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Posted 26 Mar 2001   For week ended March 09, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 10Mar01

By Deborah Carl

Mormons Looking to Vote in Nauvoo Can't Establish Residency

NAUVOO, Ill. -- Several members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois were denied the right to vote. Residents needed to register by March 6 in order to vote in the April 3 mayoral election between incumbent Democrat Tom Wilson and Republican Dan Capener who is a member of the LDS church.

Many of those turned away are members serving church missions which coincide with the building of the Nauvoo temple. They were turned away because they did not have sufficient proof to establish Illinois residency, Hancock County Clerk Kerry Asbridge said. Illinois residency law says, "whether or not an abode is permanent is largely a question of intention -- that is when a person has a home at a given place, with no present intention of removing therefrom, he is generally held to be a resident of that place."

Illinois law also requires two forms of identification and one must include the person's residence. Proof of residency is based on the discretion of voter registration officials, Asbridge said. "It's been a game of cat and mouse," said Asbridge, who is also the head of voter registration. "The people haven't been able to register to vote because they present an out-of-state drivers license, and that is not sufficient to show proof they live in Illinois." New residents are given an 90 day grace period before they must obtain an Illinois license to operate a motor vehicle.

Some residents said they presented rental agreements that show the address and length of time they have lived there for proof of residency and provided an out-of-state drivers license to establish who they are. Patricia Jacobson, who has lived at 160 N. Warsaw St., No. 402, since June 2000, said her husband, Stephen, was allowed to register to vote but she wasn't because no bill was in her name and she doesn't have an Illinois drivers license to verify her residency.

"I took them a phone book that says where I live, and they told me that wouldn't work," Jacobson said. "I have some friends running for office and thought as long as I was living in Illinois I would vote for them. It seems like they kept thinking of reasons to keep me from voting. I have decided that if they are going to make such a big deal about it, I just won't vote."


Mormon voters kept from polls?
Burlington IA Hawk Eye 3Mar01 T2
By Jason Kristufek: The Hawk Eye
April 3 race pits incumbent mayor against Mormon challenger.


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