Are Foreclosures and Elections Linked? — Filing Bankruptcy News
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Will Foreclosures Affect the Presidential Election?

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If the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections taught Americans anything, it was that a single state can play a crucial role in determining who becomes the next president. Even in this year's democratic primary, the race was so close it lasted until early summer.

And now election officials and economists are suggesting that the general election may be affected by the record foreclosures currently rocking the nation. According to the Columbus Dispatch, election officials are concerned that voters whose homes have gone into foreclosure will face trouble at the polls.

Specifically, sources indicate, those who are registered to vote at a former address may be forced to move from poll to poll (which would likely be a huge deterrent to vote for those pressed for time) or cast provisional ballots, which may not even be counted.

Specifically, sources indicate, those who are registered to vote at a former address may be forced to move from poll to poll (which would likely be a huge deterrent to vote for those pressed for time) or cast provisional ballots, which may not even be counted.

And the worries are justified: it seems nearly 3,700 people are registered to vote at addresses on record as vacant in the Columbus area alone. In only Franklin County, officials have reportedly sent notices to as many as 27,000 residents who noted a change of address but hadn't yet offered a new place of residence.

Outdated registration, when combined with Ohio's law requiring voters to present identification at the polls, could prove disastrous for those who have lost their homes to foreclosure.

Reports note that the Buckeye State has some of the strictest voter registration requirements in the country - outdated information could likely cause a voter to be turned away in November. Plus, Ohioans are evidently responsible for keeping their registration records up to date: in some counties, registration expires after eight years of not participating in elections.

While the problem of foreclosures affecting voting outcomes is serious in Ohio (which ranked ninth in May among states for foreclosures), it's not limited to that area. Other potentially influential "swing states" like Colorado, New Jersey, Florida, Georgia and Michigan also have considerable foreclosure levels. Those states, too, could see foreclosure-related voting problems.

Though federal laws will apparently ensure that many Ohio voters' ballots get cast, even considering registration issues, Ohio voters may be required to travel to multiple voting locations to get their votes counted. In a country where voter turnout tends to be well below voter eligibility, adding an extra step for registered, active voters could be enough to discourage coming out.

Bankruptcy filings and foreclosures are at near-record levels right now in the United States. Make sure you know what you're voting for on November 4th: take a look at Total Bankruptcy's page "Presidential Candidates on the Economy" to learn more about these important issues.


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