Elizabeth Dole's Residency Problem

Is Elizabeth Hanford Dole a qualified registered voter with a permanent residence in North Carolina or is Elizabeth Dole's permanent primary residence at the Watergate in our nation's capital?

The Watergate is much more than the name of a famous hotel where an even more famous burglary took place in the early 70’s.

"Watergate is a cooperative apartment complex located in North West Washington, D.C.. The complex includes three apartment buildings (East, West & South), two office buildings, a hotel, and a shopping mall.

The Watergate has been described as a “city within a city.” Most apartments are extravagant and have a price tag to match with many two-bedroom units going for well over $2 million. Winston and Winston Real Estate have several listings at 700 New Hampshire Avenue NW offering virtual tours. There are even a few listed that are down the hall from some of the Watergate’s most famous residents, Bob and Elizabeth Hanford Dole.

The Doles have been residents of The Watergate since their marriage in 1975. Bob Dole has owned apartment #112 – a first-floor, one-bedroom since before the Republicans burglarized the Watergate Hotel in 1972.

More than a quarter century later, the Doles found themselves neighbors with Monica Lewinsky and her mother during the famous blow job and blue dress scandal. After the Lewinsky duo vacated their apartment, the Doles purchased it to enlarge their living quarters.

The rest of the story......

For the past 33 years, the Doles have been joined by many of Washington’s most famous and infamous residents in calling the Watergate home. Living at The Watergate puts Liddy Dole within minutes of the heart of political and social action in Washington, D.C. This makes me wonder why Dole would ever plan to leave the convenience and excitement of living near the hub of the political world. But, leave it she must.

You see, to be a qualified registered voter in North Carolina and to maintain that status when temporarily out of the state, Dole must not only maintain a residence in North Carolina, but she must intend to come back to the state to live. According to North Carolina election law:

§ 163‑55. Qualifications to vote; exclusion from electoral franchise.
(a) Residence Period for State Elections. – Every person born in the United States, and every person who has been naturalized, and who shall have resided in the State of North Carolina and in the precinct, ward, or other election district in which the person offers to vote for 30 days next preceding an election, shall, if otherwise qualified as prescribed in this Chapter, be qualified to vote in any election held in this State. Removal from one precinct, ward, or other election district to another in this State shall not operate to deprive any person of the right to vote in the precinct, ward, or other election district from which he has removed until 30 days after the person's removal.


§ 163‑57. Residence defined for registration and voting.
All election officials in determining the residence of a person offering to register or vote, shall be governed by the following rules, so far as they may apply:
(1) That place shall be considered the residence of a person in which that person's habitation is fixed, and to which, whenever that person is absent, that person has the intention of returning.
(2) A person shall not be considered to have lost that person's residence if that person leaves home and goes into another state, county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district of this State, for temporary purposes only, with the intention of returning.
(3) A person shall not be considered to have gained a residence in any county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district of this State, into which that person comes for temporary purposes only, without the intention of making that county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district a permanent place of abode.


(8) If a person removes to the District of Columbia or other federal territory to engage in the government service, that person shall not be considered to have lost residence in this State during the period of such service unless that person votes in the place to which the person removed, and the place at which that person resided at the time of that person's removal shall be considered and held to be the place of residence.
(9a) The establishment of a secondary residence by an elected official outside the district of the elected official shall not constitute prima facie evidence of a change of residence.

Measuring intent isn’t the easiest task in the world. It would be made much easier if Elizabeth Dole would publicly announce her plans to leave her home of 33 years to move back to North Carolina. We might want to pin Bob down on those plans too.

We don't know whether Elizabeth Dole intends to fulfil the requirements of a qualified registered voter in North Carolina, but here’s what we do know:

  • Elizabeth Hanford Dole lived in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Bob Dole, for 33 years prior to establishing residency for the purpose of running for the Senate in North Carolina.
  • Elizabeth Dole never gave up her primary residence at The Watergate in Washington, D.C.
  • Elizabeth Dole has never expressed her intent to make North Carolina her primary residence after she leaves political life
  • Elizabeth Dole does not live in North Carolina when the Senate is not in session.
  • Elizabeth Dole did not establish a secondary residence in Washington after being elected to public office, but returned to her primary residence in Washington – a residence she never gave up.
  • I have a call in to the North Carolina State Board of Elections to try and clarify why Elizabeth Dole is allowed to maintain her residency by simply voting in this state without any expressed intent to return to her property in North Carolina to make it her permanent residence after she leaves public life. That call has not been returned.

