Tenants Do Vote, Or at Least They Try

Posted by Miriam Axel-Lute on November 6, 2012

One of the canards about why homeownership is so wonderful is that it increases all sorts of beneficial behaviors, including civic participation. We can argue about which of these are created by homeownership and which are pre-existing characteristics of those who become homeowners.

However, here's a fascinating little fact for Election Day:

Of those who are registered, tenants turn out to vote in just as high numbers as homeowners.

That's right. According to this piece from MSN, the voter turnout gap between owners and renters is all about registration. Tenants move more frequently, and therefore more likely to find themselves unregistered. All the more reason to improve our voter registration process, as we wrote about in our latest issue. 

And if you are a recently moved tenant concerned about voting today, the MSN piece offers these points:

  • "Under the National Voting Rights Act, if you did not move out of your jurisdiction (for example, New York City is in one jurisdiction), you are allowed to cast your ballot at your old polling place."
  • 11 states alllow same-day registration on Election Day. To find voter-registration details for your state and jurisdiction, you can call the 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) hotline or go to www.866OurVote.org. You can also see deadlines and other information at VoteSmart.org.

About the author more »

Miriam Axel-Lute is editor of Shelterforce and associate director of the National Housing Institute. Her email is miriam at nhi dot org.

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