© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Questions about Akin's residency now in prosecutor's lap

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 17, 20111 - State Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, followed through today with her earlier threat by formally filing a formal complaint asking Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan to investigate whether U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood, had been voting from the wrong address in Town and Country for the last few years.

But Newman's complaint actually reinforces the inaction of St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, who has declined to comment on the issue for weeks.

A spokeswoman for Carnahan noted that, by law, voter registration is handled by local election officials and the local prosecutor. As a result, Newman's complaint will be forwarded to McCulloch and the county Election Board. 

Newman, who is married to a lawyer, said she hopes that her formal complaint will lead to a probe by McCulloch's office.

Such investigations anywhere in Missouri have rarely led to formal charges.

At issue is Akin's admittedly slow move from his longtime family home in Town and Country, which is now being demolished for new residential development, to a home he purchased several years ago in Wildwood.

Akin and his staff have maintained that he spent several years renovating the Wildwood residence, using materials from the Town and Country home, and that he and his family shuttled back and forth for some time. During that time, he used the Town and Country residence as his official voting address.

Akin officially changed his residency to Wildwood a couple weeks ago, after Town and Country approved the development plan for the old property, which has been owned by Akin's father.

Akin recently characterized his situation as being little different from that of college students or soldiers stationed overseas, who continue to vote from their home residence.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.