Groups working to help the homeless cast ballots in election

Homeless in Arizona
Posted at 6:28 AM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 14:18:44-04

The November general election is only 22 days away. Organizations in Arizona and across the country are doing what they can to ensure everyone gets their right to vote, including Americans who are experiencing homelessness.

"They're just as much a part of our community as anyone else, and so often this is a community that gets overlooked when it comes to civic engagement," said Richard Crews, Program Director of the Human Services Campus in Phoenix.

In order to vote in Arizona, you must be legally qualified, which means you have to be a U.S. citizen, an Arizona resident, age 18 or older, have no felony convictions (unless your rights have been restored), and be able to write your name unless prevented by a disability. For Arizonans without a permanent home, your residence must be listed as a homeless shelter or temporary place for living like a halfway or transitional house.

Advocates say there are a number of barriers that can keep homeless voters from casting their ballots. Disadvantages like not having state-issued identification, no means of transportation, no information about the races and issues on the ballot, or discrimination. The Human Services Campus in Phoenix is working to eliminate some of those barriers by having buses take this community of voters to the polls on Election Day.

"Your vote is your voice in this system. When we think about how many folks are thrown away by the system, it's so important for folks to say I'm still here. I can be counted, and I will be counted" Crews said.