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This blog is dedicated to distribute current information about the Coalition for the Homeless in Cleveland or poverty or the state of homelessness. Entries are written by board or staff of the Coalition. The opinions contained in this blog reflect the views of the author of the post. This blog features information on shelters, affordable housing, profiles, statistics, trends, and upcoming events relating to homelessness. We welcome comments, and will remove offensive or inappropriate messages. All postings are signed by the author.

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Wednesday
Feb262014

Golden Week Eliminated and Early Voting Curtailed

We the people of Ohio have to wonder what is the reason that we are not allowed to vote in the evening in person?  If government is supposed to act more like the business world then why are they not filling the demand for weekend and evening voting?   These were all busy times for early voting in Cuyahoga Counties and other urban centers.  Government should respond to the needs of its citizens--not force the people to meet the needs of employees of rural boards of elections.   In another example of fixing a problem that does not exist,  Secretary of State Husted has decided to limit early in person voting to consistent hours throughout the state.  There may not be a need in Adams, Meigs or Van Wert counties for Sunday voting or early evening voting, but there is huge demand in Akron, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. 

I have yet to hear the reason for ending Golden Week.  No one has even given a reason why we can't allow people to register and vote at the same time.  The counties have 30 days to verify if this information is accurate, and so what is the problem?  Why not make voting as easy as possible?  Have their been massive voter fraud in the states that allow same day registration as voting? (The answer is no, by the way).  If government is responsive to its citizens then they should be open when people want to vote.  There were thousands who voted on Sunday in 2008, 2010 and 2012 so let them vote when it is convenient.  There are thousands who do not trust voting by mail and want to vote in person but cannot get off work to go all the way downtown.  I have heard some who feel it is their civic obligation to vote and they feel it must be done in person. 

For homeless people voting, Golden Week is perfect. We have a video about the importance of Golden Week.   Homeless people move frequently and lose their important documents on a regular basis.  They need a time to be able to change their address (which happens every few weeks) and to vote at the same time.  Homeless people who register in August may have moved three times by the time of the November election.   This can only be seen as a way to suppress voters.  Imagine if the only way to go to a movie was that you had to register 35 days before the movie premiere date, you had to fill out the forms accurately, and you could not fill out the movie registration in person except during limited hours.  Then, if you change your address in those 35 days before the movie, they would only let you read the script for the movie and not let you see the movie for another 10 days.  Most people would say, "Forget it. I will wait for the video."   This is what is happening with our voting, people are just waiting to see the results the next day because it is too much of a hassle.  We live in an internet age when we can order a pizza online, have the payment verified by some financial institution, and have it is delivered within the hour. We have set up a 19th century process for voting.  It is a way to suppress voting nothing more.  People will eventually see that these rules harm elderly, students, African Americans, low income workers, and especially homeless people.

Brian Davis

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