UCR Study: Foreclosures Are Another Way to Suppress the Voter Turnout

Editor’s Note: In a political system that is dependent upon voters exercising their right to determine issues and pick candidates for officers, any action that result in suppressing voter turnout should be treated with the same ginger approach we see in free speech cases — rarely should any such effort be allowed.

From UCRtoday.ucr.edu: RIVERSIDE, Calif. — California neighborhoods reeling from record foreclosures also experienced lower levels of voter turnout in the 2008 presidential election, according to researchers at the University of California, Riverside.

Voters who lost their homes were not the only ones who appear to have been affected, sociologist Vanesa Estrada-Correa and political scientist Martin Johnson determined in a study believed to be the first to assess the effect of foreclosure on political participation. Voters who remained in neighborhoods impacted by foreclosure were less likely to vote than individuals in more stable communities, the researchers discovered.

Vanesa Estrada-Correa

Vanesa Estrada-Correa

The findings of Estrada-Correa and Johnson appear in “Foreclosure Depresses Voter Turnout: Neighborhood Disruption and the 2008 Presidential Election in California,” published in the peer-reviewed journal Social Science Quarterly and available online.  The journal is published by the Southwestern Social Science Association.

Nationally more than 3.5 million families were dislocated by foreclosures in 2008. In California, nearly 641,000 homes were lost to foreclosure between the first quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2011. Communities in the Inland Empire in Southern California and the Central Valley were hit especially hard. People of color and low-income homeowners were more likely to experience foreclosure.

Estrada-Correa and Johnson examined foreclosure data and voter-turnout records by ZIP code, controlling for factors such as poverty, ethnicity and proportion of neighborhood residents with a four-year college degree. They found that in communities with a large proportion of residents displaced by foreclosure even the neighbors who remained in their homes were less likely to cast ballots.

Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson

“Neighborhoods affect the political participation of their residents,” the scholars wrote.  “Other things being equal, individuals are more likely to vote when they live in places where neighbors vigorously participate in politics, while individuals are less likely to vote when their neighbors are less civically active. Given that foreclosure creates instability in communities, areas that experience higher levels of foreclosure have lower voter turnout.”

A body of research on voter turnout has found that homeowners are more likely to go to the polls than renters, and people who have lived in their homes for longer periods of time have a much higher turnout rate than people who have only lived in their current residence for a short period of time. That trend holds true among residents of high- and low-income neighborhoods.

The issue is not only one of an involuntarily mobile electorate facing challenges of reregistering at a new address or with no address — courts have ruled that even a park bench can serve as a lawful address for voter registration, the researchers said, citing Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Foscarinis points out that “as a practical matter, registering, holding on to your documents and even focusing on your civic rights and duties may be impossible when basic survival needs are at stake.”

California foreclosure mapForeclosure disrupts neighborhoods both by removing invested members of the community, as well as exposing others who remain in the neighborhood to economic anxieties, Estrada-Correa and Johnson wrote. “These anxieties take the form of feelings of direct, personal exposure to foreclosure, as well as uncertainties about housing values in the neighborhood, which fall as homes empty and the loans supporting them revert to financial institutions and other lenders. The process depreciates trust.”

Estrada-Correa and Johnson said they plan to continue their research beyond the 2008 general election to examine political engagement in other elections that occurred during the housing crisis. They also hope to examine the connection between declines in voter turnout due to foreclosure and patterns of inequality in political disenfranchisement based on income, female-headed households, and race and ethnicity of borrowers and their exposure to subprime lending and home foreclosure.

“Foreclosure has been unequally distributed and is particularly high among populations already less likely to be politically active: young, minority, moderate-income families,” they said.

“We expect the 2012 election will reveal even more about the cumulative impact of neighborhood change resulting from the past five years of economic crisis,” Estrada-Correa said.

In the run-up to the 2012 presidential election, Johnson observed, “a great deal of attention has been paid to revisions to election laws such as requiring voters to have identification cards and reduced opportunities for voters in some states to cast early and absentee ballots. But more subtle economic and social processes may also introduce barriers to political participation.”

The study was supported, in part, by the UCR College of Humanities, Arts and Social Science Chancellor’s Strategic Investment Fund as well as the UC Humanities Research Institute’s California Studies Consortium.

12 Responses

  1. Guest thank you so much for this video! I am going to watch it over & over because it all applies to our situation! Thanks so much to you & Carrie for your responses

  2. this honest sheriff near you began investigating similar crimes. Show it to your sheriff as example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbp4eF0LnFI&feature=player_embedded

  3. CC: go to county sheriff with all your proof. They must open a case # or information #. If they are corrupt they will contact BankGsters and ask for a bribe to kill your case. If you get some evidence of that you could then take that to FBI. If sheriff not corrupt (!!!) then they will really contact the BankGsters and investigate case. You can also complaint to sheriff as to judge corruption. all of That could also postpone them from evicting you, if you still live there. DA is also responsible to prosecute corrupt judges. Good Luck.

