A Guide to Voting Without a Fixed Address

How to vote without a fixed address

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More and more states require a would-be voter to provide identification and an address, often excluding houseless populations. In California however, houseless people don’t need ID or even a fixed address to cast their ballot.

With almost 2,000 houseless people in Santa Cruz, California regulation and the Homeless Services Center (HSC) on Coral Street make voting more accessible to houseless individuals in the city.

If you are houseless, here are ways you can still vote to help inform public policy this November.

  • When registering to vote, you can either list the Homeless Services Center address as your residential address or otherwise indicate where you live, such as using cross streets or locating it on a map.
  • You can also receive a sample ballot through general delivery by providing your name, the city and a ZIP code. The nearest post office to that ZIP code will hold the mail for you until you pick it up. 
  • The Santa Cruz HSC also provides a useable address if you don’t have a fixed address in the city.
  • There is a polling place at Harvey West Park on Evergreen Street, a short walk from the HSC. 
  • California allows same-day registration, which can provide you an opportunity to vote if you were unable to register in advance.
  • Same-day registrants cast a provisional ballot, which will be counted when election officials verify that voter is a resident of Santa Cruz. If you cast a provisional ballot, you can see if your vote was counted by going to www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-status.