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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Nonprofit calls for SEC to ensure voting rights for the homeless

Josué M. Maysonet-Colón, executive director of La Fondita de Jesús (Corporación La Fondita de Jesús)

By The Star Staff

La Fondita de Jesús, a nonprofit organization that has worked for Maysonet Colónover 38 years in the fight against homelessness and on offering services to vulnerable populations in Puerto Rico, made an urgent call to the State Elections Commission (SEC) to implement measures that guarantee homeless people the right to vote.

“In recent years, Puerto Rico has experienced an increase in the number of homeless people, including youth and older adults, as well as individuals who have lost their safe homes due to various economic and social circumstances such as evictions,” said Josué Maysonet-Colón, the executive director of La Fondita de Jesús. “People who are homeless and at risk of being homeless deserve to exercise their right to vote. They are the ones who most need social priorities to be addressed, such as decent and accessible housing.”

Maysonet-Colón added that “it is essential that the State Election Commission recognizes this need for the right to vote of the homeless, as well as the vulnerable population, and acts proactively to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their situation, can participate fully in the democracy of our country.”

The Fondita de Jesús director urged the SEC to conduct visits to the communities and organizations that work with vulnerable populations to make it easier for homeless people, as well as people in disadvantaged situations, such as older adults without transportation, to obtain the electoral card and guide them on how to vote. He stressed that such guidance is essential given that the processes of the Permanent Registration Boards have changed with the closure of many of them. Electoral registration through digital means can be confusing for those in vulnerable situations who do not have access to technology, Maysonet-Colón said.

“La Fondita de Jesús is committed to collaborating with the SEC and other entities to facilitate this registration process and ensure that the rights of those most in need are respected,” he said. “It is time for government institutions and nonprofit organizations to work hand in hand so that social exclusion is not an obstacle to citizen participation.”

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