By Mike Zitterich @ Sioux Falls Community Chronicle 

“Don’t put down too many roots in terms of a domicile. I have lived in four countries and I think my life as a writer and our family’s life have been enriched by this. I think a writer has to experience new environments. There is that adage: No man can really succeed if he doesn’t move away from where he was born. I believe it is particularly true for the writer.” – Arthur Hailey 

There has been some rumbling on whether or not Americans residing in Arizona or Nevada to name a few states can legally vote in South Dakota or not. And some have asked, and requested the Attorney General Marty Jackley to form a legal opinion to best answer this question. However, the question has already been answered, both by the United States Supreme Court, as well as previous South Dakota Attorney General Legal Opinion 84-19 answer this as well.

First, one has to define what Domicile is, and is not – the country that a person treats as their permanent home, or lives in and has a substantial connection with the place of which you treat a specified country as a permanent home.

Second, one has to define the term Residency, which is a state or period of residence where a person resides for housing, employment, or travel.

You may only have one domicile at one time, but you may have multiple places of residencies. While your domicile is the official sovereign place of origin, the point of which all roads lead back to, your residency may change from time to time depending on where you happen to be at any given time. Your residency may be one place, or it may transition from city to city, state to state, country to country, but what does not change, is the domicile, the place you owe a tax to, the place you vote in public elections, the place of which you register all your person, your documents, your vehicle

To claim your Domicile in South Dakota, you must spend no less than twenty-four hours in the State, either the “day of your birth” or the at least one full day residing in a Hotel or Campground, so long as you can claim an ‘address” for no less than twenty-four hours, you may begin the process of transferring your “Domicile” to the State of South Dakota, submitting your person, documents, papers, and titles to the “state” itself.

As for “Voting Rights‘ ‘ – you may only one state at one time, and that is grounded in your domicile. Never may you vote in multiple states, and in order to vote in another state, you must officially surrender your domicile of your previous state, thus transferring it to another state first. At that point, the Secretary of State in your former state must then clear your name from the official registry, removing your right to vote in that ‘state’.

Therefore, if you domicile yourself in South Dakota, you may reside in the State of Arizona for 12 months out of the year,  however, only South Dakota may be your official place of record, meaning you may not place yourself on any other “States” Master Voting File without first giving up our current domicile.

The United State’s Supreme Court has settled this matter once and for all, in the Dunn v. Blumstein, 405 U.S. 330 (1972) – the court ruled against the Tennessee law that required a newly placed resident of the state to establish 1 year, 3 month residency prior to a state or local election. What the court actually stated was the fact:

Tennessee closes its registration books 30 days before an election, but requires residence in the State for one year and in the county for three months as prerequisites for registration to vote. And all the meanwhile, in forming its opinion, the court highlighted the following criteria in determining the length of time a State can restrict voting rights to any given American.

(a) Since the requirements deny some citizens the right to vote, “the Court must determine whether the exclusions are necessary to promote a compelling state interest.” Kramer v. Union Free School District, 395 U. S. 621395 U. S. 627 (emphasis added). Pp. 405 U. S. 336-337.

(b) Absent a compelling state interest, Tennessee may not burden the right to travel by penalizing those bona fide residents who have recently traveled from one jurisdiction to another. Pp. 405 U. S. 338-342.

(c) period of 30 days appears to be ample to complete whatever administrative tasks are needed to prevent fraud and insure the purity of the ballot box. Pp. 405 U. S. 345-349.

(d) Since there are adequate means of ascertaining bona fide residence on an individualized basis, the State may not conclusively presumed nonresidence from failure to satisfy the waiting period requirements of durational residency laws. Pp. 405 U. S. 349-354.

(e) Tennessee has not established a sufficient relationship between its interest in an informed electorate and the fixed durational residency requirements. Pp. 405 U. S. 354-360.

Mr Justice Marshal delivered his opinion as mentioned below;

Various Tennessee public officials (hereinafter Tennessee) appeal from a decision by a three-judge federal court holding that Tennessee’s durational residence requirements for voting violate the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. The issue arises in a class action for declaratory and injunctive relief brought by appellee James Blumstein. Blumstein moved to Tennessee on June 12, 1970, to begin employment as an assistant professor of law at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. With an eye toward voting in the upcoming August and November elections, he attempted to register to vote on July 1, 1970. The county registrar refused to register him, on the ground that Tennessee law authorizes the registration of only those persons who, at the time of the next election, will have been residents of the State for a year and residents of the county for three months.

