The former Indiana governor and current 2016 Senate candidate, Evan Bayh, was ruled an “inactive voter” after election officials were unable to determine that he was actually a resident of the state, CNN reported Thursday.
Bayh, a Democrat who was a federal Senator from 1999 to 2011, owns a condominium in Indianapolis. But when election officials sent voter validation postcards to the address, Bayh never signed and returned them as a testimony of his residency.
The ruling doesn’t knock Bayh out of the 2016 Senate race, but it puts him at a disadvantage while voters are angry at Washington. Now they’ll have to decide in the 2016 Senate race if it matters that the candidate does not want to live in their state.
Democrats have recruited Bayh to run again because they’re hoping to regain a narrow majority in the Senate.
The Indiana officials actually made the determination twice, once last week and in July 2014, according to CNN.
In both instances, election officials had sent multiple postcards to Bayh’s Indianapolis address to determine that he lives there. Both times the post office could not reach Bayh at the condo he owns in Indianapolis despite multiple attempts, prompting the Indiana Election Division to list him as inactive, according to copies of the mailers and state voting records.
Bayh is still a registered voter, and being listed as inactive does not prevent the former two-term senator and governor from voting in the state. But being considered inactive is the first step from being removed altogether from the voter rolls.
Another report from CNN revealed that since retiring from the Senate in 2011, Bayh has listed one of his two Washington homes as his primary residence.
Political reporter Jim Shella of Indianapolis’ WISH-TV News sat down with Bayh two days after his July 11 announcement that he was joining the race.
Shella: Will you move back here?
Byah: I never left
Shella (voiceover b-roll): Bayh gets touchy when you talk about him living in Washington.
In one of his first TV commercials, Bayh, who was in the Senate from 1999 to 2011, tells the voters that after his retirement he grew frustrated with the gridlock in Washington. “I can’t sit on the sidelines,” he said standing in front of a lovely home with an America flag hanging from a pole off the front porch. It is a wonderful looking home, but it looks nothing like his Washington homes or his condo on Indianapolis’s North Side.
As recently as June 16, 2015, when Bayh donated $2,700 to the campaign of Democratic nominee for president Hillary R. Clinton, his listed his residence as 3310 N Street, NW in Washington’s posh Georgetown section. The townhouse is a four floor single-family home with four bedrooms, 3.5 bathroom, a fireplace and a south facing garden. The red brick townhouse was built in 1820 and is typical of the city’s Federal architectural period.
Not bad for the sidelines.