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Defining a Voting Domicile

As a voter who is not now physically residing in Santa Cruz County, you need to define for yourself what is your voting domicile.

Voting domicile is defined in Elections Code Section 349. (a) "Residence" for voting purposes means a person's domicile. (b) The domicile of a person is that place in which his or her habitation is fixed, wherein the person has the intention of remaining, and to which, whenever he or she is absent, the person has the intention of returning. At a given time, a person may have only one domicile."

So, if you once resided and were registered to vote in Santa Cruz County and since then you have left this county, you need to define for yourself whether you have the intention to return to Santa Cruz County or not. There are three categories to choose from.

1. If you are currently living somewhere outside of Santa Cruz County and intend to return to Santa Cruz County at some future time, then you may maintain Santa Cruz County as your voting domicile and continue to vote on state and local issues. Voters serving in the military, living overseas temporarily or part-time, or who travel for business or education are often in this category.

2. If you intend to remain outside of Santa Cruz County and you do not intend to ever to return to Santa Cruz County, then we would advise you to become a federal voter. A federal voter is only eligible to vote on the office of President, Vice President, U.S. Senate and Congress. U.S. citizens living permanently abroad are mostly in this category.

3. If you have moved away from Santa Cruz County but, you have not re-establish a voting domicile, you may continue to use Santa Cruz County as your voting domicile until a new one is established -- even though you may have no intention of returning here. This is pursuant to a court case Walters v. Weed (1988)AKA "UCSC Student Voting Case." 45 Cal.3rd.1 Voters who are students, traveling around the country, or are transient are often in this category.

Please let us know which category of voter defines you and we will process your request accordingly.