Homeless Man Fights for Spot on Village Ballot

February 20, 2009 - 12:22 PM
A suburban Chicago man barred from running for the village board because he is homeless isn't giving up trying to get on the ballot.
Chicago (AP) - A suburban Chicago man barred from running for the village board because he is homeless isn't giving up trying to get on the ballot.
 
Daniel Fore and his attorneys on Thursday filed both a petition seeking a judicial review of the decision and an emergency motion for expedited hearing with the Cook County Circuit Court.
 
The team hopes for a ruling on the matter by March 6, ahead of the March 16 start of early voting, said Larry Griffin, an attorney for the firm Kirkland and Ellis who represents Fore pro bono.
 
Oak Park's electoral board voted 2-1 last week to bar Fore from the April 7 ballot. A message left for an Oak Park spokesman was not immediately returned Thursday afternoon.
 
Two Oak Park residents, Randy Gillett and Richard Newman, challenged Fore's candidacy, claiming a person without a fixed address cannot run for office or register to vote.
 
But Fore's attorneys say the electoral board's decision violates Illinois law and nothing in it bars homeless people from ballot access just because they're homeless.
 
Cook County Clerk David Orr agrees, saying in a statement he believes state law supports Fore's case.
 
"Just as homeless voters deserve the right to cast ballots, homeless candidates have a right to run for office," Orr said. "At a time when more and more Americans are losing their homes, it is imperative they not also lose access to full participation in our democracy - either as voters or officeholders."
 
Orr's support is key, Griffin said.
 
"I think his perspective is obviously valuable," Griffin said. "We appreciate that he sees, as we do, that Dan has a right to run."
 
Fore collected 800 signatures from Oak Park residents, almost double the amount he needed to be placed on the ballot, Griffin said.
 
Fore is also represented by the Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
Chicago (AP) - A suburban Chicago man barred from running for the village board because he is homeless isn't giving up trying to get on the ballot.
 
Daniel Fore and his attorneys on Thursday filed both a petition seeking a judicial review of the decision and an emergency motion for expedited hearing with the Cook County Circuit Court.
 
The team hopes for a ruling on the matter by March 6, ahead of the March 16 start of early voting, said Larry Griffin, an attorney for the firm Kirkland and Ellis who represents Fore pro bono.
 
Oak Park's electoral board voted 2-1 last week to bar Fore from the April 7 ballot. A message left for an Oak Park spokesman was not immediately returned Thursday afternoon.
 
Two Oak Park residents, Randy Gillett and Richard Newman, challenged Fore's candidacy, claiming a person without a fixed address cannot run for office or register to vote.
 
But Fore's attorneys say the electoral board's decision violates Illinois law and nothing in it bars homeless people from ballot access just because they're homeless.
 
Cook County Clerk David Orr agrees, saying in a statement he believes state law supports Fore's case.
 
"Just as homeless voters deserve the right to cast ballots, homeless candidates have a right to run for office," Orr said. "At a time when more and more Americans are losing their homes, it is imperative they not also lose access to full participation in our democracy - either as voters or officeholders."
 
Orr's support is key, Griffin said.
 
"I think his perspective is obviously valuable," Griffin said. "We appreciate that he sees, as we do, that Dan has a right to run."
 
Fore collected 800 signatures from Oak Park residents, almost double the amount he needed to be placed on the ballot, Griffin said.
 
Fore is also represented by the Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.