Texans file challenge to state’s electoral votes

By BETSY BLANEY

Associated Press

DALLAS – Three Texas voters have sued to block Gov. George W. Bush’s election as president by challenging running mate Dick Cheney’s status as a Wyoming resident. The lawsuit was filed hours after a similar lawsuit was dismissed in Florida.

The suit filed Monday claims Cheney is a resident of Texas and that he and Bush, therefore, shouldn’t be awarded the state’s 32 electoral votes. The lawsuit cites the 12th Amendment, which prohibits the president and vice president from living in the same state.

“Someone cannot be a resident of two states simultaneously,” said Bill Berenson, the Fort Worth attorney representing three Dallas County residents who are suing Bush and Cheney. “If Mr. Cheney wanted to run for political office in Wyoming he would be prohibited from doing so. Some of Wyoming’s statutes state that.”

Cheney lived in Texas until he changed his voting registration to Teton County, Wyo., on July 21. He or his wife has owned a home there since 1993. Cheney also has a home in McLean, Va.

Last week, Cheney put his Highland Park home on the market for $3.1 million, Berenson said.

A call to the Bush-Cheney campaign was not immediately returned.

A lawsuit filed in last week in Florida that made similar claims about Cheney was dismissed on Monday. Berenson said the Dallas County lawsuit was filed because the merit of the basic claim must be sought by residents in the county where Cheney resides.

The suit claims that Cheney holds a Texas driver’s license listing his Highland Park address and that, on Feb. 22, he changed his personal records at the Texas Department of Public Safety and again listed the Dallas address.

It also claims Cheney’s vehicles are registered in Texas, that he paid taxes on them in Dallas County, that he has filed federal income tax returns listing himself as a Texas resident and that he has lived in the Highland Park home for the last five years.

The case has been assigned to Judge Sidney Fitzwater, a Republican appointed by former President Reagan. No date for a hearing has been set.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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