A Bend resident filed a complaint with the Secretary of State today alleging City Council candidate Casey Roats
committed voter registration fraud when he registered both his business address and that of his then-under construction home on Brookswood Boulevard as his residence while living outside the city with his parents
The complaint, submitted by local political activist Michael Funke, lays out the timeline of Roats' actual and claimed residences and makes the following argument:
I contend that registering to vote at this place of business was voter registration fraud because Roats was not living there.
I also contend that Roats’ voter registration at the Brookswood Blvd. address was fraudulent because it was not a habitable residence and because Roats was still living outside the city limits of Bend. Even though he intended to live at this address, he could not predict the future and there was no absolute guarantee that he would live there. Intent to live somewhere is not fact.
I further contend that Roats fraudulently registered within the city limits on both occasions so that he could claim residency in Bend, as required of candidates who run for Bend City Council.
Roats could not be immediately reached for comment regarding the complaint.
According to Secretary of State Communications Director Tony Green, the issue is complicated because it involves multiple jurisdictions and may include more than one category of complaint. He could only speak to the role the state would potentially play.
"If we find that we believe he knowingly provided false address information [on his voter registration or candidacy forms], we would refer it to DOJ to pursue criminally," Green told the Source. "The process would be different if it were an issue of his current [voter registration] address. In that case the county would hold a hearing, and if they found it was a false address they'd forward it to us. In this case, the addresses they are concerned about are previous addresses, with no bearing on the accuracy of his current registration."
As far as whether or not Roats is qualified to take office should he be elected, Green said that is up to the City of Bend. City Attorney Mary Winters was not immediately available for comment.
See this week's print issue (online and on stands Wednesday) for the full story, including claims from Roats' attorney that opponent Lisa Seales should withdraw on account of her residence.