“You cannot be denied the right to vote simply because you are in foreclosure,” says Alverson, whose department oversees county elections and efforts by the county to assist and inform residents going through foreclosure.
“The fact that a home may be in foreclosure is not sufficient evidence that the owner no longer lives there,” says Alverson. “The foreclosure process is often a long, drawn-out process, sometimes lasting more than eight months and even longer if the owner pursues legal action. The owner may continue to live in the home and still has rights to the property for some time during foreclosure – including the right to live in the home for at least six months after a sheriff’s sale. So as long as you’re living in your house, you can claim it as your residence, even if a foreclosure is in process.”
State law requires that anyone challenging an owner’s eligibility to vote must have personal knowledge that the individual is not eligible to vote – that he or she does not live in the precinct and has vacated the residence (through either a voluntary move or eviction proceeding) and does not intend to return.
If an owner has vacated their property in foreclosure, with no intention of returning, they cannot vote from that address – to do so is a felony. Instead, they must vote from their current residence, whether it is the home of a friend or relative, a homeless shelter, etc., as long as they can prove they have lived in Minnesota for 20 days.
For more information, go to the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State at www.sos.state.mn.us or call 1-877-600-VOTE (8683).