What the Supreme Court has said is that “States” cannot restrict to Americans such voting restrictions that it limits the ability of any such American the right to freely travel the 50 United State’s at any cost.

While a “State” may have the right to protect and defend its interests as noted in (A) above, but as noted in (B) – it may not restrict an Americans right to travel freely, picking up and changing his or her place of residence, nor restrict an American’s residence to any number of states of which that American has the right to conduct his or her affairs, while the court honored the right of the state to set a 10, 15, 20, 30, or 45 day for example period of of time to cut off voting registrations as cited under (C) above, this is allowed by any State to determine the facts of such American establishing “domicile” within that state, and under (D) the court has ruled that the voter registration due date prior an election is adequate time to determine such domicile.

Because of the fact that South Dakota is a top state for nomads for a variety of reasons: no income tax, no annual vehicle inspections, and the affordability of both vehicle registration and insurance. Plus, it’s super easy to become a South Dakota resident. Here are Six Easy Steps of Placing Your Official Domiciled-Residency inside South Dakota:

  1. The first part of becoming a South Dakota citizen is to join a mail forwarding service that will give you a physical address in South Dakota;
  2. The next step of becoming a South Dakota resident is to get your plates and vehicle registration;
  3. All you have to do is spend ONE NIGHT in a campground or a hotel and bring your receipt to a DMV;
  4. Register to Vote;
  5. Obtain Automobile Insurance;
  6. Establish Commercial and Personal Connections within the State: a) Establish a Bank Account, b) Open a Library Account, c) Join a Church, Mosque, Synagogue; d) Hire or Contract an Accountant or C.P.A,  e) Join Private Groups such as Hiking Groups, Social Groups, Organizations, f) Repair Your Vehicle in South Dakota. 

However, the day you “register to vote” in South Dakota, is the official day you swear upon oath, that you have officially given up, and surrendered your previous domicile, meaning you have officially transferred, and established your “domicile” in South Dakota, despite residing, and working in Arizona.

In 1984, then South Dakota Attorney General, Mark Meierhenry drafted, and formed a statewide legal opinion which officially became 84-19:

The Fall River County State Attorney, Kenneth Dewell asked the following questions – pay attention to question #3:

  1. Can an individual who has a place of business, within the corporate limits of a municipality, but who has no place of residence located at that business, be permitted to register and vote as a resident, declaring their place of business as their residence?  
  2. Can an individual who has a place of business, within the corporate limits of a municipality, and which place of business has a one-room apartment, be permitted to register and vote as though they were residents of that municipality when, in fact, they have an ordinarily recognized place of residence outside the corporate limits of said municipality?  
  3. Can an individual who for employment purposes is required to layover in a community within Fall River County, South Dakota, but whose point of origin for work purposes and whose place of residence is in another state be permitted to register and vote as a resident of the State of South Dakota?  

Every person residing within the state who has the qualifications of a voter prescribed by § 12-3-1 or § 12-3.1-1, or who will have such qualifications at the next ensuing municipal, primary, general, or school district election, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter in the precinct in which he resides. S.D.C.L 12-4-1

Every person resident of this state who shall be of the age of eighteen years and upwards, not otherwise disqualified, who shall have complied with the provisions of law relating to the registration of voters shall be entitled to vote at any election in this state.  S.D.C.L 12-3-1

For the purposes of this title, ‘residence’ shall be the place in which a person has fixed his habitation and to which, whenever he is absent, he has the intention of returning. A person who has left his home and gone into another state or territory or court of this state for a temporary purpose only shall not be considered to have lost his residence. A person shall be considered to have gained a residence in any county or city of this state in which he actually lives, providing such person has no present intention to remove himself therefrom. If a person moves to another state, or to any of the territories, with the intention of making it his permanent home, he shall be considered to have lost his residence in this state. S.D.C.L 12-1-4 

Opinion: In view of the foregoing statutes, it is my opinion that, in each of your three factual situations, the individual, in question, does not have sufficient residency status to permit registration for voting purposes. Therefore, the answer to each of your three questions in NO

The South Dakota Attorney General’s Office, has formed the opinion, that where the Arizona “Citizen” has made his official residence for purposes of home, work, and voting purposes, that that person is not to be considered a ‘domiciled person’ in South Dakota, qualifying him to become a S.D Voter. He first would have to officially surrender his “official domicile” in Arizona, thus submitting his person, official address, and papers to South Dakota first, despite having multiple residencies.

