Voting Without a Permanent Address

Last Fall our League partnered with Glide Memorial Church, a long-standing advocate and refuge for people living in the Tenderloin, to register people to vote in the month prior to the November 2016 election. League members visited Glide to register voters during breakfast and after church services. Many of the folks registered were homeless. People without a permanent address are able to register to vote by listing the cross streets where they hang out most often.



Several months ago the LWVSF received a letter along with a very generous donation. It was a remarkable and moving letter that we want to share with  you:

“In June of 2011 I found myself jobless, penniless and homeless. I survived in San Francisco  for  six months with 38 cents in my pockets. I arrived at a local shelter with just the clothes on my back. If it had been 20 minutes later, I would have slept on the street. I spent the next 8 months in the local shelter system.

In October 2011, while passing time in the main library, I noticed the Voter Registration table. I decided to register for the November election; I believe it was the last day. As I registered and chatted with the volunteer she asked if I would be interested in becoming a Poll Worker. Apparently she thought I could use a little extra money.  

Since November 2011 I have voted and worked the polls for nearly every election. I have worked in a variety of San Francisco  neighborhoods; I have seen first-hand the importance of voting. One very poignant moment for me was the Presidential Election of 2012 while I worked as an Inspector on Green Street near Russian Hill. A young lady came to the ballot table and noted that her neighbor wanted to vote but needed assistance. The Voter had been very ill and suffered from severe memory impairment. The young neighbor noted that this Voter had not missed an election since her youth, and wanted to make sure to vote in person for her choice of President. I understood her situation and I made the necessary accommodations.  

Registering to vote was one of the first things I did to re-join civilized society. I understand first-hand the difficulty of voting when you have no permanent address.

Each election, poll workers are provided a modest stipend for their service. This year, for this very important election, I have anticipated the stipend I will earn, matched it from my own funds and present to the San Francisco League of Women Voters a check in the amount of $300.00. If possible, I ask that this money be ear-marked for voter registration efforts targeting the homeless and other dis-enfranchised  citizens.

Needless to say, we thanked him profusely.



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