AAOC Voter Registration Effort
Voter Registration Initiative – and Why It Matters to the Multifamily Industry
Since the start of 2023 we have been reaching out membership wide to ask that you communicate with your tenants about voter registration. Our ask has been quite simple and consistent -
Provide new residents with information about updating their voter registration
Encourage existing residents to make sure their voter registration is current
Remind residents that are moving out to make sure they change their registration
This is a major initiative of AAOC’s as we move forward. Having current and up to date voter rolls is essential to a representative democracy – which is the core of our reasoning behind this effort. However, there are many other considerations behind this effort, and we want you to better understand the reasoning behind this initiative.
CHANGING FACE OF CALIFORNIA VOTERS
Some of you will remember the mantra that James Carville repeated throughout the Clinton Administration - “Demographics are Destiny.” The quote predates the Clinton Administration by over 150 years originally quipped by French philosopher Auguste Comte. Despite its age, the quote has repeatedly proven to be an accurate predicter of election outcomes.
California’s demographics are changing dramatically. Not just from an ethnic, religious, or political standpoint, but from the fact that soon we will be a primarily renter state. As a result, we are faced with a compelling reason to change our approaches on policy. We are missing an opportunity to communicate with renters on the multifamily industry regulating policies that they are faced with voting for are not good for them.
However, to be trusted and believed by residents, we need to begin with communication now that is not associated with a direct ask – and is not connected to a pending election. We are establishing the relationship now, so that we can have trust on policies moving forward.
CURRENT VOTER ROLLS
If you ever look at voter rolls, many times they show very outdated information about addresses with multiple people/ families/ surnames registered at the same address - or unit - which may or may not still live at those addresses. If we want to have an accurate turn out, we need to make sure that the people registered to vote at an address are the current residents of that address.
This protects the voter’s ballot immensely. It ensures that the ballot they turn in is for the candidates and issues that affect where they live. Voting at older addresses means that their votes are not focused on the issues, candidates, and races that matter to them – or that will affect them – moving forward. By ensuring registration is up to date, we can ensure that the votes cast are the correct questions that impact the voters.
Along these same lines, when ballots are cast by former residents of your property – they are voting on the issues and for the candidates that will govern your properties. Having ballots cast that affect your property by people who do not live there, those ballots are taking away from the voice of your residents – and diminishing the local understanding that goes into local elections.
Elections are an imprecise science – with the ability for anomalies to exist in voting patterns. However, when these anomalies exist, they raise doubts and concerns about the integrity of the election. Those appearances tear away at our democracy, and we must ensure that we support a process seen as fair and free elections.