Published: September 2008

Foreclosures and voting rights

No Voter Left Behind, a Democrat supported group, is urging Americans in foreclosure to know their rights before Election Day.

According to the Center for Responsible Lending, one out of five subprime loans issued during 2005-2006 will fail—leaving a total of 2.2 million home borrowers facing foreclosure. Attacks on voting rights based on mortgage foreclosure status are a real concern since subprime loans were made far more frequently to African Americans, Latinos and poor whites than to affluent whites. The impact of foreclosure-based vote suppression could have a huge impact on swing states.

Voting rights tips

  • Voting is an inalienable right that you can’t lose due an inability to meet mortgage payments.
  • If you are in the foreclosure process, but still living in your home, you still vote where you live. The foreclosure process has no effect on your right to vote or where you exercise that right.
  • If you are forced to move due to foreclosure before the voting registration deadline, you should re-register at your new location.
  • If you move due to foreclosure after the voting registration deadline—but before the election—go to vote where you were last registered to vote. You have the right to vote by signing an affirmation (or similar form) if your right to vote is challenged for any reason; and if your name isn’t on the registered voter list, you have the right to vote by provisional ballot.

No Voter Left Behind is a project of Democrats for America’s Future. The project was organized with the purpose of monitoring voter registration and the vote on Election Day in 2008. It urges every Democratic candidate not to concede a race until every last vote is counted. Democrats across the U.S. are receiving letters from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., urging them to support the effort.

In his appeal, Kennedy writes: “No more [election years like] 2000 and 2004! … The Republican Party mounted a coordinated, criminal campaign to steal the 2004 Presidential election—and it worked. Now, as another election approaches, you and I need to stand together to make absolutely certain it doesn’t happen again.”

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