Geoffrey S. Connor
SECRETARY OF STATESlate of Texa
January 22, 2004
VIA HAND DELIVERY
The Honorable Rick PerryGovernorState Capitol, Room 2S.1Austin, Texas 78711
Election Law Opinion GSC –1
Dear Governor Perry:This formal election law advisory opinion is in response to your letter, dated December30, 2003, requesting this office’s opinion on matters relating to residency in Texas. Specifically,you requested the opinion of this office concerning how Section 1.015 of the Texas ElectionCode (“Code”) applies to college students currently attending Prairie View A&M University.Because you have raised issues of general importance, I shall address your question within thecontext of this formal election law opinion, which is rendered under my authority to obtain andmaintain uniformity in the interpretation of elections laws. T
. § 31.001(a)(Vernon 2003).
:What is the proper interpretation and application of Section 1.015 of theCode in the context of voter registration by and “residency” of collegestudents, in particular, those students currently attending Prairie ViewA&M University?
: The definition of residence for the purpose of voter registration is wellsettled in Texas. As stated in the seminal case of
Mills v. Bartlett
, 377S.W.2d 636, 637 (Tex.1964), “[n]either bodily presence alone norintention alone will suffice to create the residence, but when the twocoincide at that moment the residence is fixed and determined
There is nospecific length of time for the bodily presence to continue.” Mostimportantly, a college student cannot be held to stricter residency