Residency Question

Real estate manager Jay Jalisi, whose choice of residency has become somewhat of a whispered issue in politically connected circles in Baltimore County, is running for a delegate seat in the newly redrawn District 10.

Though the Democrat is registered to vote at a property along the 11000 block of Reisterstown Road in Owings Mills, he has made contributions to his own campaign under a Lutherville-Timonium address listed in tax records as his and his wife’s primary residence, an address more than four miles into neighboring District 11.

Jalisi owns multiple properties throughout the area and said he does not live at the Lutherville address, though records from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation list Jalisi and his wife, Azra, as the primary residents of the Lutherville property. In an interview, Jalisi said he lives at the Owings Mills address, but property records filed in the summer of 2013 list the address as commercial and not a primary residence.

Though state law requires that delegates live in the district they wish to represent for six months before they can run in the general election, domicile — the legal standard used to determine where a person permanently resides — can be a fuzzy issue when a candidate owns multiple properties.

“It, in large measure, has to do with one’s objective intention to make [any one place] their permanent home,” said Larry Gibson, a professor of law of the University of Maryland who teaches a course on election law.

When an individual files to run for public office, the board of elections uses the candidate’s voter registration address to check if that candidate lives in the district they wish to represent, said Donna Duncan, assistant deputy administrator of election policy at the state board. From there, further inquiries into a candidate’s qualifications usually stem from complaints or tips brought by individuals.

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