Homeless persons couldn’t be denied the right to vote if new legislation allowing them to list a homeless shelter as their address for voter registration passes the General Assembly. Rep. Stephanie T. Bolden, D-Wilmington, said she sought to amend Delaware’s code to clarify rights for homeless individuals after hearing concerns from her constituents in the Wilmington area about difficulties registering to vote. In New Castle County Rep. Bolden said she sees three categories of homelessness: the working poor, individuals with disabilities, and those who have drug and alchohol abuse problems. Her bill hopes to address some of their concerns.
House Bill 378 states that an individual has the right to vote, register to vote, and receive documentation necessary to prove identity for voting without discrimination due to his or her housing status — among eight other legal and civil protections — and ensures equal treatment for homeless persons in Delaware.
The bill offers protection from discrimination while individuals are on the streets and when seeking access to housing, employment and temporary shelter.