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Will Minneapolis's New 'Renter-Voter' Bill Increase Turnout?

Landlords are now required to hand voter registration materials to tenants, helping connect renters with their new districts.
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REUTERS/Matt Sullivan

When it comes to voter participation, one of the biggest hurdles is getting people registered in the first place. No matter the city, there’s always a huge gap between those eligible to vote and those registered, especially when it comes to young people and people of color, as the graph below shows.

Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act, also known as the “Motor Voter Act,” in 1993, requiring DMV and social-service offices to offer voter registration forms to people applying for licenses or benefits. Now, a new ordinance out of Minneapolis expands on that idea, requiring landlords to hand out voter registration forms to tenants. The requirement kicked in on March 1, just in time for this year’s presidential race.