Registering to Vote

OK, here's a thing.
I'm trying to register to vote in the state of Oregon.

State requirements:
Resident of Oregon.
US citizen.
At least 17 years old.

And apparently you have to have a residential address. I don't have an address. I have a post office box. I live in a squat, I can't register with my actual physical address -- I cannot get mail here, full stop, end of story.

The right solution is to register as "homeless" because in theory the state of Oregon allows it's homeless population the opportunity to register without a physical address, simply have a Social Security Number and proclaim that you sleep at a particular location within a county so that one may vote on local and national issues.

For the purpose of being clear, I'll define "homeless", I used because it was the most objective in it's definition. Other dictionaries included cultural bias to their definitions which I found entirely too limiting.

homeless |ˈhōmlis|
Lacking a permanent place of residence.

Who is that?
  • A person dedicated to traveling i.e. someone traveling around on an extended sabbatical, world tour or adventure. 
  • A person who has dedicated themselves to living small without socially constructed constraints of land ownership, i.e. in a Tiny House or other trailer, boat, bus or caravan. 
  • A person living in a squat: a building occupied without permission, as practiced by a squatter.
  • Someone living off the grid, however that may manifest, i.e. yurt, cabin, treehouse, tent. 
  • A person who is destitute, devoid of money who is relegated to living on the street, which could be in a tent city encampment, shelter or in a doorway. 
I'm a squatter. My warehouse-mates and I all pay rent, we pay rent for our "artist studios", we're technically not supposed to be living here, we have permission from the building owner to live here, but not the permission of the fire marshall and the city. Therefore, in the eyes of the voter registration office, I'm homeless.

Over the last several months I've exchanged several physical letters with the voter registration office declaring my status as a homeless person who sleeps at a particular corner; they have issued me a voter registration card, and then revoked it explaining that it's required by the state of Oregon to have a physical address. Despite the state of Oregon's dedication to provide voter registration to it's "homeless" population, it's proven to be near impossible to actually do so, if not nearly impossible, it's at the very least convoluted and unrewarding. I never imagined that registering to vote would be so challenging.

I could probably find an address to use for the sole purpose of voter registration - I could probably swing something with my school or a friend in the area to receive the couple of pieces of mail necessary to support ones voting rights. However I think it is absolutely important to cast my votes as a homeless person, because technically, I'm a homeless person. If this country, state, county, city is going to proclaim voting rights to their entire population of qualified voters then let them prove their support of our constitutional rights by providing voter registration access, or redefine their voter qualifications honestly by openly excluding select populations.

I'd like to actually have the right to vote. 


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