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Wed Jul 29, 2020, 03:58 PM

How the Covid-19 Housing Crisis Could Affect Voter Participation [View all]

Where do you register to vote if you just got evicted?

With temporary eviction moratoriums timing out and rent relief programs falling short of the need, tens of millions of Americans are facing a future of housing instability. The threat of being evicted or the stress of having to move doesn’t only affect someone’s health—it could also affect how likely they are to vote in an upcoming election.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. was facing a severe housing crisis. Now, with tens of millions of Americans out of work and struggling to pay rent, experts anticipate an “avalanche” of evictions, and for the number of people who arerent-burdened to skyrocket. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), we need $100 billion in rental assistance to keep low-income Americans stably housed. (This is the amount earmarked in the HEROES Act, but it’s yet to be passed in the Senate.)

“COVID-19 is already disrupting our elections in profound ways,” Brian Miller, executive director of Nonprofit VOTE, which works to promote civic participation, says in an email. Millions of voter registrations are not being collected or updated, because DMVs are closed and voter contact programs are on hold amid the pandemic, he notes. “This is worsened by the waves of COVID-related displacement, from college students leaving their closed universities to the forced evictions amid the economic fallout.”

Miller says that if you are displaced from your home, you should make sure to register to vote at your new address. Continued social distancing may mean the office you usually visit to update your voter information is closed, but you can still register online, and nonprofits, businesses, universities, and other institutions can organize voter registration efforts. Nonprofit VOTE is working with nonprofits on the front lines of this economic crisis—including food pantries, community health centers, and housing organizations—to help make sure that the people they serve are registered and ready to vote by November. Voter registration deadlines vary by state; the furthest out is 30 days from an election, while about 21 states and the District of Columbia allow residents to do same-day voter registration. Read More:


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Reply How the Covid-19 Housing Crisis Could Affect Voter Participation [View all]
FM123 Jul 2020 OP
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