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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    How To Register to Vote If You’re Homeless

    How Do You Register to Vote If You’re Homeless?


    06/26/2014 05:43 pm ET | Updated Aug 26, 2014
    Amy L. Freeman Development Director, Bethesda Cares

    HILL STREET STUDIOS VIA GETTY IMAGES


    Tuesday was federal, state and local primary-election day in Montgomery County, Maryland. I was planning to hit the polls after work at the school near my home; what I wasn’t expecting was overhearing a number of homeless people at Bethesda Cares‘ Drop-In Center who were planning to vote, too.

    That left me wondering: How can you register to vote if you have no fixed address?

    A quick Google search showed me that not only have other people thought this one through, but also that a lack of address is not particularly problematic. Colorado, for instance, considers any place to which you “regularly return” and have “the intent to remain” an adequate address for voter registration. In their own words:
    [T]hose who cannot afford regular or adequate shelter may use a park, vacant lot, or homeless shelter as “home base” for registration purposes... Basically, if the elector intends the given location to be their home base, they may give any physical location as an address.
    Similarly, if you sleep outside in Minnesota, you can register to vote by describing the address of your park bench, if that is where you sleep:

    People who are homeless may register to vote by using the location of where they sleep as their address. This could be a shelter, a friend’s place or outside. If it is outside, the voter should write a description of its location on line four of their voter registration application. For example, ‘in the NW corner of Jefferson Park near the intersection of Winston Ave. and Smith St.’

    Even if you follow Minnesota’s instructions, though, you can’t expect to sail through:

    Voters who pre-register to vote using an address of an outdoor location will have their record ‘challenged’ because the county could not confirm a specific address. At the polling place, these voters may need to confirm where they live and swear that they are eligible to vote.

    That potential indignity makes me shudder, though: “You sleep at a bus stop? Really? Do you swear you do, or are you just making that up to get in here and vote?”

    I liked what I read about Tennessee’s policies. They ask for a description of “where the person usually stays or returns to when absent. This location may be the address of a shelter where the person stays or frequents, or it may be the description of a street corner where the person may often rest.” (“Rest.” I like that Tennessee gets that people on the streets can rarely actually sleep.)

    Moreover, Tennessee explains why a location description is important: “A physical description of the location must be given so that the election commission knows in which voting precinct to place the person. “ Okay, that makes sense.

    I was right about Maryland law: “You don’t need a home to register, if you can show that you live and receive mail in the state.”

    Hundreds of clients get their mail at Bethesda Cares, so I guess that answers that. I can’t help but wonder, though, whether the main issues on which our clients hinge their votes are our lack affordable housing and our inadequate minimum wage.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-l-...b_5533134.html

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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Yes. Persons experiencing homelessness can register and vote in all 50 states. What should this person list as his or her home address? It is recommended homeless registrants list a shelter address as their voting address where they could receive mail.

    Voting and Homelessness - Nonprofit Vote

    www.nonprofitvote.org/voting-in-your-state/special.../voting-and-homelessness/


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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    WNYC News


    Yes, You Can Vote If You Are Homeless (As Long As You’re Registered)
    n Facebook Share on Twitter Email a Friend


    Nov 4, 2016
    · by Brigid Bergin

    When voters head to the polls for next Tuesday’s presidential election, anyone who is registered can cast a ballot — even people who are homeless.

    That includes voters who are staying in a temporary shelter or on the street.


    The issue came up at Council hearing last week when City Councilmember Ruben Wills told the story of a constituent who had contacted his office after she received a letter from the New York City Board of Elections (BOE) telling her that the affidavit ballot she had cast in the September primary did not count.


    Wills asked Michael Ryan, the BOE’s Executive Director, about the rights of voters who have been displaced.


    “You have to be a resident of the City of New York, but that doesn’t mean you have to have an [street] address,” said Ryan.


    People should call 311 or check online to find the poll site zoned for where they're staying and vote there by affidavit ballot, according to the Board of Elections.


    The right for homeless people to vote in New York City dates back to a 1984 court decision, Pitts vs. Black.


    The ruling broadened the definition of residence to mean whatever's considered a person's "home base."

    Wills plans to visit shelters in his Queens Council district on Friday to make sure people know their voting rights.

    The city's Department of Homeless Services said it also plans to distribute information about voting, it just hasn't yet.

    http://www.wnyc.org/story/yes-you-ca...re-registered/
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