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Michigan Asks: Does Foreclosure Take Away Right to Vote?

The housing crisis suddenly has a whole new address: voting rights. Yesterday the chairman of the Macomb County Republican Party was quoted in the Michigan Messenger as saying he's set to assign election challengers with "a list of foreclosed homes and [we] will make sure people aren't voting from those addresses." The statement voting laws, which require an address and a desire to make sure proper election procedures were followed. Furor erupted immediately, with Project Vote issuing the following statement:

The Macomb County GOP's plan is a cynical partisan attempt to suppress the vote of thousands of low-income and African-American voters. . . . Just because you're behind on your mortgage doesn't mean you lose the right to vote. . . the challengers will still achieve nothing but to slow down voting and create an intimidating atmosphere at strategically chosen polls.

The chairman has since announced to the Detroit News, "I never said anything even close to that. We won't be doing voter challenges on foreclosures, and we've never had a plan to do it." Challenges are allowed at the polls if the challenger "knows or has good reason to suspect" a voter isn't eligible, a rule the Secretary of State has clarified to need "reliable sources or means." There's also a new state law requiring voters to produce photo identification.

Outdated addresses could be a very real problem this election. Ohio earlier this summer said that 3,700 people are registered to vote at vacant addresses, and another 27,000 have filled out change-of-address notices without updating their registration. Will foreclosures and outdated voter lists affect the accuracy of the results?


Join The Conversation
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Schianne, I am not sure where you got those numbers. And even if they are incorrect, why would you ever buy a house if you had no idea if you could afford it? A lot of people made very bad decisions. Buying a house isn't risk-free and a lot of people got into the mortgages they did because the falsely assumed the market would keep going up that they could sell for a profit if they lost their job etc. It was irresponsibility on many, many people's parts to get into contracts that they couldn't handle. I feel sorry for a lot of them. They got burned. But let's not paint them as victims. I mean, in a way they are, but they're victims of their own decisions. In any case, no one is suggesting that we strip their right to vote as some kind of punishment. The idea is to reduce voter fraud by making sure people aren't voting from addresses they don't live in.
Schaianne Schaianne 8 years
Talk about rubbing salt in a wound! That's just terrible - I agree with tiabia! ilanac - I'm sorry but that's a pretty harsh point of view. Mortgage companies set a limit of how much house you can buy based on your income and bills coming in. Life changes - people lose jobs, gain more bills, etc ... trust me, 99.9% of the time, people don't KNOW they can't afford a house when they buy it. As for the other .1% - you want to punish everyone else because of them?
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
"but i think that depending on the instance for why you're in foreclosure - you should have some repercussion." I think losing one's home and credit is a pretty appropriate repercussion.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that foreclosure shouldn't be the thing to take away your right to vote - but i think that depending on the instance for why you're in foreclosure - you should have some repercussion. there are folks who get houses that they know that they can't afford and that should be a cause for not voting but if you're trying and you're just caught up in the economical melt down - then that's not your fault and VOTE AWAY!!!
ProgressiveReb ProgressiveReb 8 years
This is outrageous. And if it happens in Michigan, it will certainly happen in other states. We must fight back. Progressive Future has a great action page posted where you can write to Michigan's Secretary of State, Terri Lynne Land, and tell her that this kind of interference with the basic right to vote is unacceptable, and that you expect her to say so—publicly. Just click here.
mymellowman mymellowman 8 years
Always nice to see when people take the time to read and educate themselves before they post their two cents. :)
thewriter thewriter 8 years
My two cents: This is an absolutely idiotic plan. And is most likely illegal. Just because someone receives a foreclosure notice does not mean they automatically move out of their home. People are often able to enter work out plans with their lenders to save their house or sometimes postpone the actual sale of the home. Inclusion on the list is not a reliable basis upon which to challenge a person's right to vote. Consider this too, you are not just punishing the person who took out the loan on the house, you are punishing any voting age member of the household. This is ludicrous and criminal and shameful. It is meant as a way to intimidate voters and scare them away from the poles. Be glad my Georgia encourages absentee voting. You can vote early (beginning Oct. 27th) and you don't have to put up with voter intimidation or other efforts to block people's access to the voting both. Lastly, I think the real question in need of being asked here is: "Why is the Michigan GOP being given a list of foreclosures?" It smacks of privacy violations, depending upon who is releasing the information for such a politically motivated purpose
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
all they have to do is ask people who are registered at a foreclosed address to vote provisionally, meaning that their vote will not be counted until it is verified that they have not already voted from another address. this is what happens when an absentee voter tries to vote at the polls - but does not turn in his/her absentee ballot.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
All this is saying is that you have to have your correct address on your voter's registration. It isn't some big scandal. Although, it appears it isn't news at all and was just another, ridiculous rumor from bloggers.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Apparently BET is, UnDave.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
rofl tiabia. I think the point they were trying to make is that they want to to try to protect against voting fraud. They don't want people voting with incorrect registered information. That's not to say they can't vote. I don't see what the big deal is.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Yes this is a smear. Unfortunately, it's trying to smear the conservative party. Who's playing the scare tactic now?
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Of course these people could register at whatever address they are living at now in plenty of time for the November election. There maybe some that are homeless but most must be in apartments or with relatives. They could legally use those addresses.
laurelm laurelm 8 years
I don't even understand this, the blog even quotes that there is no plan and never was a plan to do this. So is the article just to scare and smear one group?
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
tia: :rotfl:
zcoral zcoral 8 years
Exactly. The Detroit News is more credible than a blog. Blogs aren't known for being news sources, they are for entertainment purposes. I just think it's irresponsible to cite them as a news source.
tiabia tiabia 8 years
Ok, so riddle me this zcoral, You just posted a URL "over the internet" as proof that this story that I'm reading "over the internet" is wrong. So really, it's just a matter of which "internet posted" source, I choose to believe?
zcoral zcoral 8 years
And everyone else, please!! please don't believe everything you read on the internet! There are better ways to educate yourselves.
zcoral zcoral 8 years
CitizenSugar, these posts get weaker by the day. It was a false report on a notorious way-left conspiracy blog. I'm sorry to sound rude, but you really need to check your sources.
melizzle melizzle 8 years
melizzle melizzle 8 years
This is being blown out of proportion... it's about making sure people don't commit fraud by voting at more than one address, no disenfranchising people.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Wow. A little desperate to keep these people from the polls are we? :ponder:
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
I thought we did away with property ownership as a requirement for voting? I can kind of see the voter fraud problem, but it also manifests itself in other ways. Like felons and the deceased voting (or does that only happen in Washington state?). Random aside on voter fraud: There was a story a year or so ago up in King County that a woman successfully registered her dog to vote in an attempt to prove how messed up the system was.
Adrenalynn75 Adrenalynn75 8 years
This sort of scare tactics mostly target poor, black neighborhoods and it's against the law! If you are an AMERICAN CITIZEN, that should give you the right to vote! This crap makes me sick to the core.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
My grammar is terrible today. *I'm glad I still live with my peeps.
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