[Hpn] Burlington lawmaker offers plan to allow homeless to vote;re: H.70 & S.46

Morgan W. Brown morganbrown@hotmail.com
Thu, 01 Feb 2001 21:18:56 -0500


Below is a forward of an article which is a follow-up regarding both 
preliminary and ongoing efforts to pass a bill in Vermont relating to 
Homeless Voter Registration:

H.70 -- in the House Committee on Local Government:

http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2002/bills/intro/H-070.HTM

& now recently introduced in the Vermont Senate,

S.46 -- in the Senate Committee on Government Operations:

http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2002/bills/intro/S-046.HTM

~~~Background article -- FYI:

Wednesday, September 27, 2000
Times Argus
[Barre - Montpelier Vermont]
Local News section
Page 1B

State officials say homeless can vote:

http://timesargus.nybor.com/Local/Story/13278.html

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-------Forwarded article-------

Thursday, February 1, 2001
Burlington Free Press: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com
[Vermont]
Page 5A
Burlington lawmaker offers plan to allow homeless to vote

By Nancy Remsen
Free Press Staff Writer

MONTPELIER -- Rep. Steve Hingtgen, P-Burlington, credits a homeless man for 
focusing attention on the problems the homeless face if they want to vote.

Without an address, how do they prove to a town clerk that they live where 
they want to vote?

Hingtgen has introduced a bill that would make clear that people who are 
homeless are entitled to vote and would establish a process for town clerks 
to follow when registering voters for whom home is a shelter, a park or even 
an underpass.

"We have friendly (town) clerks who have bent over backwards to accommodate 
people who don't have permanent residences," Hingtgen said.

He wants to standardize what has been done on an ad hoc basis.

Secretary of State Deborah Markowitz praised the proposal. "It makes sense 
to have a system."

Hingtgen's bill would permit a homeless person to declare that he or she had 
established a non-traditional residence in a community. "Residence 
requirements shall be construed liberally," the bill states.

Since the paperwork requires an address, Hingtgen proposes that a homeless 
person may list the address of a shelter, the town clerk's office, a meal 
program or a section of town. Hingtgen expects some homeless would take 
advantage of the opportunity to list the town office or a community agency 
as their address rather than where they actually sleep.

"When folks are homeless, they are more frequently victims of crimes," 
Hingtgen said. "Where you sleep is a private thing. They don't like to share 
that information because it makes them more vulnerable."

Hingtgen said reaction to the bill has been favorable. Sen. Jean Ankeney, 
D-Chittenden, introduced an identical bill in the Senate.

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-------End of forward-------

Morgan <morganbrown@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA



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