Press Release: Homeless People Do Vote!

Event at Ohio’s Largest Shelter to Urge Participation

      The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless is hosting an event on Tuesday September 23 at 7 p.m. at 2100 Lakeside Shelter to rally homeless voters to register and then to vote this fall.  Those living in a shelter or on the streets still have a right to participate in electing the people who will provide leadership out of this housing crisis.  September 23 is National Voter Registration Day and to celebrate we are bringing politicians and community leaders together to motivate homeless people to participate. 

     NEOCH is partnering with Ohio’s largest shelter, LMM’s 2100 Lakeside Shelter, to work to register everyone in the building on Tuesday evening.  We will have volunteers on site to assist homeless people with changing their address or registering to vote in the upcoming November election.  “Of all the people in our community, people struggling with housing and regular income need to add their voice to the democratic process,” said Ken Payton of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless.  Payton is staff at the agency working every day to register homeless people to vote by going to shelters and calling shelter directors urging them to help their clients to vote. 

      We will have Natoya Walker Minor representing the Mayor of Cleveland and tentatively will have State Representative Mike Foley and County Councilmember Dale Miller saying a few words at the event on September 23 at 7 p.m. at 2100 Lakeside Shelter.   We hope to have a Cleveland City Council member talking about how important it is to vote.   We hope that these community leaders will talk about how politicians pay attention to communities that vote.
        We have seen many changes in voting laws over the last year and many voters may be confused about their options.  NEOCH urges homeless people to utilize early in person voting as the best option.  We are especially pleased that a federal judge has restored the week in which homeless people can vote and change their registration at the same time.  We are also encouraged that we will have evening and weekend hours when it is convenient for the many full time workers living in the shelters to not have to miss work in order to vote.  NEOCH is working to register homeless people and will help those living in the shelters or on the streets over to the Board of Elections to vote.

Click on the Vote Button on the NEOCH website for more information on homeless voting.

Homeless and ReEntry Voters

Cuyahoga County Hosted a Meeting on April 19, 2012 to educate the shelters about changes in voting over the last few years.  This was an attempt to start the planning for the upcoming Presidential Election.  Each shelter needs to submit a voting plan with their application for public funds.  As a quasi-public entity, the case can be made that in order to adhere to the Motor Voter law of the 1990s they must offer registration to their residents.  For more information contact the County Office of Homeless Services at 216.420.684.

On April 19, there was also a forum on voting and the rights of those re-entering society.  Starting at 6PM in at North Broadway Methodist Church in Slavic Village, the second of a of the 4 part series of 2012 Voter Education Forums will be offering important information on voter education. A panel of prominent Greater Clevelanders, including Dennis Anderson of the Cuyahoga Board of Elections, Shakyra Diaz of the Cleveland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Hiram College political science professor Jason Johnson, and Will Tarter III, president of the Cleveland Young Professional Senate, will address important issues as voter disenfranchisement, how to be a more informed voter, and the voting rights of formerly incarcerated persons.

For more information on voting in Cuyahoga County you can contact the League of Women Voters of Cuyahoga County