Suburban Chicago homeless man off village ballot

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A suburban Chicago homeless man is barred from running for a village board seat because he doesn’t have an address, a judge ruled Monday.

A suburban Chicago homeless man is barred from running for a village board seat because he doesn’t have an address, a judge ruled Monday. The ruling upholds an Oak Park electoral board decision to bar Daniel Fore from the April 7 ballot in the suburb west of Chicago. An attorney for Fore was reviewing the decision and the possibility of an appeal while Fore wasn’t discouraged. "We knew when we got into this, this was going to be a fight all the way," he said. Judge Patrick McGann said a homeless person can be a resident of a municipality, but the issue in this case was whether Fore met election code requirements that ask candidates to specify their residence on paperwork. Fore’s paperwork indicated he was homeless and gave a post office box number where he receives mail. McGann said Fore could have stated when he came to Oak Park, when he became homeless and listed places that shelter him. "In such an instance, voters could be certain that he had a stake in the community and an understanding of the issues confronting the Village," McGann wrote in his opinion. Two Oak Park residents, Randy Gillett and Richard Newman, had challenged Fore’s candidacy because of his lack of address and failure to prove he lives in the suburb. "The use of the term ‘Homeless’ with a post office box mailing address, as Mr. Newman complained, fails to establish that Mr. Fore is qualified to be placed on the ballot because it is nothing more than a conclusion," McGann wrote. Mark Sterk, an attorney for the electoral board, said he was sympathetic toward Fore but that it would be up to state lawmakers to change the election code to handle people who list "homeless" as their address when trying to run for public office. Fore wants to be on the ballot because he said there are other homeless people like him who need his help. "They’re not being properly represented now," he said. ______ Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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