That’s the question asked of the court in a lawsuit filed yesterday by, Steve Young, Senator Mimi Walters 37th district democratic challenger. The lawsuit, filed in Sacramento County, demands that the Secretary of State to remove Walters from the ballot because she does not actually live in the district and clearly has no intention to do so.
“Senator Walters is trying to defraud the people of Orange County,” said Steve Young in a press release announcing the suit. A Newport Beach attorney, Young is running against Walters in the 37th Senate District. “She owes the voters of Orange County an explanation about why she is lying about where she lives.”
The suit asserts that Walters filed a voter registration affidavit claiming to reside in a 570-square-foot apartment in Irvine with no dishwasher or washer/dryer hook ups. Walters and her family have lived since 1999. a 14,000 square-foot mansion in Laguna Niguel. According to the suit, Walters husband is still registered to vote at the Laguna Niguel home.
According to Walters website, she, her husband, and their four children live in the tiny Irvine studio apartment. The circumstantial evidence seems to support the assertion that Walters does not actually live in the apartment. State law requires candidates for office actually have their primary residence in the jurisdiction they are running in.
Voter registration law requires an individual to intend to live in the location they are registered. Intent, is a difficult thing to prove, and few cases succeed. The fact that Walters has claimed to the voters that she AND her family. her husband and four children, live in a studio apartment makes it difficult to reach the bar of credibility in her assertion of residency.
Walters is currently an incumbent State Senator, but her district boundaries were changed with last years redistricting process which drew her actual Laguna Niguel home out of the district. The suit will need to be resolved quickly if Walters name is to be removed from the ballot. Vote by mail ballots are likely already in the printing process at this point in time.
The Orange County Register’s Brian Joseph has a more detailed report on the suit here.