"You don't need a home to vote - 50-State Know Your Voting Rights Guide for People Experiencing Homelessness"

Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:30 AM
Author: National Homelessness Law Center, National Coalition for the Homeless, Goodwin, Thomson Reuters Foundation
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The National Homelessness Law Center is the only national organization dedicated solely to using the power of the law to end and prevent homelessness and to protect the rights of people experiencing homelessness in the United States of America. They aim to serve America’s more than 3.5 million homeless families, children and individuals through high impact litigation, public awareness campaigns, policy advocacy, and legal support of local programs that serve the folks on the ground.

While state and federal laws have eliminated some of the barriers to voting for people experiencing homelessness, other obstacles remain, such as a mailing address as a prerequisite to register to vote. Those obstacles can be removed if people experiencing homelessness know their rights and learn ways to overcome the barriers. National Coalition for the Homeless' campaign "You Don’t Need a Home to Vote" seeks to promote voting access for low income and homeless persons to ensure that people who are economically disadvantaged maintain a voice in shaping their future.

As part of this campaign, and to ensure people experiencing homelessness can fully exercise their right to vote, the National Homelessness Law Center decided to create a practical and user-friendly voting rights guide. Through TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono service, they were connected with pro bono lawyers at Goodwin to review the legislation applicable to election law and voting rights in all 50 U.S. States, as well as the federal legal framework, in order to produce a comprehensive and user-friendly “Know Your Voting Rights” Guide for people experiencing homeless across the country.