[Hpn] Commissioner Disputes Homeless Vote

owaynat@comcast.net owaynat@comcast.net
Mon, 28 Feb 2005 08:32:41 +0000


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-------------- Original message -------------- 

> www.news14charlotte.com/ 
> 
> Commissioner disputes homeless vote 
> 
> 2/25/2005 
> 
> By: Shawn Flynn 
> 
> 
> Homeless Voting 
> 
> Michael Dickerson, the elections director in Mecklenburg County, said he is 
> checking on the legality of the homeless votes. 
> 
> CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In October, the Urban Christian Ministry bused several 
> homeless people to the polls during early voting. 
> 
> Bill James, a Mecklenburg County commissioner, claims that those people 
> registered and voted illegally. 
> “What the Mecklenburg Board of Elections and the State Board of Elections is 
> doing is allowing them to register at office buildings, I guess near a park 
> or something, I don't really know,” James said Friday. “But in any event, 
> they're not following the law.” 
> County records show that several dozen people registered at the Charlotte 
> Rescue Mission. Hundreds of others registered at the Ministry Center on 
> North College Street. 
> 
> In October, the Urban Christian Ministry bused several homeless people to 
> the polls during early voting. 
> “The law says you have to have a fixed, habitable location,” James said. “I 
> don't think a park bench, a steam grate and an underpass is habitable.” 
> Election law does state that a person's habitat must be fixed to be able to 
> register. But an agency manual for the State Board of Elections states that 
> “for homeless persons, the residence address would be defined as the place 
> where they sleep or spend the majority of their time.” 
> 
> Michael Dickerson, the elections director in Mecklenburg County, said he is 
> checking on the legality of the homeless votes. 
> 
> Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James 
> “It's a very good question, and (James) brings up a very good point,” 
> Dickerson said. “But I want to make sure everybody who wants to register to 
> vote may register to vote. Just the fact that I'm homeless, does that 
> disqualify me the right to register to vote? I don't think so.” 
> James, a Republican, said that if "spending a majority of time" is a rule 
> for registering, he plans on using that to his advantage. 
> “We're going to have to revisit how Republicans register and go after some 
> of these district Democrats,” he said. 
> Commissioner Valerie Woodard, a Democrat, believes that every citizen -- 
> homeless or not -- deserves the right to vote. She is so concerned about the 
> issue that she wants to set up a voting precinct inside the county jail. 
> Dickerson said he is waiting for state direction before he makes any 
> decisions. 
> Out of all the homeless who registered at the Charlotte Rescue Mission and 
> the Ministry Center, fewer than 50 actually voted. 
> 
> 
> Copyright ©2005Charlotte News Channel, L.L.C d.b.a. News 14 Carolina 
> 
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<BLOCKQUOTE style="PADDING-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; BORDER-LEFT: #1010ff 2px solid">-------------- Original message -------------- <BR><BR>&gt; www.news14charlotte.com/ <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Commissioner disputes homeless vote <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; 2/25/2005 <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; By: Shawn Flynn <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Homeless Voting <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Michael Dickerson, the elections director in Mecklenburg County, said he is <BR>&gt; checking on the legality of the homeless votes. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In October, the Urban Christian Ministry bused several <BR>&gt; homeless people to the polls during early voting. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Bill James, a Mecklenburg County commissioner, claims that those people <BR>&gt; registered and voted illegally. <BR>&gt; “What the Mecklenburg Board of Elections and the State Board of Elections is <BR>&gt; doing is allowing them to register at office buildings, I guess near a park <BR>&gt; or something, I don't really know,” James said Friday. “But in any event, <BR>&gt; they're not following the law.” <BR>&gt; County records show that several dozen people registered at the Charlotte <BR>&gt; Rescue Mission. Hundreds of others registered at the Ministry Center on <BR>&gt; North College Street. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; In October, the Urban Christian Ministry bused several homeless people to <BR>&gt; the polls during early voting. <BR>&gt; “The law says you have to have a fixed, habitable location,” James said. “I <BR>&gt; don't think a park bench, a steam grate and an underpass is habitable.” <BR>&gt; Election law does state that a person's habitat must be fixed to be able to <BR>&gt; register. But an agency manual for the State Board of Elections states that <BR>&gt; “for homeless persons, the residence address would be defined as the place <BR>&gt; where they sleep or spend the majority of their time.” <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Michael Dickerson, the elections director in Mecklenburg County, said he is <BR>&gt; checking on the legality of the homeless votes. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James <BR>&gt; “It's a very good question, and (James) brings up a very good point,” <BR>&gt; Dickerson said. “But I want to make sure everybody who wants to register to <BR>&gt; vote may register to vote. Just the fact that I'm homeless, does that <BR>&gt; disqualify me the right to register to vote? I don't think so.” <BR>&gt; James, a Republican, said that if "spending a majority of time" is a rule <BR>&gt; for registering, he plans on using that to his advantage. <BR>&gt; “We're going to have to revisit how Republicans register and go after some <BR>&gt; of these district Democrats,” he said. <BR>&gt; Commissioner Valerie Woodard, a Democrat, believes that every citizen -- <BR>&gt; homeless or not -- deserves the right to vote. She is so concerned about the <BR>&gt; issue that she wants to set up a voting precinct inside the county jail. <BR>&gt; Dickerson said he is waiting for state direction before he makes any <BR>&gt; decisions. <BR>&gt; Out of all the homeless who registered at the Charlotte Rescue Mission and <BR>&gt; the Ministry Center, fewer than 50 actually voted. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Copyright ©2005Charlotte News Channel, L.L.C d.b.a. News 14 Carolina <BR>&gt; </BLOCKQUOTE></BLOCKQUOTE></body></html>

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