There seems to be quite a bit of confusion brewing here in Michigan regarding whether home owners who've received a foreclosure notice have the right to vote in the upcoming presidential election.
Members of the Michigan Republican Party are pushing an effort to suppress the votes of Michigan home owners who may lose, or who have already lost, their homes to foreclosure.
The Michigan Republican Party wants to assign "election challengers" at the polls (as they are allowed to do by state election rules) to monitor not only the poll workers, but also to challenge the eligibility of voters based on them not being a "true resident of the city or township" as a result of their home foreclosure.
Talk about adding insult to injury.
They actually plan to arm their election challengers with foreclosure lists to use as a basis to challenge a person's vote at the polls, in hopes of getting the vote disqualified.
What I don't get is, both Democrats and Republicans have been hit with foreclosures. So wouldn't this tactic hurt some of their very own supporters?
You can read more about this issue in a story ran by the Michigan Messenger by clicking here, or just by googling "lose your home, lose your vote" and reading one of the many stories that'll pop up.
Regardless of party affiliation, I personally believe any attempt to suppress a voter's right to vote, especially in this manner, given the current state of our struggling economy and the high number of consumers affected by the foreclosure crisis, is just plain 'ole scandalous and tacky.
I mean, don't Michigan residents facing foreclosure already have enough to worry about? Geez!
The Obama campaign joined in a class action lawsuit filed by some Michigan residents and The Democratic National Convention to prevent the suppression of votes by Michigan home owners who've faced foreclosure, but we'll have to wait and see what the results of that case will be. [*click here for an update on the case as of 10/20/08]
Bottom line: Michigan residents who are facing foreclosure, or who have had a foreclosure, absolutely and positively have the right to vote in the upcoming presidential election. A foreclosure does NOT affect the right to vote of Michigan residents.
To bring some clarity to the confusion, a notice has been posted on the State of Michigan's website entitled "Michigan Voters and the Home Mortgage Crisis: You Have the Right to Vote."
This 3-page document, drafted by the National Campaign for Fair Elections and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, explains in detail the rights of Michigan voters facing foreclosure.
Be sure to read this notice in its entirety, and pass it on to others, because it contains some very important and specific information about home foreclosure and the legally protected right of Michigan residents to vote.
For further questions on this topic, contact the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
Now, get ready for November 4th and get out there and vote!