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Take away tenant's right to vote

Posted by Rona Fischman December 3, 2010 01:43 PM

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Tenants beware. The Tea Party President (correction: Tea Party Nation President) Judson Phillips believes

If you rent your house or apartment, then you should not have the right to vote...
"The Founding Fathers originally said, they put certain restrictions on who gets the right to vote. It wasn't you were just a citizen and you got to vote. Some of the restrictions, you know, you obviously would not think about today. But one of those was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you're a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community. [emphasis mine.] If you're not a property owner, you know, I'm sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners."

I mentioned around Election Day, 2008, that white adult male tenants were granted the right to vote in 1850. Should we turn back to clock on this? Really??

I am a landowner. I strongly disagree with disenfranchising tenants. Some people are tenants purely as an economic decision (they dont want to own), or an economic reality (they cannot afford to own.) In either case, you should not have to buy something to have the right to vote.

My opinion is not a reasoned response. I have a strong visceral reaction to cutting Americans out of the process because of what they buy or dont buy. It would further slant the government to care about richer people.

My personal experience is that I was more involved in my community when I was renting. Why? Because I was younger, more idealistic, and had more time to contribute.

Can you make a better argument for tenant voting rights?

On the side that agrees with President Phillips, hes right that tenants move more. The U.S. Census shows:

In 2009, renters were more than five times more likely to move than homeowners; 29.2 percent of all people living in renter-occupied housing units lived elsewhere in 2008. The mover rate of all people living in owner-occupied housing units was 5.2 percent.

Are tenants are less invested because they are more likely to move?

Tenants, its your time to vote with your font!

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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