Category: Community News
Published on Monday, 30 May 2022 15:29
Written by D.V. LAWRENCE
originally published
Oct. 2019

Oct19votwebWhile delivering the previous issue of The Neighborhood News, a homeless man came up to me and asked if I was the editor. He had recognized me and my delivery sidekick, Foxie, from our picture. I smiled and proudly nodded yes. He told me that although he's been homeless for years, he never misses an issue. We got into a friendly discussion that eventually led to the issue of homeless voting. He said he would like to vote but didn't know if he could or how. I told him he had just given me a great idea for an article and I asked him to keep an eye out for this issue.

OCT19homelesswebWith a little Googling I found that, yes indeed, homeless people can vote. The Courts have ruled that a homeless person may register to vote in all 50 states and they just had to identify a street corner or a park as their residence, in lieu of a traditional home address. The federal voter registration form and many state forms provide a space for this purpose. It is recommended that homeless registrants list a shelter address as their voting address so they can receive voter-related mail.

In fact, on September 17, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors instructed their staff to "conduct additional outreach to service providers, consider shelters or nearby facilities as vote centers, establish pop-up vote centers near services, continue voter registration efforts at homeless shelters and report back to the Board in 90 days with updates."

The Santa Monica Daily Press reported that “According to the County, 2,100 voters have listed their address as a cross-street, suggesting they are homeless. While voters that list a shelter or those that use their most recent address might also be homeless, the report says that with 58,936 people identified as homeless during the last count, the numbers show a need for more outreach efforts. Beginning with the March 3 Presidential Primary election, the county will implement the Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP) initiative. The new VSAP model includes establishing vote centers throughout the County to serve all voters over an 11 day voting period,” said county staff. “This will allow voters to vote at any voting location in the County — regardless of where they live or work. Additionally, eligible residents will be able to register to vote or update their voter registration at any vote center up to and including on Election Day.'"

The Supervisors will be evaluating if homeless shelters or other service providers can become vote centers in March.
"The County’s obligation to enfranchise as many voters as possible extends to residents regardless of their housing stability," said the staff report.



LA County To Replace Traditional Voting Polls With Vote Centers

In the 2020 March election, Los Angeles County will transition from traditional polling places to vote centers, which will increase the availability and accessibility of voting opportunities for LA-area voters.

The bad news? According to, "the 4,000 polling locations across LA County will be cut by about 75 per cent" and replaced with vote centers.

The good news? Unlike traditional polls, voters will be able to register same-day at vote centers, and they will be able to cast their ballot at any location in LA County over an 11-day period. No more one-day voting. If you misplace your ballot or forgot to register to vote, workers at the centers can assist you. You will also be able to drop off your mail-in ballots at many locations around the county. Check your sample ballot for Voting Centers near you or go to