Our Homes, Our Votes Updates – Week of May 13, 2024

The Our Homes, Our Votes campaign is NLIHC’s nonpartisan initiative to boost voter turnout among low-income renters and elevate housing as an election issue. This biweekly section of The Connection provides news, resources, and other updates about the intersections of housing justice and nonpartisan civic engagement. To learn more about Our Homes, Our Votes, visit www.ourhomes-ourvotes.org.  

Apply for VoteRiders Mini-Grants: Voter ID Assistance Hubs 

VoteRiders, a nonpartisan organization that helps eligible voters access the IDs they need to cast their ballots, is seeking applications for its Voter ID Assistance Hubs mini-grant program. Grant recipients will receive technical assistance and training to offer free voter ID education and assistance services, coverage of all direct costs related to ID assistance, and monthly stipends of $1,000 to cover program implementation.  

Organizations must be based in one of the following states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, and Virginia. VoteRiders will give preference to organizations in the housing, employment, or youth-/student-focused sectors. Grant recipients do not need previous experience with voter ID assistance or voter engagement.  

The deadline for grant applications is May 22. More information about the grant opportunity, application, and expectations of partner organizations can be found here.  

New Research Demonstrates Impact of Residential Mobility on Voter Turnout  

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), “Residential mobility and persistently depressed voting among disadvantaged adults in a large housing experiment,” examines the impact of the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) demonstration program on voter registration and turnout rates. The study finds that participants who were adults upon entering into the MTO demonstration program saw depressed voter turnout for nearly two decades after the implementation of the program.  

Experimental vouchers, which could only be used in low-poverty neighborhoods, decreased voter registration by 3.6 percentage points. Section 8 vouchers, which could be used in any neighborhood, decreased voter registration by 4.9 percentage points. MTO participation also decreased participation in federal elections: experimental vouchers decreased the average percentage of federal elections in which adult participants voted by 4.0 percentage points, and Section 8 vouchers decreased this percentage by 3.3 percentage points. The effects on voter registration and turnout among MTO participants who were children and teenagers during the demonstration program are smaller and not statistically significant.  

While the study examines voter registration and turnout among MTO participants, the authors hypothesize that residential mobility, rather than the specific features of neighborhoods where MTO participants moved, drove decreases in voter registration and turnout. The authors point out that MTO prompted moves to different census tracts, which required adults to re-register to vote. Overall, the study points to the need for housing mobility programs to actively promote voter registration and mobilization, which can counter the negative effects of residential mobility on electoral participation.  

The full study can be accessed here.  

Become a Civic Holidays Partner!  

Civic Holidays are nonpartisan days of action that strengthen and celebrate our country’s democracy. The four Civic Holidays – National Voter Registration Day, National Voter Education Week, Vote Early Day, and Election Hero Day – activate nonprofits, campuses, businesses, and other organizations to engage voters in their communities. Each holiday focuses on a different aspect of voter engagement: registration, education, mobilization, and celebration of voting. Nonpartisan organizations are invited to partner with the Civic Holidays. Partners will receive the following: state-by-state FAQs and voter engagement guides, online voter tools, multilingual resources, swag, and other giveaways. Learn more and sign up to become a Civic Holidays partner here