that place in which the person's habitation is fixed for some period of time, but wherein he or she does not have the intention of remaining. At a given time, a person may have more than one residence." (Italics added.)"

This California case is interesting in that it is about your standard college voter who has moved on in life after school – just like here in NH, but is still able to vote in California - even after leaving.

You heard that right. The California State Supremes ruled that students who had voted – established domicile – then left for parts unknown and had not established a new domicile – COULD STILL VOTE!

Ah, but there is a catch. 

“The court found that 193 voters who testified did not physically reside in the on-campus precincts in which they voted and "unequivocally" expressed at trial the intention not to return to live on campus. Of these 193 voters, the trial court found that only 113 had acquired a new domicile as of 1 month before the election and had therefore voted illegally. fn. 4 As to the remaining 80 voters, the trial court affirmed the legality of their votes based on the principle, codified in section 244 of the Government Code, that one cannot lose a domicile until a new one is acquired. The trial court found that only 113, rather than the necessary 182, votes had been cast illegally and confirmed Weed's election. [45 Cal.3d 6]”

And what was the standard for finding students coming back to campus had not established domicile in time for the 30 days before the election? What were the FACTS?

“[8] With this principle in mind, we return to the facts of the present case. It is undisputed that when the students whose votes are at issue registered to vote on campus, sometime before the autumn of 1983, they satisfied the three requirements of section 200, subdivision (b). Their habitation was fixed, they lacked the present intention to move elsewhere and, when absent, they viewed their campus accommodations as the place to which they intended to return. It is also without dispute that when these students returned to school in the autumn of 1983 and resided temporarily in the off-campus homes or apartments of friends, in cars parked in remote campus parking lots, or in tents pitched under the campus redwoods, they no longer satisfied the section 200, subdivision (b) requirements, because their habitation was not fixed, they intended to move elsewhere and, when absent, they did not necessarily view their temporary accommodations as the place to which they intended to return. Bearing in mind the principle that one can never be without a domicile, the question we must resolve is, "Where were these students domiciled for voting purposes when they resided at their temporary locations during the autumn of 1983?"

And why is any California law or court case relevant to NH?

Because Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s daughter Molly lives at 10700 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills California and has a bed, business, partner, and underwear store return policy tied to that address – but she votes here in NH.

Under California law it looks like Molly Shaheen does not live in a tent, parked care, parking lot, or bird nest. She has a permanent, minimum, $2,500 per month apartment with a view and a bathrobe.

Here is the Ca. TAX Law for Residency:


R&TC Section 17014(a) defines "resident" as:

 Every individual who is in this state for other than a temporary or transitory purpose; and

 Every individual domiciled in this state who is outside the state for a temporary or transitory purpose.

Under this definition, an individual may be a resident of California although not domiciled in California, and, conversely, may be domiciled in California without being a resident of California. Residency determines what income is taxable by California (CCR Section 17014).

The theory behind California residency law is to define the class of individuals who should contribute to the support of this state (CCR Section 17014). (see web site below) 

R&TC Section 17014(b) provides a special rule for certain United States Government

officials and their spouses. If those individuals have a California domicile, we will consider their absences from this state as temporary or transitory. They remain California residents.

This rule applies to the following persons:

 Any elected U.S. official.

 Anyone on the staff of a member of the U.S. Congress.

 Any presidential appointee, subject to Senate confirmation, other than military and Foreign Service career appointees.

R&TC Section 17014(c) provides that any individual who is a resident of California remains a resident even though temporarily absent.

 Molly would be smart to vote in California if she likes it there so much.