Moving can be pretty stressful — and that’s the case even when there isn’t a presidential election on the horizon.
Add an election to the mix, and suddenly a whole new set of questions arise. Where should I be registered to vote? What address should I use? Is it OK if my ID hasn’t been updated yet?
And these questions only become more complicated if you find yourself in an insecure living situation. If you’re not sure where you’re living from day to day, it can be difficult to figure out how and where to vote.
That’s why we’ve put together a quick list of facts and resources to help you figure out how to exercise your right to vote, no matter what your living situation may be at the moment.
1. It’s easy to change your voting address.
If you’re a registered Florida voter and you move within Florida, you can change your voter address at any time.
If your new address is in Pinellas County, just call the Supervisor of Elections at (727) 464-VOTE or go to VotePinellas.com.
You can even change your address at the polls on Election Day if you need to, but we recommend calling first!
Be aware that if you’re voting by mail, your ballot will not be forwarded to your new address. So be sure to check your address on file and make sure it’s up to date!
2. You can (early) vote in person.
You can vote early! Early voting is happening this year in Pinellas County from Oct. 19 through Nov. 1, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Just go to any early voting site in Pinellas County — it doesn’t matter where in the county you live:
- 501 1st Avenue N, St. Petersburg
- 13001 Starkey Road, Largo
- 315 Court Street, Room 117, Clearwater
- SPC Allstate Center, 3200 34th St. S, St. Petersburg
- The Centre of Palm Harbor, 1500 16th St., Palm Harbor
If you decide to vote in person on Election Day (Nov. 3), you’ll need to vote in the correct precinct for the place you’re living on Election Day. Look up the precinct online, and check if your address on file matches the one for that precinct. (If it doesn’t, just call the Supervisor of Elections to change our address before you go vote!)
When you vote in person, you’ll need to present photo and signature identification. You have 12 acceptable forms of ID to choose from. You need to be able to show a signature and a photo — they can both be on one ID or you can use two IDs to accomplish this.
The address on your ID does NOT need to match the address on your voter record, so if you haven’t had a chance to update your ID since you moved, that’s OK.
3. You can register and vote if you are homeless or between homes.
As long as you intend to stay in Pinellas County, you can register to vote in Pinellas County. You must register by Oct. 5, 2020 to vote this year. (If you register by mail, your registration must be postmarked by Oct. 5, 2020).
If you aren’t sure what address to use, here are some ideas:
- The address for where you’re currently living, such as the address of your family, friends, or hotel/motel
- The address of the mobile home park, campground or boat docking site where you’re staying
- An address provided by a shelter or homeless services organization (not all organizations offer this service, so please ask)
If you’re not living in a place that has an address, you can check if the U.S. Post Office near you offers General Delivery. If so, you can use that address on your voter registration.
If you cannot access Post Office General Delivery and have no other address, Pinellas County voters can use the following address: Elections Office, 315 Court Street, Room 117, Clearwater, FL 33756.
It’s important to note that in Florida, it’s against the law to discriminate against a homeless person. That extends to voting.
4. Help is available if you’re at risk of eviction.
A lot of people are having trouble affording their rent right now. Support and funding are available to help you stay in your current home!
Text the word COVIDCARES to 898211 or go online for more information about Pinellas CARES support.
If you need eviction assistance, please contact Bay Area Legal Services at 800-625-2257 or https://bals.org/get-help/housing.
To help prevent further spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a temporary halt in evictions for certain tenants through the end of 2020. You can find out more about it HERE.