To help more Americans exercise their right to vote, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) created the following step-by-step voting guides for homeless providers and for people experiencing homelessness. Both are available in five languages:
- Election checklist for homeless service providers
- Voting checklist for people experiencing homelessness
This guidance is part of the Biden administration’s effort to enable all eligible Americans—regardless of their housing status— to fully participate in our democracy. Last year, President Biden signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to promote voter registration and participation.
By some estimates, less than 10% of people vote while experiencing homelessness, even though 60% of the homeless population was eligible to vote as of 2008 . By comparison, 67% of U.S. voters cast a ballot in 2020. These guides are the first of many efforts USICH will make to address this election inequity.
People can vote without a permanent address, and homeless providers can help through nonpartisan registration and get-out-the-vote efforts. This work is more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic spurred changes in registration and voting rules in many states, and election misinformation is pervasive online and off.
USICH believes people experiencing homelessness must be meaningfully included in policymaking, which starts at the polls with the people we elect. Many of the most effective and most equitable innovations, such as Housing First, were born from listening to the people in need.
Our guides include information from the Federal Voting Assistance Program, Election Assistance Commission, Department of Housing and Urban Development, League of Women Voters, National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Coalition for the Homeless, and Election Protection.