Judge Rules Homeless May Use Park Benches As Addresses

park benchA federal judge in Ohio has ruled that counties must allow homeless voters to list park benches and other locations that aren’t buildings as their addresses. U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus also ruled that provisional ballots can’t be invalidated because of poll worker errors. Monday’s ruling resolved the final two pieces of a settlement between the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner…Source

Related posts:

  1. Judge rules U.S. inmate has no right to matzoh
  2. Judge rules U.S. inmate has no right to matzoh
  3. New York Judge rules 6-year-old can be sued
  4. DUI Judge Crashes Into State Trooper, While Drunk, In Construction Zone
  5. Ohio judge sees peeping peril in court stairs

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Related posts:

  1. Judge rules U.S. inmate has no right to matzoh
  2. Judge rules U.S. inmate has no right to matzoh
  3. New York Judge rules 6-year-old can be sued
  4. DUI Judge Crashes Into State Trooper, While Drunk, In Construction Zone
  5. Ohio judge sees peeping peril in court stairs


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

One Response to “Judge Rules Homeless May Use Park Benches As Addresses”

  1. Why is this case offbeat?

    Ohio is not the first to allow the homeless to vote, and it is not even the first to allow a park bench to be an address.

    There have been lots of similar cases. In some of the earlier cases the issues are so similar as to be virtually identical to this case. In a way you could say that Ohio was late to take up this issue. New York City has been allowing the homeless to vote in elections ever since a federal district court ruling in 1984. (Actually, I dimly remember an earlier case in New York in the 1950s, or perhaps even earlier, but I think that that applied to a state election alone, since it was in state court.)

    In the 1984 federal district court case, Judge Mary Lowe ordered the Board of Elections of the City of New York to begin registering all potential voters regardless of whether they have homes or not. It actually referred to a park bench in that case too.

    Here is a letter to the editor, which I found in the database of the New York Times, that confirms the 1984 case and explains a bit more about it.

    New York Times letter to the editor Dec. 4, 1990:

    “To the Editor:

    I would like to correct two minor errors in your Nov. 17 article about the constitutional rights of a formerly homeless Connecticut convict. You state that last year “a Federal judge in New York ruled that for the purposes of voter registration, a park bench was a home.”

    Judge Mary Lowe ordered the New York City Board of Elections to enroll homeless voters in October 1984. Homeless New Yorkers thus have been registering and voting, in increasing numbers, for six full election cycles. (A resident of the Fort Washington men’s shelter, Tyler Trice, even qualified as an independent candidate for State Assembly on the primary election ballot this fall.)

    Further, rather than calling a park bench a home, Judge Lowe ruled that a home, as traditionally conceived, could not be made a prerequisite of the right to vote, which she called a “fundamental right, which is preservative of all other rights in a democracy.” To paraphrase, she said, “You don’t need a home to vote,” which became our motto. WILL DANIEL Director, Homeless Voter ’90 New York, Nov. 17, 1990.”

    I like that part about the right to vote being a fundamental right, which is preservative of all other rights in a democracy.

    And there have been many other cases.

Leave a Reply