  4. Guest do I contact my local cops? FBI did nothing with proof I sent them in 2006 prior to the illegal sale of home. However when I called FBI a few months back they still had record of the complaint I had sent in 2006. I also sent a letter to the court about the illegals actions of the judge and a clerk of courts after they refused to allow a Notice of Appeal and we filed for indigency because during the trial my husband lost his job. We wanted to waive the fee for the court records and at that point I was Pro-Se and while on speaker phone the Judge and the Defendants attorney were chatting like friends (all while supposedly being recorded) and said “No you have the money to pay”. I said just like we had the money to pay our mortgage payments as we did and still we lost our home. I really wish I could find a local reporter to do a story. Its so embarrassing when you are known in town for all your committees I formed to help the town and others in need and now people think I lost my home. It seems like an unbelievable story when you try to explain that I never missed a payment but we lost our home. My father doubted me until presented with the facts. We are now living in his house in his office on a blow up mattress and he is retired and wants to sell his home but we will be homeless. It has affected so many people in my life. My parents raised me to be a great human being and to always pay your bills on time which I did. How would someone that was in arrears have $35,000 at their disposal to pay an attorney?

  5. CC: has your lawyer or yourself contacted cops, of FBI and presented proofs of forgeries? + after theft of house they don’t record “RELEASE OF MORTGAGE” because there never was any!!!

  6. Guest & Carrie I am not giving up because we are also victims of Credit Bid at illegal sale we had no knowledge of and it should be invalid because it was not submitted by a secured lender. The complete record of fraudulent steps they took to get my home were presented to the CORRUPT JUDGE. Also proof that the loan was invalid since origination. According to UCC 3 – 305 they did not comply with their obligations to satisfy the requirements of a legal contract. We were never in possession of the note, mortgage or the essential terms or any documents. When we did receive it 4 1/2 yrs later we discovered perjury on 6 Right to Cancel forms which we never signed. They all had different signatures none of which were mine or my husbands. We also had proof of perjury and now had proof of the day they were sent to us showing that the loan never came to fruition at infancy. I never got a Release of Mortgage after the illegal sale. I really need the help of an ethical person in MA to help us because I have a complete papertrail of all evidence all the work is done for them. Unfortunately our lawyer made a lot of money $35,000 but gave up after the unethical judgment. He just asked for another $5,000. There is so much more to this story but the main fact is we had a perfect payment history on a loan they were not entitled to. I want to be compensated for our loss and damages as a result of FRAUD and an unethical legal system. I want to show my boys that I never gave up on getting justice for them and having the truth exposed.

  7. @CC: Due to your solid proof judge was probably calculating his bribe mark-up premium. He may have been texting bribe $$ amount, ++ premium, to BanGster lawyers under_the_table and was waiting for confirmation in order to kill your case but you thought he was day dreaming when in reality texting and trading you as commodity!!!!?? Expose corrupt judges like this guy did: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOqYK17gtUY&feature=related

  8. @CC

    Bless you for having the strength to hang in there. We are living in a time of great upheaval and unfortunately some of us are the sacrificial truth bearers for the new day that will dawn (eventually). You have sacrificed much and will be rewarded if not in this life then in the next. Trial by fire in an age of complete corruption. It is the new dark ages in America, and indeed the world…and always darkest before the dawn…unfortunately we will be getting even darker for a while…we must continue to independently investigate the truth and then share the truth with everyone we can…my prayers are with you and your family.

  9. Guest I agree as we are the victims of an unethical Judge that made a judgment not based on the Facts of Law. We were not in arrears therefore no Notice of Default was sent. No Notice of Sale was sent nor was it advertised in the newspaper. Our home was illegally sold without our knowledge 10 days prior to our due date had the loan been valid. We were paying on an invalid loan. Our case is so involved but the preponderance of evidence would blow your mind. We also had an expert witness. The judge was day dreaming during the trial he had no intention of finding the predatory lender guilty of FRAUD, perjury, forgery also violating ucc 3 305, TILA, RESPA and so on. Our lives have been destroyed and we were never in arrears. My dad almost had a heart attack when we presented him with all the proof. Our son served our Country only to return home after his 2nd deployment to find out the only home he ever knew was gone and we were homeless and financially ruined. We spent almost $35,000 on legal fees. I am not giving up it is just going to take finding the right advocate to expose our story. Lawyers in MA have to start taking these cases on contingency. I feel like we were given a life sentence and we were innocent. If it wasn’t for my husband and 2 sons this would have caused me to take my own life. It amazes me that proof & truth means nothing.

  10. CC: problem is the crooked judges & sheriffs tightly keep all jail keys.

  11. All of the political officials are corrupt and people have lost their faith in elections because nothing changes. I will never forfeit my right to vote but I don’t have faith that our situation will be resolved by any President. The Judges have to be jailed and the state officials also.

  12. I found a lot of empty chairs in the front yard this morning in my neighborhood

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: