As we approach one of the most significant presidential elections in our history, it’s important that everyone has the right to vote. That includes the homeless and poor. Having no home or money should not hinder a person from casting a vote for an administration that will undoubtedly have a huge impact on his or her future. Homelessness can occur for many reasons, including the state of the economy. The loss of a job can lead to the loss of a home. We see that happening more today than ever before with the high rate of home foreclosures across the country.
So what efforts are being taken to ensure the disadvantaged have a say at the polls? Some states have launched campaigns to register thousands of homeless people to vote in the presidential election. In Ohio, advocates are driving the homeless to election offices to take advantage of a one-week period that allows people to register and vote on the same day. In other instances, the homeless are getting assistance applying for absentee ballots, which will be sent to the shelters and returned with postage that has been purchased through fund-raising. A coalition in Philadelphia held a rally calling on the major presidential candidates to not ignore persons who are homeless, low-income, disabled or ex-offenders.
No matter what the method, getting the poor and homeless to vote in this historic election is key. They have a huge stake in this year’s election. The critical issues that have affected their economic status need to be heard and examined more closely. Strategies need to be devised to provide more help for those who are homeless, disadvantaged and addicted. After all, we’re talking about a group of people that number more than 2 million nationwide. The impact could be staggering.
I’m interested in hearing what you think about voting rights for the homeless and poor. Send me your comments.