Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 7) is Election Day, and voters are making their voices heard in state, local, and special elections across the country. While state and local elections typically receive far less attention than presidential and congressional elections, NLIHC encourages our members and partners to vote in every election. Housing is built with ballots, and the outcomes of state and local elections can have an immense impact on housing policies affecting the lowest-income renters. Some voters will even have the opportunity to weigh in directly on housing policy issues by voting on ballot measures. NLIHC is tracking more than a dozen housing and homelessness ballot measures and will report on their outcomes in an upcoming edition of Memo.
To build the political will for housing solutions at every level of government, it is essential that low-income renters and housing advocates turn out to vote. Elected officials are more likely to pay attention to the concerns of their constituents who vote at higher rates, but because of disproportionate barriers to voting, low-income renters are less likely to vote than higher-income renters and homeowners. In the 2022 midterm elections, 58% of homeowners voted, compared with 37% of renters. While 67% of people with incomes over $100,000 voted in 2022, just 33% of people with incomes below $20,000 voted. In elections with low voter turnout overall, low-income people are typically less likely to vote, so these gaps are likely to be even greater in the 2023 election cycle.
NLIHC’s nonpartisan Our Homes, Our Votes campaign works to boost voter turnout among low-income renters and demonstrate that they are a powerful voting bloc to which elected officials must be accountable. The campaign provides an abundance of resources that housing and homelessness advocates, service providers, and tenant leaders can use to register, educate, and mobilize voters. Visit www.ourhomes-ourvotes.org to learn more.
If you have not already voted early or by mail, visit Vote411.org to make your plan to vote tomorrow. Once you’ve made your voting plan, encourage three friends or family members to do so, too!
Here are some additional resources to make voting more accessible, to ensure your vote is counted, and to celebrate our democracy:
- The nonpartisan Election Protection Coalition manages Election Protection Hotlines in multiple languages. If you have questions about voting or if your right to vote is being challenged, call 866-OUR-VOTE (English), 888-VE-Y-VOTA (Spanish), 844-YALLA-US (Arabic), or 1-888-API-VOTE (English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali/Bangla). Visit 866ourvote.org for more information.
- Check out the Social Media Toolkit for sample language and social media posts to spread the word about voter protection.
- If you need a ride to the polls, there may be a nonpartisan civic organization in your community that is able to provide one. Rideshare2Vote AWARE, an Our Homes, Our Votes affiliate, is a nonpartisan organization that provides barrier-free rides to the polls in 13 states and counting. Visit its website at rideshare2voteaware.org or call 888-858-3421 to request a ride.
- If you already have transportation to the polls, consider volunteering with Rideshare2Vote AWARE and supporting other voters in your community! Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities.
- The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness makes available two tools to encourage voter participation among people experiencing homelessness: an election checklist for individuals experiencing homelessness and a guide for service providers to help clients vote.
- Our Homes, Our Votes offers a media toolkit with sample content that you can share on Election Day. Be sure to use the hashtag #OurHomesOurVotes and tag @OurHomesVotes in your posts!