If a relative of GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan had done what Joe Biden's niece Alana Biden appears to have done in the November 2012 election in New Hampshire, i.e., casting her ballot in a swing state where she doesn't really reside, establishment press coverage would be intense. But as of now, it's a virtual secret outside of the Granite State, and it certainly hasn't penetrated the nation's vast horde of low-information voters.
According to TV station WMUR (HT Gateway Pundit) in a Tuesday afternoon report, Ms. Biden, while working for the Obama-Biden reelection campaign, swore in an affidavit that she was a resident of the state. That claim appears to have been false, at least as normal people would define residency (though it might technically comply with poorly written state law; more on that shortly). Several other Obama campaign workers from other states, all of whom claimed the home of Democratic State Senator Martha Fuller Clark as their "home address," also voted in New Hampshire.
Here is some of what WMUR reported (bolds are mine):
... in the months leading up the general election last year, Alana Biden the vice president's niece, worked on the campaign of President Barack Obama in the Granite State.
Biden voted on Election Day by swearing in an affidavit that her domicile was in Manchester. After the election, she left the state and moved to New York, according to her LinkedIn profile.
State Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, D-District 21, has eight people registered to vote under her single-family address in Portsmouth. Several of them came to New Hampshire to work on campaigns for various periods of time and voted in elections before moving on.
When asked about the legitimacy of their domicile status, Clark said:
"By and large, the young people who stayed with me were committed to New Hampshire, but given their age, whether they intended to stay is impossible to predict."
According to the Secretary of State's Office, the law allows a pretty wide interpretation of who's eligible to vote. Deputy Secretary of State Dave Scanlan said that in theory, a person could move into the state a day before an election, establish domicile in the state, vote and then leave the next day.
For voter eligibility, the law says an inhabitant's domicile for voting purposes is "that one place where a person, more than any other place, has established a physical presence and manifests an intent to maintain a single continuous presence."
"Because the law is vague in certain areas, it does create areas for problems," Scanlan said. "In large part, you have to rely on the trustworthiness of individuals to do the right thing when you're voting. We know that doesn't always happen."
How many of those involved also voted in another state?
The Manchester Union Leader has more:
The state Republican Party Wednesday asked the attorney general to investigate allegations of voter fraud, charging that a Democratic state senator boarded five people at her home who worked on campaigns, voted in the state, and then quickly moved out of state.
The GOP also cited reports that Alana Biden, the niece of Vice President Joseph Biden, worked in the state last year, voted in Manchester on election day and then left the state for New York.
Democrats countered that the practice of campaign workers coming to and voting in the state and then quickly moving on works both ways. They cited two Republicans who worked on Mitt Romney's campaign who voted in the state and later left. Republicans said the examples cited by the Democrats are bogus.
... Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said that under the law, "the problem is proving a state of mind or the true intent" of the voter."
He said the issue is being addressed in a court case challenging the state's voter registration requirements and a decision may give lawmakers guidance before the beginning of the next legislative session in January.
"This is not new when it comes to domicile and establishing the intent to make New Hampshire your domicile," said Scanlan. "Some say it's kind of a state of mind."
"State of mind"? Lord have mercy. The elections system seems to get further out of control with each passing cycle.
Ohio has similar problems, and at least two well-known politicians (here and here) have capitalized on the "state of mind" absurdity to brazenly live in Columbus while "representing" constituents elsewhere and claiming they will return to their beloved district after their careers in public service are over.
There's more at the Union Leader link than can be covered here, including an Attorney General with an arguable conflict of interest who won't recuse himself from any investigation which might occur. As to the Democrats' charge that two Romney-Ryan campaign workers did the same thing -- unlike most if not all of the Obama-Biden workers, the Romney-Ryan people stayed in the state for several months unsuccessfully seeking work before moving elsewhere.
A search on Alana Biden's name (in quotes) at Google News returns two relevant results. WMUR's story is not among them, so make that three. Whoopee.
The Associated Press, in a search on Alana Biden's name not in quotes, has nothing at its national web site.
The likelihood that a similar story over a day old involving Republicans would be receiving almost no notice is virtually zero.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.