The Election Supervisor Chris Chambless of Clay County Florida has sought an opinion of the Florida Department of State on qualifications to be registered to vote. The summary of that interpretation is that you must have a residential address to vote in the state of Florida.
Clay County is no longer registering new voters using popular RVers & Cruiser mail forwarding service addresses from St. Brendan’s Isle – and will be going through an estimated 3000 voting roles to remove existing now deemed non-qualified voters.
But this impacts all full time nomads using domicile and mail forwarding services. Particularly in Florida – as this was a state issued advisory opinion and it could set precedent.
And this impacts voting at a federal, state and county level.
Our first quick video summary of this advisory:
And our updated story posted on Aug 27, 2018:
For more information:
For the actual opinion sent from the Florida Department of State to Clay County:
Voter Residency Guidelines sent out by the Florida Department of State in 2011 specifically addressing mobile residents:
Clay Today Article:
We ourselves are long time customers of St. Brendan’s Isle – and have our legal address there.
We’re tracking this closely, have reached out to SBI and to the Escapees RV Club (who has fought this battle before) – and will share if we learn more about actions we can all take.
December 2018 Update: St. Brendan’s Isle has been working tirelessly to find a solution. In partnership with Reynold Park Yacht & RV Center in Green Cove Springs, they have established Club Isle. All SBI members are automatic members of this club, granting them access to the amenities of the park – including RV spots and boat slips.
This means all SBI Customers have a place in Green Cove Springs to conduct business from, and this qualifies them to utilize the parks address for eligibility for voting under the new opinion.
This solution has been acknowledged by the Supervisor of Elections, and at his advisement – all SBI customers using Clay County as their voting place have until March 1, 2019 to update their voter registration to the new address to avoid removal from the registration roles.
Responses from St. Brendan’s Isle:
July 17: SBI has added a new ‘Bulletin’ tab for their customers while logged into their account dashboard. Announcements will be made there, and they’ve given us permission to republish them here as well.. along with our thoughts.
12/4/2018 – All SBI Voting Customers To Use Yacht Club Address (Technomadia Words)
If you’re a fellow St. Brendan’s Isle full timer, registered to vote via their service (using 1 Clay County) – you probably just got an e-mail from them.
SBI and the Supervisor of Elections have reached an agreement to officially move over all SBI voters to the new Club Isle address at the Yacht/RV park they have partnered with.
This will protect our rights to vote under the binding legal opinion sought earlier this year by the county Supervisor of Elections.
Your new voting address is:
1063 Bulkhead Road, Unit/Slip/Site # xxxxx (this is your box number)
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
You can update your registration at:
You do NOT update your mailing address, driver’s license, taxes, registration or anything else. This is just replacing your old 1 Clay County VOTING address.
We just spoke with SBI – they & the supervisor settled on March 1 as the deadline to this done before the process to remove registered voters begins (and even then, there will be advanced notification and opportunity to comply).
Even if you get removed, you can still register before the next election using the new address.
At present time, we are feeling good about this solution that SBI has worked so hard to find for us all. We love that this solution is completely transparent with the Supervisor of Elections, and at his advisement.
We truly appreciate them.
10/19/2018 – Voter Rights Update
We are pleased to announce that St. Brendan’s Isle clients who elect to register to vote in Clay County are now doing so with our guidance. We want to thank the local officials who have worked with us on this matter, and to all of you who have expressed your support over the past few months.
Technomadia update: We asked SBI what this means for existing voters and keeping their registration. As far as the 2018 mid-term elections – absentee ballots have already been sent, so we’re all good for this year. SBI’s response to us was: “What may or may not occur beyond that is pure speculation. What we do know is that if things change St Brendan’s Isle will always be there to protect the voting rights of our Clients.”
We also had the opportunity to visit with Scott and team at SBI in person in late October – and while they’ve asked us not to publish their solution at this time, we feel well assured at this point in their statements. Just call and ask them, and they’ll be happy to share the new process.
8/27/2018 – Voter Rights Update
Since our last post, our legal team has continued to work with attorneys for Florida’s Supervisors of Elections and the State’s Division of Elections to resolve issues stemming from the Division of Election’s Advisory Opinion from earlier this year affecting some of our clients. We are slowly but surely making progress toward that goal. Because this is an election year however, we are having to deal with a number of recently filed and unrelated elections lawsuits from around the State that are slowing this process down. We all know that government doesn’t move quickly under the best of circumstances, and these other lawsuits certainly aren’t helping. With that said, we think we are moving closer to an ultimate resolution that will protect everyone’s ongoing ability to vote in Florida elections. We appreciate your patience and your continuing support in our efforts.
8/6/2018 – Voter Rights Update
Over the past couple of weeks, we have continued to pursue the Florida Department of Election’s Advisory Opinion dated, June 19, 2018. Our legal counsel has been working with both the State’s Supervisor of Elections legal firm, and the Florida Department’s – Department of Elections attorneys. The goal is to reach a resolution that continues to ensure every individual’s right to vote. As we have mentioned this issue will take some time however, we are confident we are moving in the right direction and ultimately will reach a positive outcome. As we continue to receive updates from the DOE we will continue to keep you updated as well.
7/11/2018 – ST BRENDAN’S ISLE FIGHTS FOR INDIVIDUAL VOTING RIGHTS
Recently my partner Scott Loehr and I, Doug Moody, were notified that our Clients would no longer be able to vote in Clay County, FL unless they previously lived in the County. This affects about 24% of our Clients. We are monitoring the situation closely and have retained legal counsel to help protect the constitutional rights of our clients, if those rights become adversely affected. We want them to know, if they receive a questionnaire or correspondence from the Supervisor of Elections regarding their voter status, we are available to assist them. This has no impact on receiving or shipping their mail or any other services we provide to them.
For our other 5,500 Clients who have chosen not to vote or vote in other locales, we want them to know that there will be no changes. They will continue to receive our Convenient, Dependable, and Friendly services, tomorrow, next week, next year, and for decades to come. We will continue to receive and ship their mail, scan their new mail, submit their USCG Vessel Documentation Renewal papers and provide any other administrative services they require.
As one of the largest mail forwarding services in the country, we are known for our outstanding service. So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that today we are fighting for our Clients right to vote and tomorrow we will be there to help them live their dream.
Response from the Escapees RV Club:
7-19-2018: Public Statement & Advisory Sent to FL Mail Service Customers:
The issue was whether a person may use a commercial mail forwarding service address to register to vote. The advisory opinion concludes that if the mail forwarding service does not provide the capacity for its members to reside at the mail forwarding service, then the mail forwarding service address is not valid for purposes of voter registration.
Please know, we do not agree with some of the conclusions reached in this advisory opinion. Moreover, this advisory opinion appears to address mail forwarding services with processes and facilities that differ from our own-our services are offered through Sumter Oaks RV Park, a campground.
And, it is important to note, Florida’s Department of State expressly left the interpretation of the advisory opinion to the individual counties. Because our services are offered in Sumter County, not Clay County which sought the advisory opinion, we made contact with the elections supervisor in Sumter County for comment. At this point in time, it appears that you are not affected by the conclusions drawn in the advisory opinion. However, we will continue to monitor this issue across the state and keep you updated if anything changes.
For more on domicile: Mail, Voting and Domicile for RVers & Cruisers
Comment Note: We absolutely welcome your comments on this – but we will be removing comments that are politically or partisan charged.