Oak Park homeless man still off ballot

March 9, 2009 5:04:53 PM PDT
Daniel Fore, 47 - a homeless man who considers Oak Park his residence - wants to run for village trustee in Oak Park.On Monday, a Cook County judge ruled against Fore being on the April 7 ballot.

"I'm not surprised. We knew that this wasn't going to be easy. We knew that we were setting ground, breaking ground, setting precedents," said Fore.

State law requires a candidate's nominating petitions to include their place of residence with the street and number thereof, if any. The village board voted to keep Fore off the ballot.

"We believe the proper interpretation for that language has to be broad enough to say if you don't have a traditional home and you don't have a traditional street number address you are still eligible to prove that you are a resident of the particular locale," said Joseph Jacobi, Kirkland and Ellis.

"Whether putting homeless on the nomination papers is sufficient under the statute, and the electoral board said it's not based on the on all the appellate court case law and the trial board agreed with the electoral board which agreed with the appellate courts," said Mark Sterk, Oak Park Electoral Board attorney.

"They ruled in favor of the objectors, who were two citizens in the village of Oak Park who actually filed objections to Mr. Fore's petitions," David Powers, Oak Park communications director.

Fore is a fixture in Oak Park he been there for 37 years and volunteers in the village. He also attends every village meeting.

"I need to advocate for the most vulnerable members of society and I feel the best way was to run for public office," said Fore.

In his nominating petition, Fore was able to get over 800 signatures from Oak Park residents supporting him as a candidate.

"To deprive the voters of the right to vote for Mr. Fore or any other candidate is wrong," said Larry Griffin, Fore's attorney.