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Fronteras: New Report Examines Potential Impact Low-Income Voters Have On Election Outcomes

Approximately 43.5% of the U.S. population — 140 million people — are either living in poverty or are low income. But millions of them don’t vote and fall short of political representation.

A new report released by the Poor People’s Campaign explores the voting potential of this population.

Only 59% of registered voters in Texas cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election, a number considered high when compared to primary or local elections.

Many registered voters in Texas are poor and low income and their needs are not being met by their elected officials.

For example, Texas is one of 17 states that has not expanded Medicaid and the state has the highest number of uninsured people in the country. It’s also not easy to register to vote in Texas and once registered, voters must contend with tough voter I.D. laws. More recently, mail-in ballots are being demonized as potentially fraudulent.

The odds would appear to be stacked against poor and low-income people who want to cast a ballot in November.

The report, “Unleashing the Power of Poor and Low-Income Americans: Changing the Political Landscape,” examines the voting potential of poor and low-income people in Texas and other states.

Robert Paul Hartley, assistant professor of social work at Columbia University, authored the report; and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, is director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice.

Fronteras: New Report Examines Potential Impact Low-Income Voters Have On Election Outcomes
Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis and Robert Paul Hartley discuss the life and death issues that will be part of the political discussion if poor and low-income people exercise their right to vote.

PPC Voter Research Brief by Texas Public Radio on Scribd

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter @NormDog1 and Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter @terrazas_lauren.

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1. TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.
Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter at @terrazas_lauren. TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.