Dual Resident Voting: Traditional Disenfranchisement and Prospects for Change
39 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2010
Date Written: 2002
In modern times, a large and growing number of Americans qualify as bona fide residents of two or more locales. These dual residents are subject to local taxes and ordinances and are profoundly affected by policies that concern their second-home community. Yet, in most states, individuals are prohibited from voting in more than one location through voting statutes that equate residence with domicile. Recently, the Second Circuit upheld a New York election law that prevents second-home owners from voting in both of their residential districts. This Note argues that extending the franchise in local elections to individuals who qualify as bona fide residents of a community, regardless of whether they already qualify to vote in another community, is required under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Such an extension is also supported by normative arguments arising from the democratic tradition of government by the consent of the governed and against taxation without representation.
Keywords: Voting, Local Government, Equal Protection, Residency, Property
JEL Classification: K11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation