Ensuring Tenants' Rights to Participate in Elections
In 2013, the City Council enacted two important amendments to the Housing Code to ensure that tenants who live in multi-unit housing have the opportunity to fully participate in the electoral process.
1) Candidates’ access to multi-unit buildings
After providing notice to landlords and tenants, qualified candidates and their volunteers are permitted to enter apartment buildings for the purpose of campaigning for office or to register voters. This may occur during the 90-day period before an election and only for candidates who are running to represent an area that includes the multi-unit building. Of course, tenants are not required to open their unit doors to candidates. Tenants may wish to post a sign on their unit door to indicate “no canvassing.” (Link to City Code Section 6.04.040 Access to Multi-Unit Residential Buildings)
2) Information packets for new tenants
Within seven days of a new tenancy, landlords are required to distribute to new tenants a City-supplied packet of information to include: a) State of Maryland voter registration forms; b) City of Takoma Park voter registration forms for residents not eligible to register and vote in county, state, and national elections; and c) other material designated by the City regarding services, laws, and the electoral process. (Link to City Code Section 6.16.050 Obligations of Landlords)
The complete packet is available in English and Spanish. Print the packet from the links below or make an appointment to pick up copies from the City Clerk’s Office.