Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley voted legally in the August election, according to the Boone County clerk’s office. File photo AP
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley voted legally in the August election, according to the Boone County clerk’s office. File photo AP

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Missouri Attorney General Hawley voted legally, Boone County finds

By Bryan Lowry

blowry@kcstar.com

September 20, 2017 5:48 PM

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley voted legally in the August election, according to the Boone County clerk’s office, which has closed an inquiry into the top law enforcement officer’s voting.

Hawley, a top GOP recruit to run against U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in 2018, has faced criticism for living in Columbia rather than Jefferson City since taking office in January. State law requires the attorney general to reside in the seat of government.

Hawley, who has an apartment in Jefferson City in addition to his Columbia home, voted in Boone County in the August election.

The Boone County clerk’s office began an inquiry after a resident filed a complaint, but Boone County Clerk Taylor Burks, a Republican, sent Hawley a letter Wednesday stating that he was closing that inquiry after concluding there was no evidence Hawley had transferred his voter registration to another district.

Hawley’s spokesman, Scott Paradise, forwarded the letter to news outlets and said in a statement that the “finding confirms what we have said all along: Josh Hawley is properly registered to vote at his permanent home despite the Democrat party attacks to the contrary.”

However, the letter is unlikely to resolve the questions about whether Hawley is violating the state residency requirements for his office.

McCaskill, the Democratic incumbent, took a jab at the attorney general last month and said the law was clear that the attorney general must live in Jefferson City.

“There’s never been an attorney general in the history of our state that hasn’t lived in Jefferson City because the law says ‘shall.’ Listen, I’m a Mizzou-educated lawyer, but I can keep up and I know what the word ‘shall’ means in the law,” McCaskill said in August. “And I know he went to Yale, I think, or Harvard — one of those, one of those fancy ones — I think they taught him the same thing that shall means shall.”

Hawley attended law school at Yale University. Before being elected attorney general, he taught at McCaskill’s alma mater, the University of Missouri.

Bryan Lowry: 816-234-4077, @BryanLowry3

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