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Citizenship implies more than residence. It carries with it the idea of identification with the state and a participation in its functions. As a citizen, one sustains social, political, and moral obligation to the state and possesses social and political rights under the Constitution and laws thereof. The exercise of suffrage by a citizen of the United States is conclusive evidence of his citizenship. Voting in a party primary and membership in a local political party are strong evidence of citizenship. The registration of a man as a voter and the assessment of a poll tax against him are likewise strong evidence of domicile or citizenship, though not conclusive.
Plaintiff Baker, who was in sympathy with United Mine Workers, filed suit in federal district court alleging that he was attacked by defendants, members of Progressive Mine Workers of America. Plaintiff, who moved from Illinois to Oklahoma before the lawsuit began, gave sworn testimony that he intended to reside in Oklahoma. Defendants moved to dismiss, claiming that no diversity of citizenship existed because plaintiff's domicile was in Illinois.
Was plaintiff a citizen of Oklahoma, thereby warranting the continuance of the action?
The court denied the motion to dismiss, holding that plaintiff was presently and at the beginning of the lawsuit a citizen of Oklahoma. The court found that even though one of plaintiff's motives in moving to Oklahoma may have been to create diversity of citizenship, plaintiff's actions, including voter registration, evidenced an intent to become a citizen of Oklahoma.