Sunday, May 18, 2008

US Citizens Living Abroad - Yes, you can vote!


Okay, I was spending time with some folks this weekend when the issue of registering to vote and the upcoming elections came up.

I was dismayed to learn that some didn't know they could vote or, if they did, weren't sure of how to go about it.

I figured they couldn't be the only ones a bit confused and in need of a primer.

First, just go to VoteFromAbroad.org. This site will walk you through the steps to register. Then you'll print out a form that you can mail to your state and you'll be registered.

Here is the FAQ section from USElections.com) which gives you more info:

Q. How else can I obtain an absentee ballot? (not really relevant for folks living abroad, but you might be reading this in the States.)

A. You may request an absente ballot by contacting your local county or city election official. Depending on your State, this individual may be the County Clerk, County Auditor, County Registrar or Supervisor of Elections, or the Board of Elections. In most cases the phone number for these offices is listed in the blue government pages of you phone book.

Q. I'm a member of the armed forces stationed overseas. How can I vote by absentee ballot? (hopefully, if you're in the armed services and are stationed abroad, you've got someone on your back about registering and requesting an absentee ballot anyway, if not...DO IT.)

A. The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) in the Office of the Secretary of Defense is responsible for administering the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. This law provides that members of the U.S. Uniformed Services and merchant marine and their family members may vote absentee while away from their place of voting residence, wherever stationed, within or outside the United States. For detailed information on registering and obtaining an absentee ballot, please visit the FVAP web site at http://www.fvap.gov/ , or call 1-800-438-VOTE.

Q. I'm a U.S. citizen currently residing abroad. How can I vote by absentee ballot?

A. The FVAP also serves non-military U.S. citizens residing abroad by helping them to register and vote by absentee ballot.

Okay, you have no excuses now, so register and request your absentee ballot.

More: Overseas Vote Foundation

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