You have every right to “reside” in Arizona 365 Days a year, however, your official domicile must officially recorded in South Dakota, meaning, it is the place of origin, the place of which all our income passes through, your vehicle is registered, to, the place of which your ‘direct taxes’ are owed, and paid to.

And last, because a South Dakota “registered campground” is lawfully a fixed, permanent address, it becomes a legal point of origin, the place of which you affix your legal, domiciled address, the place of which you owe your direct taxes to, the place of which apply for, and register your vehicle(s) to, qualifying you to become a S.D Vote in all future state and local elections within the “county” of which you place yourself within.

Even, if South Dakota were to adopt a new law, making ‘campground’ an unlawful point of origin, all an American has to do is work with a South Dakota landowner, or property holder, to subdivide their land, establish zoning plats, placing a ‘home’ or structure on the land, giving to any American an official Address, of which may be used to establish their “domicile”, despite the fact, they may reside in Arizona or Nevada twelve months of the year.

The Supreme Court has stated that it is 100% constitutional to live in Arizona twelve months, while using your South Dakota ‘address’ as your Domicile.

You now need a Secretary of State of whom will work, to uphold the South Dakota law, ensuring that ‘we’ shall prosecute all Foreign States, of which maintain any suich S.D Domiciled Citizen on their State’s Master Voter File, where that citizen has taken an affidavit of oath, swearing that they removed their domicile from the previous state.

And finally, in the landmark Supreme Court case of Texas v. Florida, 306 U.S. 398 (1939), the court ruled as such:

1. The Court inquires sua sponte into its jurisdiction of the case. P. 306 U. S. 405.

The Latin term sua sponte, which translates as “of one’s own accord,” is used to describe an act of authority made without prompting, or without a request having been made. In the U.S. legal system, sua sponte generally refers to a decision made, or action taken, by a judge of his own accord, with no motion or request having been made by any party to the legal action. The most common use of sua sponte actions is to dismiss a case when the court in which it was filed does not have jurisdiction over the matter. To explore this concept, consider the following sua sponte definition.

2. Private parties whose presence is necessary or proper for the determination of a case or controversy between States may be joined as defendants. Id.

3. Jurisdiction of this suit under Constitution Art. III, § 2, turns on the questions whether the issue framed by the pleadings constitutes a justiciable “case” or “controversy” and whether the facts alleged and found afford an adequate basis for relief according to accepted doctrines of the common law and equity systems which are guides to decision of cases within the original jurisdiction of this Court. Id.

4. Bills of interpleader and bills in the nature of interpleader considered. Id.

5. The equitable jurisdiction by bill in the nature of interpleader exists where the parties, including the plaintiff, have independent and mutually exclusive claims upon the same fund and where, although in point of law or fact only one claimant is entitled to succeed, there is danger that independent prosecutions of the claims may result in multiple recoveries and resultant depletion of the fund to the damage of the claimant properly entitled. The ground of the jurisdiction is to avoid this danger. Equity avoids it by requiring the rival claimants to litigate before it the decisive issue. P. 306 U. S. 406.

6. A suit, by bill in the nature of interpleader, brought by a State against other States to determine the true domicile of a decedent as the basis for death taxes, each State claiming the right to tax the succession to his intangible property upon the ground that he was there domiciled at the time of death, held cognizable in equity and within the original jurisdiction of this Court. Constitution Art. III, § 2. P. 306 U. S. 405.

In this landmark case, Mr Justice Stone formed the opinion of:

This original suit, in the nature of a bill of interpleader, brought to determine the true domicile of decedent as the basis of rival claims of four states for death taxes upon his estate, raises two principal questions: whether this Court has jurisdiction of the cause, and, if so, whether the report of the Special Master, finding that decedent at the time of his death was domiciled in Massachusetts, should be confirmed. On March 15, 1937, this Court granted the motion of the Texas for leave to file its bill of complaint against the States of Florida and New York and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and against decedent’s wife, Mabel Harlow Green, and his sister, Hetty Sylvia Ann

So on matters of “Claiming Domicile” in relation to voting rights, a state proclaiming ‘jurisdiction’ over any such American Citizen may at any cost adopt rules of such to determine whether or not the “citizen” has placed his or her domicile within a particular state or not. Residency shall not be the ultimate authority on whether or not an American can or cannot vote in a specific state or not. Domicile shall be verified foremost.

You can officially reside in Arizona, while holding, and maintaining your Official Domiciled Residence in South Dakota, while residing outside the State of South Dakota 365 Days.