Legislator's home draws challenge
At issue is whether Calvin Say maintains sufficient residency
State officials who oversee local registration of voters have concluded two days of hearings on a challenge to the residency of House Speaker Calvin Say.
Michael Palcic, a former Republican opponent of Say, filed the protest challenging Say's residency. Palcic's wife, Julia Allen, is running against Say.
Palcic has charged that Say does not live in his Palolo Valley home, but actually lives at 2247 Star Road, outside of his representative district.
Yesterday, the Democratic leader appeared before the Oahu Board of Registration, which handles voter complaints for Oahu.
Say said that while his wife lives with her mother at the Star Road address, he maintains a residency in Palolo and is there "at least 60 percent of the time."
Palcic produced water and electric bills showing no water use at Say's listed address of 1822 10th Ave. Say contended that the water bill only shows water consumption over the minimum, and because he was only at the house some of the time, his water use was minimal.
Maureen Muraoka, registration board chairwoman, said the water bill showed that Say had used only $7.20 worth of water in two months and that the electric bill was $55.37 for the July-to-August billing period.
According to state law, a candidate for the state Legislature must be a registered voter in the district he or she seeks to represent. Hawaii law defines residency as "that place in which the person's habitation is fixed, and to which, whenever the person is absent, the person has the intention to return."
Say explained that when his father-in-law became ill in 1995, his wife had moved to his in-laws' Star Road home to help take care of him. He died in 2001, but his mother-in-law also became ill, and Say's wife and two sons remained in the Pauoa home to take care of her.
"I would have dinner with my family and continue to return to the 10th Avenue home at least 60 percent of the time," Say said during yesterday's hearing.
"I always consider the 10th Avenue address to be my residence, and when things clear up with my mother-in-law, my wife and I intend to continue full-time living in the 10th Avenue home," Say told the Registration Board.
Palcic had first protested Say's voter registration to the city clerk, who ruled that Say was a properly registered voter in the 20th District of St. Louis Heights, Palolo and Kaimuki.
"The notion of the Says shuttling between the two houses is a complete falsehood," Palcic said.
"The Says have lived in an extended family situation in Pauoa for over 15 years. The pretext of the Palolo home serves only one purpose: to maintain voter registration in District 20," he said.
The board is expected to issue a written ruling today, according to Deputy Attorney General Russell Suzuki.