To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Thursday, October 29, 2020

New Observercast

Missing Voice

on

FRANK P. BELCASTRO Dubuque, IA

Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act [NVRA] in 1993 to increase the number of eligible citizens registering to vote in federal elections. One of the law’s provisions, Section 7, requires public assistance agencies to offer voter registration services to clients. But many people eligible to register under Section 7 don’t know it, because too many states aren’t properly implementing the law. Field investigations conducted by Democrats have revealed violations of the law in states across the country.

Women comprise the vast majority of public assistance recipients and thus are the primary beneficiaries of Section 7. A staggering 90% of adult recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF] are women. Nearly 8.8 million Food Stamp recipients are women. Sixty-nine percent of those receiving Medicaid are women.

The most disadvantaged members of society are least likely to participate in politics but arguably have the most to gain. Low-income women lag behind in education, have less access to health care and affordable housing, have fewer assets, and experience more job insecurity.

Ensuring that voter registration is offered to the millions of women who participate in public assistance programs is an effective and efficient way to draw low-income women into the political process in unprecedented numbers, providing them with the voice they desperately need.

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.