Records: Herschel Walker’s wife voted in Georgia in 2020
ATLANTA (AP) — The wife of potential U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker voted in Georgia in November, although she doesn’t identify her Atlanta house as her primary residence for property tax purposes.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Julie Blanchard requested a ballot be sent to her in Westlake, Texas, for the presidential election and returned it. Blanchard also owns a home in Atlanta.
Walker is considering a run for U.S. Senate in Georgia as a Republican. A longtime friend of former President Donald Trump, Walker has joined in Trump’s unproven assertions that the 2020 election was stolen by fraudulent votes.
“Play by the rules.....the American people demand ONLY LEGAL BALLOTS be counted. Anyone manipulating this election should be prosecuted,” Walker wrote on Twitter in November.
Questions about whether his wife voted properly in Georgia could turn those claims back on Walker.
The former University of Georgia and Dallas Cowboys running back is being encouraged by Trump to run for a U.S. Senate seat in 2022 now held by Democrat Raphael Warnock. A number of other Republicans are already running, including state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, former banking executive and Navy veteran Latham Saddler and contractor Kelvin King.
“If we’re residents in both places, is that legally wrong?” Blanchard told the newspaper on Monday. “If you have multiple homes, you can’t vote where you have a home?”
Blanchard and Walker married in Texas in May, according to public records.
Blanchard on Tuesday told the newspaper that she considers herself a resident of Georgia, where she has a driver’s license, owns a car and does business. She didn’t answer a question about whether she spends more time in Georgia or Texas.
Before 2020, Blanchard hadn’t voted in Georgia since 2008. Her Georgia voter registration was canceled in 2017 because of inactivity, and she re-registered in 2019. It’s unclear if she was re-registered when she renewed her Georgia driver’s license. Drivers are automatically registered to vote in Georgia unless they specifically decline. The newspaper reports Blanchard isn’t registered to vote in Texas.
Blanchard and Walker purchased their Texas property in 2011, deed records show, and Tarrant County, Texas, grants a homestead exemption — a property tax break given to homeowners on their primary residence — according to public records. However, only Walker, and not Blanchard, is listed on the current tax bill.
One of the 15 rules used in Georgia law to determine where a voter lives for residency purposes is where they claim a homestead exemption. In general, Georgia law says that a voter’s residency is where the person intends to live permanently or where their “habitation is fixed.”
Georgia records show Blanchard doesn’t currently claim a homestead exemption on her Fulton County property.