Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Homeless voters

I'm sure most of you have heard that a judge in Ohio has said that the homeless can vote by listing a parch bench or similar as their place of residence.

For those who are strong believers that anyone can vote and should vote, I'm sure this is a much celebrated ruling. I would imagine that many homeless advocates are also happy about this ruling.

It won't come as a surprise to my readers that I am strongly opposed to this ruling.


What's to stop busloads of partisan voters from New York claiming residence on a bench in downtown Dayton, Ohio so they can vote? Then they can travel home and vote again. How do you stop voter fraud?

We've been inundated with stories about the fraud that is occurring across the country in this election. ACORN, Project Vote, convicted felons, and other stories make any results in this election suspect.

For many years I regularly traveled downtown to help feed the homeless. After we made breakfast each week, we dolled out the food, then made our own plates and sat with those eating. Sometimes I couldn't bring a fork to my mouth because of the odors that surrounded me. However, I had some very interesting conversations and learned some valuable lessons.

We didn't talk politics. I seriously doubt most of the people I met knew who their congressman was or when the next election would happen. Many of the conversations were one-sided, me talking with someone staring at me, or someone talking non-stop at me!

Much as I wanted to help I felt helpless. Not one of the people I ever talked to was the least bit interested in moving into a home or being a part of "our" society again. I know there are many levels of homeless and many reasons for homelessness. I dealt with those who'd been there for so long it was a way of life. Many were mentally hurting and would probably have been better served in a psychiatric ward where maybe they would have gotten some help. Of course, who knows which is better? Institutionalization or free to roam?

Homelessness is a huge issue, bigger than a year of blogging. I don't have the answers to homelessness, and I can't begin to claim I'm wise enough to decide who should and who shouldn't vote. However, I do know the Ohio ruling opens the door to rampant voter fraud. It's wrong.

Our vote is precious. Our democracy is precious. Our freedom is precious.

We should protect all and be wise in how we protect these privileges.

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