    I don’t know anyone who is denying Dole’s right to have a secondary residence in Washington, but the fact that it was her primary residence for 33 years prior to her filing to run for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina muddies the waters a bit.

    Residency should be determined by more than simply where someone votes. Our election laws clearly state that a person shall not be denied their right to vote because they are away temporarily as long as they intend to return to North Carolina to make it their permanent residence. The problem is the law doesn’t outline how we will determine that intent.

    We could start with a promise from Elizabeth Hanford Dole that she is going to leave her home of 33 years in Washington, D.C. and move to North Carolina when she loses in November. If North Carolina is truly her primary residence she should express her intent to live here. If she is unwilling or unable to commit to living in North Carolina after her service in the U.S. Senate has ended, then her residency for voting purposes is called into question and her eligibility to run for and serve in the U.S. Senate should be challenged.





    Great post

    Poor Liddy. She doesn't really know where she lives, and doesn't really care. As long as she can be one of the Big Wigs, that's all that matters to her.

    Of course she has no intention of moving back to North Carolina, which means the people of the state that she's already hood-winked will never have to suffer the indignity of having her actually live here.

    So it's okay to be a Senator even though your permanent residence is somewhere else. But it's not okay to vote for yourself?

    The plot sickens.

    Jesus Swept, this December


    She really doesn't care.

    Privileged insiders need not be concerned about such things. Nor do they need to be bothered with the issues the "commoners" are facing here in North Carolina.

    Excellent post, Betsy!

    NCDem Amy on YouTube

    two thoughts on residence

    I believe it is accurate that Bob Dole is registered to vote in Kansas. That does not indicate any intent to form ties to NC, except for his wife to get a paycheck.

    Are there tax laws in DC regarding tax rates for primary residence? If they have been given a favorable rate for their homestead at the Watergate, and continued after her "relocation" to NC, is there some tax fraud involved?

    I recall some Republican who was getting his kids home school district back in whatever state to pony up for homeschooling costs, while at the same time living in DC in a residence he listed as his primary one(and renting out his so-called residence back in home state).

    The intent part of the law is interesting, though. Hard to prove, but hard for her to show any evidence indicating the positive.


    was the guy with the kids problem


    Jesus Swept, this December

    Someone else, a brother I think,

    actually lived in his "primary residence" in Pennsylvania. Sort of how someone else lived in Elizabeth Dole's primary residence when she first ran for office - correct? Her mom?

    Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

    33 years is nothing.

    The least that should come out of this is an understanding by the people of North Carolina that Elizabeth Dole has lived in Washington, D.C. with Bob Dole for 33 years with almost no time spent in North Carolina during that entire time. However, that is the least of it.

    The people of North Carolina deserve to know that Elizabeth Dole left North Carolina 50 YEARS AGO. She graduated from Duke in 1958, that is 50 years ago. From 1959 to 1965 she lived in Massachusetts going to that liberal bastion of higher education, Harvard. After that she spent 40 years in Washington.

    Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

    I like the idea of bringing this up and making noise about it

    here in NC. At the very least, it would give the voters on the fence something to think about when it comes to being represented by an ACTUAL North Carolina citizen as opposed to a carpetbagger from Kansas, DC.

    North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

    North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

    Deed information

    In December 2001 Elizabeth Hanford Dole and her brother John Van Hanford, Jr. in their capacity as co-trustees of a trust for their mothers's benefit transferred the deed to 712 South Fulton Street to Elizabeth Hanford Dole as Grantee. The deed was dated 12/26/01 and recorded 12/31/01. Mary C. Hanford was 100 at the time. John and Elizabeth had been given power of attorney in December 1997. Mary Hanford died in January 2004.

    Great job, Betsy!

    Wonder what would happen if suddenly Liddy was declared ineligible to represent NC? (not that it would happen, but a girl can dream.)

    Excellent! I hadn't seen that.

    You touched some thing in more detail than I did and I had no idea that Ada Fisher had challenged her residency.

    I called the SBOE and still do not have a return call. Maybe I should try again. It doesn't sound like they were too interested in addressing her residency in an honest fashion.

    Robin Hayes lied, Robin Hayes cried and thousands of folks lost th

    Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

    i voted for pete dilauro

    If there was a none of the above button for senator that would be my pick, but please keep on the State Board of elections they need a little prodding.

    I was amazed when Hillary Clinton did this slick move. Then Elizabeth Dole did the same thing. The least she could have done is buy a vacation spot in this state do the usual dog and pony show with the locals and call it a day.

    Great article.