If you move in to a rented house or apartment in Minneapolis, you’ll soon be handed a packet of voter information along with the keys to your new place. Starting March 1, the city will require landlords to give all new tenants two documents: a voter registration information sheet and a voter registration application. Landlords can either hand out paper copies or send tenants a link to the website where the documents are posted online. The new ordinance was approved by the City Council in September. Council Member Jacob Frey, who introduced the idea, said the requirement is a simple way the city can reach more young people, people of color and other groups who move frequently and may miss out on registering to vote.
In a presentation to the council’s election committee on Tuesday, City Clerk Casey Carl pointed to statistics from the Pew Research Center that one in four Americans of legal voting age are not registered to vote, which amounted to about 51 million people in the last presidential election.
“Registration remains one of the biggest obstacles to full enfranchisement,” he said.
Carl said his office has heard from landlords supportive of the new regulation and some worried it will be unnecessarily burdensome. He said landlords are not required to do anything beyond providing the information, such as ensuring tenants register or that they actually vote.