From my op-ed over at Al Jazeera English:
We can not continue to say that the poor don’t vote if we don’t even know who the poor are. We can not misrepresent a people, purposefully shut them out of the electoral process (via voter ID laws, cutting early voting, and refusing to make election day a federal holiday and day off of work), and then claim they have no voice. The problem isn’t that the poor don’t vote, it’s that the people who vote don’t think of themselves as poor. If we more accurately assessed the levels of poverty in this country, we could no longer say that poor people are not voting, politicians could no longer ignore the concerns of the poor, and as a nation we would be forced to confront one of our greatest moral shortcomings. The official poverty number is too high, but the one we choose not to acknowledge is downright tragic.
Read the whole thing here.