Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy, and one of the many ways people can make their voices heard on issues that matter to them the most. Unfortunately, barriers to voting that may seem like a slight inconvenience to some are detrimental to others, like those who are homeless or in a non-traditional living situation. Low-income voters, and particularly persons experiencing homelessness, are consistently one of the most poorly represented blocks when it comes to voter turnout. This is not a coincidence, as our state elected officials continue to find ways to disenfranchise Black, brown and, low-income voters throughout the state.
Despite this, it’s important that people are armed with the information they need to cast their ballot regardless of economic status or living situation. Below are the top four things you need to know about your voting rights if you’re homeless or in a non-traditional living situation. (We also have graphics available for you to share on your personal feeds!)
1. Can I register to vote and cast a ballot if I’m currently homeless or living in a shelter?
Yes, you can register to vote by listing the location where you “reside” in Texas. You can list your shelter’s address on your voter registration form if that is your home and the fixed place you return to. If you are homeless, then you can describe the location that you return to regularly that you consider your home, such as by listing your street corner or park.
2. Do I need a mailing address to register to vote?
Yes, but your mailing address does not have to be the same location as where you are living. You can list the address where you can and do receive mail if that is different from where you reside. Many shelters allow you to use their address as a mailing address.
3. Can I still register to vote at my current location even if I just started living there today?
Yes! Though the deadline to register to vote in the November election has passed, you can register to vote at your current location even if you just moved there if you want to register to vote later on.
4. Can I still vote even if I don’t have an ID with my current address on it?
Yes, the ID you use to vote does not need to have your current address on it. For a list of IDs you can use to vote, you can find more information VoteTexas.gov.
Questions? Or need to report a voting issue? Call our Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE. Don’t forget to download your graphics here!
Julien is the election protection digital fellow at the Texas Civil Rights Project. Special thanks to the TCRP Voting Rights team for compiling this information.