Report: Top Michelle Obama Aide Running for MD Gov After Voting in DC
Michelle Obama's former policy director announced that she is joining the crowded field of Democrats running against Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. (R).
A Maryland magazine that obtained Krishanti Vignarajah's voting record reported that she holds voter registration in two states and has voted in the District of Columbia four times since 2010.
While such actions are not illegal, Baltimore election law attorney Andy Levy said it will be tough for Vignarajah to fulfill the eligibility requirements for the state's governorship citing her record.
Maryland law requires that a candidate be registered in-state for five years prior to their election.
"Her argument may be [that the law says] you have to be registered. [And] I was registered," Levy told Bethesda Magazine, adding that it would be a "difficult argument" to make.
The magazine reported that "potential challengers" to Vignarajah brought up the question of her eligibility, citing those terms.
Vignarajah's spokesman, Steve Rabin, said she voted in the District of Columbia while working in the Obama White House and State Department while maintaining another residency in Maryland.
He said that Vignarajah's busy White House schedule prevented her from traveling an hour to vote in a town near BWI Airport, where she also held residency.
District of Columbia voting records showed that Vignarajah voted in a 2011 special election and 2012 and 2014 general elections.
The District's election board said Vignarajah should have cancelled her Maryland registration during that time.
The board said there is a requisite checkbox on their form stating that a voter does not hold registration outside D.C.
She voted in Maryland for the 2016 elections.
Vignarajah joins former NAACP head Ben Jealous, Prince George's County Executive Rush Baker III, State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Wheaton) and others in opposing Hogan.