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Questions About Bob Dold Residency Claims Surface

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Bob Dold, Republican candidate for Congress, has spent a lot of time touting his Illinois Tenth District Roots.

On his website and in campaign ads, Dold has said he's a lifelong resident of the district. The problem with the latter is that the former is not true.

Bob Dold pretty much left the Illinois 10th after high school.

Dold attended Denison University in Ohio. After college, he took a job in DC and after that, he moved to Bloomington, Indiana to attend law school at Indiana University. After law school, Dold took another job in DC for the House Government Reform and Oversight committee. All of this information can be found on his Linkedin page.

Most interesting is Dold's post-DC history. Dold didn't move back to the district when he left Capitol Hill in 1999. He went to Chicago. He eventually purchased a home in the neighborhood called Roscoe Village. The deeds and all his refinance mortgages can be seen on the Cook County Recorders website.

More interesting than the land title records, however, are the tax assessor records for Dold's Roscoe Village Property. He and his wife -- who co-owns the property with him -- obtained a homeowner's exemption for the years 2005 and 2006. That means one of them signed a form claiming the property as their "primary" residence.

At the same time Bob Dold owned a property claimed by he or his wife as a "primary" residence, Dold voted from a registration at his parent's address in Winnetka. The Winnetka voting record is on the third page of the prior link. He registered in Winnetka years before, but never re-registered at his Chicago address. Dold's wife did register and vote from the Chicago address.

I called the Cook County Clerk yesterday and spoke to their communications person. I asked her what a voter signs when he or she applies for a ballot. They sign that they are registered at the address printed on the form and that they are qualified to vote. One is qualified to vote if registered, a U.S. citizen, over 18 years of age, not convicted and in jail and live in the election precinct at least 30 days next preceding the election. The case law is mixed on the subject, going into the voter's intent to create a permanent address as described below, but the Clerk's spokesperson advised me that they tell voters that they have a duty to re-register at their new location when they move.

I blogged about this story for a few days. Yesterday, the Chicago Sun-Times picked it up.

Dold responded to the Sun-Times. He claims that his actions were proper because the standard for the Homeowner's Exemption in Chicago is "primary residence" while some Illinois courts use a "permanent residence" standard to determine voting qualification. The idea of "permanent residence" is that you always intended to move back and move back Bob Dold did, but not to the Winnetka address he claims as his permanent residence, but to another house in another town, Kenilworth. Since Dold did not move back to the Winnetka residence, I cannot see how he can claim it as a permanent residence. He probably never intended to move his wife and children back into his parents home and he didn't do it. He moved into another town.

According to the Sun-times article, a spokesperson for the Cook County Clerk David D. Orr's office responded to the paper's inquiries:

When things like this are brought to our attention, we take it very seriously and we forward it to States Attorney's office for review.