You Don’t Need a Home to be a Voter! A Low Barrier, Trauma Informed Approach to Voter Registration

A training done in partnership with the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

When it comes to voting rights, two key questions are at the base of this work; who is eligible to vote, and can they exercise that right? The answers to both of these questions has changed throughout history and we are still fighting to remove barriers to ensure that eligible voters can participate in our democratic system.

The Coalition on Homelessness and the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle have engaged in non-partisan voter registration and education work for years. Now we have teamed up to help spread the word about new changes in WA State law about eligibility for people with past felony convictions, key changes for future voters aged 16 and 17, and to how to remove barriers that make it harder for people experiencing homelessness to register to vote and cast their ballot.

The Coalition is committed to this work; voter disenfranchisement and social disenfranchisement are intertwined. There are critical intersections between trauma, homelessness, racism, and voter suppression. The people most directly impacted by policy and budget decisions should be included in helping to elect our leaders and in the work of shaping our community. Our goal is to build political power that will help us make systemic changes. But equally significant is the notion that voting can be an important way for people experiencing homelessness to feel connected to their community and to help build resilience that can support one’s path towards healing.

Join us in this vital work. Free the vote! Help voters without traditional “home” addresses register, vote, and know their rights. Learn about our non-partisan, trauma-informed volunteer training, and opportunities for you to help strengthen and expand democracy.

Voter Registration Materials

  • Here’s the slides from training for reference on voting history, trauma informed approaches, and a sample registration form to use as a cheat sheet!
  • Check out our You Don’t Need a Home to be a Voter resource. This one page resource offers key information and alternatives that someone living homeless may need to know in order to register to vote like, what to do if you don’t have an ID or traditional address. It also covers any concerns someone with a past felony conviction or who has court debts, fines, or legal financial obligations (LFO’s) might have.
  • Learn more about the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) and use our handout to share with your clients who may be interested or qualify for this program.
  • Work with Future Voters or people impacted by the criminal-legal system? The King County Elections Office has great flyers to print out and share with your community.

Upcoming Community Voter Registration and Education Events

The Urban League has partnered with the King County Library System to hold Voter Hub events.

Asian Counseling & Referral Service (ACRS) is co-hosting their 10th Annual A&NH/PI Candidate Forum on July 20th from 5-7 PM. This is an online event, you can register here.

This forum will feature candidates who will be on the ballot this primary election, specifically candidates from the 9th Congressional District and 37th Legislative District.  This is a great opportunity to hear from our candidates and how their decision will impact our A&NH/PI community. We hope that you will join us again on July 20th! We will have Cantonese and Vietnamese interpretations available.