Friday, February 13, 2009

Town rejects homeless man's run for office

A homeless man who wants to run for village trustee in a Chicago suburb will take his fight to court after the village's electoral board voted 2-1 to keep him off the April 7 ballot.

"We've been preparing for this," Daniel Fore said. "We knew it was not going to be an easy battle to fight."

Attorneys dealing with Fore's case believe it is the first time in the United States a municipal electoral board has taken on the issue of a homeless person's residency and eligibility to run for office, and it will be the first time a court will review such a matter.

On his statement of candidacy, Fore indicated he was homeless but living in Oak Park and gave an Oak Park post office box as his address. Fore attends and speaks at most Village Board meetings.

State law requires a candidate's nominating petitions to include their place of residence with "the street and number thereof, if any."

Fore's attorneys maintain that the phrase "if any" allows a homeless person to seek office without a permanent residence. Village President David Pope, who voted to keep Fore on the ballot, said the phrase becomes a hole large enough to drive a truck through."

Read the Chicago Tribune report here. And see previous post here.

For more information about the voting rights of homeless persons, check out the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty's report, Voter Registration and Voting: Ensuring the Voting Rights of Homeless Persons.


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