Chicago Election Board Upholds Emanuel's Residency

Chicago election commissioners voted Thursday to keep Rahm Emanuel on the city's February mayoral ballot, ruling that the former White House chief of staff meets the residency requirement.

The election board, however, is not expected to have final say on the issue. The objectors have a week to appeal the board's 3-0 decision to the Cook County Circuit Court. The case could wind its way through the court system for weeks, including the Illinois Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court.

""It has not been established that the candidate, a resident of Chicago, abandoned his status as such a resident,"" hearing officer Joe Morris wrote of Emanuel's time in Washington. ""In any event, 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.""

Burt Odelson, attorney for the lead objectors, said Morris' recommendation turns the law of residency on its head.

""This recommendation — I'm trying to guard my words — is shallow. It's shallow in reciting the facts,"" Odelson said of the 69-page ruling. Kevin Forde, one of Emanuel's attorneys, said that referring to the former four-term Chicago congressman as a carpetbagger is ridiculous."