SALT LAKE CITY – Utah residents who are homeless or have switched addresses can still vote in the upcoming election. But elections officials say, like inactive voters who want to change their status, they’ll need to speak up so they can get their mail-in ballots.
Utah Director of Elections Justin Lee says there are some homeless people who have registered to vote in November’s election.
However, if someone finds themselves homeless, they will need to give their county clerk a mailing address.
“Sometimes, someone without a permanent address will use something like the homeless shelter or a friend’s house that they can call their address for voting purposes,” Lee says.
Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swenson says same-day registration is available to homeless people as well.
But she recommends that those who are unsheltered register ahead of time.
“The requirements are higher for same-day registration. The individual doing same-day registration has to fill out a form, and it’s much like their voter registration form,” Swenson says. “They have to provide not only I.D., as all in-person voters do, but proof of residency. And that’s where it gets really hard.”
As for residency requirements, anyone who votes in an election in Utah has to have lived here for at least 30 days.
Lee says moving, however, should not be an issue.
“If you’re moving within the state from one part of the state to another, there’s no problem with you registering at the new address and voting there,” Lee says.
Lee says many inactive voters have also become active again ahead of the election.
Inactive voters, or anyone who thinks they might be, will need to contact their county clerk so they can get a ballot.
“If someone moves, if a voter isn’t active in any way, there’s no way for the county clerk to know anything unless voters reach out. So, there is certainly some personal responsibility that voters need to take to make that they can vote,” Lee says.
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