OCTOBER 28, 2022
Thank you for reading NLIHC’s Our Homes, Our Votes newsletter. We are glad to have you as a partner in our NLIHC-led Our Homes, Our Votes nonpartisan candidate and voter engagement project. This newsletter will provide you with the latest news and updates related to voter engagement around affordable housing advocacy. You will receive national updates, access to resources, and information about events and what is happening on the ground.
Celebrate Vote Early Day Today!
Vote Early Day is a nonpartisan Civic Holiday that empowers Americans to vote early and make their voices heard. Thousands of nonprofits, businesses, campuses, and other organizations are celebrating today (Friday, October 28) by promoting early voting in their communities. Use Vote Early Day’s voter tool to explore your early voting options and make a voting plan. You can also visit voteearlyday.org to find a Vote Early Day celebration near you.
As a premier partner of Vote Early Day, NLIHC is committed to spreading the word about early voting opportunities. Early voting can make participation more accessible for voters who face barriers to getting to the polls on Election Day. If early voters confront obstacles to casting their ballots, they will have additional time to resolve issues and ensure their votes are counted.
Once you’ve cast your ballot or made your voting plan, here are some ways to continue the celebration:
Text three friends or family members and invite them to join in on the fun by casting their ballots today.
Post a selfie with your “I voted” sticker online (don’t forget to tag #VoteEarlyDay and #OurHomesOurVotes22) and share why voting matters to you.
Share the Vote Early Day online voter tool on social media to help your friends and family make their voting plans (don’t forget to tag #VoteEarlyDay and #OurHomesOurVotes22).
Sign up for the Our Homes, Our Votes webinar series, which takes place every other Monday at 2:30 pm ET.
Explore the Our Homes, Our Votes resource library to find tools, tips, and templates that will support your nonpartisan voter engagement efforts.
Visit the Our Homes, Our Votes store to order some civic swag!
Victories for Native American Voting Rights in Montana and South Dakota
The Montana 13th Judicial District Court decided in favor of Native voting rights organizations and tribes in Western Native Voice v. Jacobsen, which struck down two state laws – HB 176 and HB 530 – as unconstitutional. The Court ruled that the laws violate various provisions of the state constitution, including the right to vote, equal protection, free speech, and due process. HB 176 sought to end same-day voter registration, and HB 530 aimed to restrict ballot collection efforts. Both measures would have disproportionately disenfranchised Native voters in rural tribal areas, who often make a single long-distance trip to register and cast their ballots in person or depend on third-party assistance to return their absentee ballots. Read the Native American Rights Fund’s press release for more information.
A group of tribal governments, a Native civic organization, and individual voters sued South Dakota for failing to comply with the “National Voter Registration Act” (NVRA), which requires states to offer voter registration at motor vehicle authorities and other public agencies. Native Americans in South Dakota found that the state did not process their voter registration updates or that they were not offered voter registration forms at state agencies. In Rosebud Sioux Tribe v. Barnett, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota found that the state committed multiple NVRA violations and disproportionately deprived Native Americans of voter registration opportunities. The lawsuit resulted in a settlement agreement, which will require the secretary of state to designate a statewide NVRA coordinator who will lead mandatory training and NVRA monitoring efforts to ensure compliance throughout the state. Read the Native American Rights Fund’s summary for more information.
Our Homes, Our Votes Field Update: HOMEforME Campaign and Candidate Pledge
The Maine Affordable Housing Coalition (MAHC) recently launched their HOMEforME legislative campaign and candidate pledge. The pledge highlights four solutions to Maine’s housing crisis: cut red tape to improve land use laws, pass a housing infrastructure bond, use existing buildings and state land for housing, and incentivize new housing construction. The campaign was the result of a months-long process involving surveys and interviews with the organization’s statewide network of members, a review of research on housing strategies across the country, and the creation of a policy committee to refine priorities. In addition to mobilizing its network to advocate for these solutions, MAHC also mailed postcards to over 200 candidates running for the Maine State Legislature in the 2022 election, asking them to pledge their support for the HOMEforME campaign. As of October 24, MAHC had already received over 50 commitments. It hopes such candidate engagement efforts will inform leaders across the political spectrum about the need and solutions for affordable housing in Maine and prepare policymakers to take action during the 2023 legislative session.
For more information about the HOMEforME campaign and pledge, please contact Laura Mitchell, director of the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition, at email@example.com.
Visit the Our Homes, Our Votes Online Store!
Show off your commitment to housing justice in style with Our Homes, Our Votes campaign merchandise! Our online store offers T-shirts, sweatshirts, buttons, hats, stickers, and other accessories, with messages in both English and Spanish. Visit NLIHC’s Shopify page to browse the full collection and place your order.
In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)…
PolicyLink hosted a two-part webinar series, “Housing Justice on the Ballot: Growing the Movement through Electoral Victories,” that focused on the successes and challenges of housing-related ballot initiatives. The recording of the first webinar, “Policy Pathways for Housing Justice,” can be found here. The recording of the second webinar, “The Critical Leadership of Tenant Organizers & Grassroots Organizations, can be found here.
Vote Early Day hosted a series of webinars that guide partner organizations to develop activation plans, implement best practices, and build on the momentum of National Voter Registration Day. Visit this page to watch the recordings of past webinars.
The Montgomery County Renters Alliance hosted a renter town hall on voter and district court services information. Dr. Gilberto Zelaya, public information officer of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, provided a broad overview of what the public needs to know about voting in the upcoming election. The recording of the town hall can be found here.
Do you have an event you would like us to feature? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!