COLUMBIA, Mo. — A county clerk in central Missouri has determined that Attorney General Josh Hawley lawfully voted when he cast a ballot in a recent election in Ashland.
State law says the attorney general must reside at the “seat of government,” which the Missouri Constitution names as Jefferson City. Democrats have accused Hawley of violating the law by not having a permanent residence in the capital city.
They raised more questions after discovering the Republican voted in a tightly contested election in August in Ashland.
Boone County Clerk Taylor Burks said Hawley has an apartment in Jefferson City, but his permanent residence is in Ashland and he hasn’t registered to vote anywhere else, the Columbia Missourian reported .
Hawley’s office declined to comment to the newspaper.
Democrats levied their complaints about his primary residence in January. Hawley later announced he had an apartment in Jefferson City.
“In a nod to the tradition of attorneys general also residing in Jefferson City, Mr. Hawley rented an apartment within the city limits of Jefferson City,” Peter Patterson, Hawley’s lawyer, said in a letter to Burks. “He uses that apartment as a resident in addition to his family home.”
Democratic officials said Hawley deceived Missouri residents when he said he would live in Jefferson City, and that the residency law is more than just tradition.
“It is astonishing that as the elected official responsible for enforcing Missouri law, Josh Hawley has decided that the Missouri Constitution and the state law do not apply to him,” said Meira Bernstein, communications director for the Missouri Democratic Party.
Information from: Columbia Missourian, http://www.columbiamissourian.com