Thanks to Bishop Cosgrove Center, Family Promise, Y-Haven, North Star Re-Entry Drop In Center, Norma Herr Center for helping with voting this week.
1. The Big News for this week is that the Coalition had another victory in court!! In case you did not see in the Tuesday Plain Dealer, a federal judge sided with us ordering the state to issue a directive that the local boards of elections must count provisional ballots including those that were the result of poll worker error. We are still encouraging homeless people to vote early, but those that do show up on election day without ID and are misdirected to the wrong table or directed to fill out the form incorrectly by the poll worker their ballot will still count. The Secretary of State has vowed to appeal, but it is an important victory to assure that those we get to vote will likely have their vote count.
2. With a little over one month left to register people to vote it is important that we all inquire with our clients that those we meet can receive mail at the place that they are registered. The State is going to send a vote by mail registration to every voter in the next few weeks. Those that come back in the mail will force the board to mark that voter as inactive and they could then have to vote with a provisional ballot in November. So, people may feel that they are registered, but if they lost their house or were evicted they need to update their registration. This is the first major election with Central Intake, which is a tremendous opportunity in the community to correct every single person’s registration. Everyone that comes into Central Intake should fill out a form in these last 30 days to update their registration. After October 9, they cannot correct their registration and will have to vote at the place that they were last registered. But this is a unique opportunity to have everyone who becomes homeless in Cuyahoga County update their information so that they can participate in deciding who will be President, Senator, Ohio Supreme Court judge and federal representative. We all have seen the attempts to suppress the votes of people without income to afford a birth certificate, minority voters who went to the polls to vote on the weekend with their churches, and minimum wage workers who cannot take off work to vote during the day but are skeptical of voting by mail. We need your help to get these voters to register and to convince people that early voting or voting by mail is just as secure as election day voting. There are a ton of issues coming up that will have a huge impact on homeless people and the continued employment of those who serve homeless people. The implementation of health care reform, possible block granting of homeless funding to the states to distribute those funds to other programs, or cuts to Medicaid or food stamps, or the fiscal cliff we are all facing at the end of the year with the federal budget will all be voted on in early 2013. The bottom line is this is an important election and we need everyone to participate.
3. NEOCH believes that the best option for homeless people is to vote by mail. Those voters will need to fill out the vote by mail application and send it to the Board. You can get a copy of the vote by mail from the Cuyahoga Board of Election site or on our website: /homeless-voting/ . You can print these out and make copies of these forms for your clients. If you turn these in with the registration you should staple the two forms together so that they do not get separated over at the board of elections.
4. Finally, here are a few more details on that training that the Ohio Votes is hosting in Cleveland--September 11 at Trinity Cathedral. You can use the link below to sign up your staff for this training. There are CEUs available to social workers. http://www.nonprofitvote.org/voter-engagement-training-cleveland.html.
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