Some people consider this action the cornerstone of democracy, some wear stickers with pride to show they did this, what are we talking about? Why, one of the most important things you can do in the United States, vote. Everyone knows the importance of getting their vote out, but it may be tricky for some RVers. How do you vote in Minnesota if you’re spending your whole winter in Arizona?
For few RVers have been facing this issue for years and are still able to get their vote out. So how do RVers vote on the road? We have some helpful advice on making sure your voice is heard even if you’re miles away from your home state?
How RVers Vote While Traveling
There are a few issues that come to mind when talking about RVers voting. First, where do you vote if you don’t have a permanent house? How do you get your hands on a ballot and how do I get my vote in?
The permanent house issue became a hot button topic in 2004 when some RVers who registered their address in Cleveland, Tennessee (home to an RV mail forwarding service) were dropped from the polls. Luckily this controversy has been put to rest and whatever address you use as your “legal house” is the address you will use for voting.
For most RVers, this is the address on your driver’s license or the address of a mail forwarding service. Remember, voting is a right and all RVers are allowed to vote despite not having a brick home. Know what jurisdiction you fall under and the status of your house to make the next steps easier.
Once you know where your legal house is you will need to get your hands on an absentee ballot. An absentee ballot is more or less what it sounds like, a way for you to cast your vote even when you are absent from your jurisdiction. Again, getting your hands on an absentee ballot is a right so make sure to exercise it!
How to Get an Absentee Ballot While RVing
There a few different ways to go about getting an absentee ballot. You can call your local jurisdiction or governmental offices and they should be able to get your hands on what you need. If your jurisdiction seems to be dragging their feet, there are other outlets that can help you out.
VOTE.org is a website whose purpose is to get the vote out for people who would otherwise not be able to vote. The website is helpful, giving guides to absentee voting by state, registering voters, helping you check your voter status, laws and regulations of absentee voting, even surveying different voter ID laws. If you have trouble getting your hands on an absentee ballot, try a website like this to help you out.
Pro Tip: Don’t call up your local jurisdiction a couple days before an election and expect them to overnight a ballot to you.
Whenever you know you will need an absentee ballot make sure to allow plenty of time for you to request the ballot, receive it and get it back to the proper place. If possible, request an absentee ballot the day they become available. Also, check your jurisdiction to see if any early balloting is available, especially if you are around the area but will be gone during the actual voting. Some states, such as Colorado, automatically mail out ballots to residents throughout the year as votes are set to occur. Find out if your home state is one of those states, which will make exercising your vote that much easier on the road.
Despite being on the road, you should still exercise your constitutional right to vote. Make sure you know where you stand as long as your legal address is concerned, request an absentee ballot early and make sure it gets back into the mail early. Playing your part in a democratic society will protect its integrity for all future Americans. Whether you’re a part-time RVer, full-timer, or fall somewhere in between, if you won’t be home to go cast your vote in person, you can still vote by absentee ballot and you should look into exercising that right.