Monday, May 4, 2009

I'm a Vandweller, and I Vote!

I've been wondering for a while how the homeless can avoid getting disenfranchised by the political system, considering that you have to have a physical address in order to vote. I managed to get around this in the last election by paying a mailboxes place to give me a physical address. I thought I'd solved that problem. But, alas, the modern computer age has made that more difficult; the elections office recently invalidated my registration because it was a "commercial" address, and knew it was a maildrop. Crap. FedEx and UPS have no problem with this address, neither does the DMV, but the County Elections Board does.

The solution is easy though: apparently the homeless are protected by law from being disenfranchised in San Francisco, which is excellent news. It is possible to register to vote with only a streetcorner as an address! So that's what I did. I still needed a valid mailing address for correspondence, voter information packets, etc., but a PO box is fine for that, and so is my mailbox place.

This may be the case in other cities as well. If you're living in a van, on the move, then at least here it's possible to pick a streetcorner and make that your address, and thus maintain your right to vote.

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