Rahm Emanuel OK'd for Chicago Mayoral Ballot

Rahm Emanuel can officially stay on the ballot for Chicago's mayoral race, according to an unanimous vote by that city's election commissioners, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Some residents had earlier objected, saying Emanuel had given up his Chicago residency when he moved his family and many belongings to Washington, D.C., to become President Obama's White House chief of staff, as AOL Real Estate previously reported.

The election commissioners' vote came just hours after a 2am-issued 69-page report from hearing officer Joseph
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Morris, who wrote, "...his absence from Illinois during that time in question is excused, for purposes of the safeguarding and retention of his status as a resident and elector, by express operation of Illinois law."

The three-member elections board didn't have to abide by Morris's recommendation, but were able to consider it along with testimony they heard during several days of hearings last week.

"This recommendation ... is shallow," said Burt Odelson, the attorney for the lead objectors, who argued at the hearings that Emanuel gave up his residency when rented out his home in the Ravenswood neighborhood and moved out of state. State law requires mayoral candidates to have resided in the city for the year prior to Election Day, which is Feb. 22, 2011.

Morris accepted Emanuel's argument that it was not his burden to prove he had established residency but rather the burden of objectors to prove he had "abandoned" his Chicago residency, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

"The name of Rahm Emanuel shall appear and shall be printed on the ballot," Morris wrote in his decision.

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