Voting resources available for housing insecure or homeless individuals
OCTOBER 21, 2020
MDOS engagement initiative includes homelessness and voting toolkit
and partnership with Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness
The Michigan Department of State (MDOS) is providing resources to educate Michiganders facing homelessness about their voting rights ahead of Election day. MDOS outreach includes an online toolkit curated to provide accurate information about homelessness and voting, a webinar hosted in partnership with the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness and voter registration drives at shelters.
“A strong and healthy democracy requires us to ensure every vote counts and every voice is heard, and that includes individuals experiencing homelessness,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “My team is working to ensure those citizens who are housing insecure still have the tools and resources they need to cast their ballot. Our work to provide resources and information to voters in this community will help ensure they can vote with confidence that their ballot will count.”
Individuals in Michigan who are homeless or housing insecure have a right to vote regardless of housing stability. Misconceptions, such as voter ID requirements, often act as barriers to voting for homeless individuals. Voters are not required to present a photo ID when voting in person at a clerk’s office or at the polls on Election Day.
A new MDOS toolkit will dispel misconceptions and provide accurate voting information and guidance for homeless individuals. The toolkit can be found here.
MDOS has partnered with the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness to promote voter education and registration. As part of this partnership, MDOS will join the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness and Communities First, Inc. to host a webinar aimed at educating homelessness advocacy organizations in how to assist their clients with voter registration, early voting, and getting to the polls on Election Day. The webinar will take place October 22 at 2 p.m. More information can be found on Facebook.
MDOS has also partnered with other organizations serving the housing insecure community including:
- Community Action House, Holland
- Communities First, Inc, Flint
- Homeless Action Network of Detroit (HAND), Detroit
- HOPE Adult Shelter and Recuperative Center, Pontiac
- Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor
Ahead of the Nov. 3 election, MDOS previously launched initiatives to educate other communities facing unique barriers to voting, including recently incarcerated individuals, military members and veterans and the limited English-speaking community.
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