Can Full-Time RVers Vote?
It’s an election year, and there are many new RVers on the road exploring this beautiful country. Whether you’re already a full-time RVer or planning to be one, you may have wondered “Can full-time RVers vote?”
The answer to that question is yes – but it can be quite challenging. There are steps you need to take to be able to do it!
Keep reading to learn how full-time RVers can vote from the road.
Voting as a Full-Time RVer: You Need A Domicile
In order for full-time RVers to be able to vote, they must have an established domicile. Domicile is similar to residency – in a broad definition, your domicile state is the state you intend to return to when you are done full-time RVing (or use as your home base during your travels).
Your domicile state will be the state you vote in, file your taxes, register your vehicles, driver’s license, etc.
Establishing domicile is an important step for full-time RVers to take, but it can seem confusing. Escapees RV Club has many articles and educational resources on this topic for full-time RVers.
How Full-Time RVers Establish a Domicile State
If the state you choose to domicile in is different from the state you lived in before full-time RVing, you will need to take steps to show your intent to domicile in the new state.
The first step to establishing a domicile state is to choose a state! The most popular states for RV domicile are South Dakota, Florida, and Texas.
Once you have chosen your domicile state, you need to get a physical address. You can do this by finding a mail forwarding service in the state or by using family or friends addresses. Not all mail forwarding services give a physical address, so be sure to check with them before signing up. Escapees RV Club operates a mail forwarding service for RVers for SD, TX, and FL addresses, and they give you a physical address!
Once you have your address, you will need to switch your driver’s license and vehicle registrations to your new state.
Register to vote! Once you have your address and your new ID card for your state of domicile, you can register to vote with your new address.
How To Vote While Full-Time RVing
As a full-time RVer, you can vote from the road with an absentee ballot. Every state has absentee voting – it allows you to vote by mail in the event of illness, disability, being away at college, or traveling.
As a full-time RVer, you should be eligible to vote absentee – but it is up to you to get your absentee ballot and vote in on time!
Be sure to allow plenty of time to get your ballot and have it mailed in.
It’s also important to note that each state has its own rules and guidelines for absentee voting. In some states, recreational travel may not be a valid reason for remote voting.
How to Get an Absentee Ballot to Vote While Full-Time RVing
In order to get an absentee ballot to vote by mail, you have to request to have one sent to you. This will mean staying in one place long enough to get your absentee ballot by mail.
Depending on your domicile state, you may be able to fill out an online form to request your absentee ballot. Other states may require you to print out a form and mail it in.
Since the rules by state and jurisdiction vary, you should request an absentee ballot as soon as they are available to ensure you get your vote in on time. Contact your local jurisdiction or use this link at VOTE.org to learn how to get your absentee ballot for voting on the road.
Tips for Voting as a Full-Time RVer
To recap: you can vote as a full-time RVer, here is a short summary:
Full-time RVers should have an established domicile in the state they want to vote in.
Many states require that you have a physical address when you register to vote.
Ensure that your mail forwarding service provides a physical address.
Register to vote as soon as possible.
Request your absentee ballot as soon as it is available to ensure it will get back on time.
You have the right to vote, and you can (in most cases) do it from the road! Voting as a full-time RVer just requires a little more planning and being proactive.
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