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Home States

OK, here’s an odd question: Joshua Keating over at FP Passport notes that “this election now features both a Hawaiian and an Alaskan”. I know it’s considered a good thing for a Presidential or Vice-Presidential candidate to have two or even three home states, but is it a good thing for us regular joes?

I have voted as a resident of five states. Sequentially, yes. I grew up in Arizona, and voted absentee as an Arizona resident during my college years in Pennsylvania. After college, I lived for three years in California, then for ten in Massachusetts, then a year and a half in Virginia, and now I’ve been in Connecticut for three years. Is that right? Three years? Well, anyway. I still think of myself as an Arizonan, and I think of myself as a Nutmegger now as well, but although I do still feel a connection to Pennsylvania, California, Massachusetts and Virginia, I certainly don’t think of them as home states.

Do any of you think of yourselves as having two home states? Or three?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


My primary home states are New York and Massachusetts, but I'd happily lay claim to Pennsylvania and Maine as well. Only held jobs in 3, though, only voted in 2, and only owned a house in 1.

But I'd also consider myself both a downstate New Yorker and an upstate New Yorker, and those are two very different states.

If I were running for office, I would probably claim as my home state any or all of Virginia (where I was born), Maryland (where I grew up), and Massachussetts (where I now reside). If I needed the electoral votes (and I would), I'd also go for Pennsylvania (where my parents live, and I spent 6 formative years).

I've voted in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Indiana. Paid taxes in them all, owned a home in the latter two.

Missed my chance to vote in six states when I neglected to register in Maine during my one year there. It was an off-year election, and I had been resident in the state only just over two months by election day, so I didn't feel right voting on local races.

Home state is definitely Pennsylvania, where I have both Western (growing up) and Eastern (college) connections. I never identified strongly with Connecticut (I was always wishing I could live in northern New England instead, which I did manage eventually, but only for a year, alas) or Tennessee, but my association with North Carolina was important. My mother's family was from Indiana, and this is where I expect I'll be for the long haul, so I identify here pretty strongly.

Running for office, I'd try to claim regions rather than states: mid-Atlantic, Midwest, New England, and Near South. And I might mention that I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Never lived west of the Mississippi, though, (Baton Rouge is on the east bank) so I'd have to show trip photographs to establish my connections thataway.

Of course, the likelihood of my running for elected office is somewhere between "no chance in hell" and "don't make me laugh" . . . so I suppose my affiliations are ultimately of merely personal import.

I think of myself as being a Californian and a somewhat grudging Bostonian, and I'm of course a Swattie and SWILlie, but that's more social than geographical. (But Swarthmore is a place, and a place that I expect I'll always think of as "going back to"; but which isn't "home".)

Like Josh, I think of myself as Californian, although I never lived there as an adult the way he did, it's just where I grew up; in contrast to Josh, I am an eager Bay Stater, although I'm not sure how many more years I'm going to need to live here to get to claim to be a New Englander. ::grin:: I was not actually born in either of these states but I don't think I would ever say (these days) that I was "from" Seattle.

I've voted in Virginia, Oregon, and New Mexico (although, now that I think about it, I probably did an absentee ballot for Virginia). However, I wouldn't claim Oregon or New Mexico as having been "home." I have connections of the soul with Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, but I've resigned myself to the label of "Virginian." Oddly, I never identified myself with DC/Northern Virginia much until I left it, but now that I've left, come back, and moved to the 'Noke, I've come to terms with my Inner Virginian.


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