Each election, low income and homeless individuals vote at a lower rate than people with higher incomes, despite the fact that many policy decisions directly impact people who are economically disadvantaged. In order for our government to truly represent the people, citizens must vote-- especially those who are economically disadvantaged.
For years, homeless citizens have faced obstacles to registering. Although it has been established that homeless individuals do not need to live in a traditional residence to register to vote, many homeless and low income individuals may not have the appropriate identification documents required by some states to register or to vote. Furthermore, many individuals who are experiencing homelessness may lack the resources to educate themselves about candidates or may not be able to get to the polls on Election Day.
To overcome these obstacles and encourage greater voter participation among low income and homeless citizens, the National Coalition for the Homeless and other national advocacy groups are collaborating to co-sponsor National Homeless and Low Income Voter Registration initiatives.
The You Don't Need a Home to Vote Campaign seeks to promote voting access for low income and homeless persons to ensure that people who are economically disadvantaged maintain an active role and voice in shaping their future. The toolkit provides ideas to help overcome the many obstacles that prevent people experiencing homelessness from becoming registered, active voters.
The National Coalition for the Homeless does not support or oppose any political candidate or party. Our informational materials are strictly for educational purposes and suggest no endorsement, bias, or preference.
Since 1992, NCH has sponsored National Homeless and Low-Income Voter Registration Week, and in 2004 launched a campaign to register thousands of people, experiencing homelessness, to vote before the November elections. This year we would like to have all fifty states registered.
- Read the Voter Registration manual to learn how to get involved!
- Learn how your organization can register voters and what ID requirements currently apply in your state.
- Election Protection Information and Hotline: www.866OurVote.org, or call 1-866-Our-Vote (1-866-687-8683)
- Find out what your candidates are saying about issues relating to housing, poverty and homelessness (or take this quiz to match your position on the issues with a candidate).
- Find out what you need to register to vote in your state.
- Check out the fact sheets below for more tips!