Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's Not Too Late - Register to Vote and Get Active

Update 1: October 28, 2008 @ 9:30am

What's funny to me is after months of what I think is the longest presidential campaign ever (or, at least, it feels that way) and with just a week to go, people are still searching for this "I'm not registered to vote is it to late?" (BTW, it's "too" and I hope that by pointing that out no one calls me an elitist.)

Yes, you're too late. (a link to State deadlines) With one week before a presidential election it's too late to register to exercise your right to have a say in government.

Next time make sure to register early. However, maybe you can still volunteer to help others get to their polling places so they can vote on that day.

Go Obama!

Back to politics because this election is too important to stay silent. I notice that a lot of people find my blog because they need to register to vote, and I'm glad I've had voter registration links up for months now.

Here is an email I just received from Americans Abroad for Obama. I'll post it here in full.

Hello Americans Abroad for Obama!

With only 47 days left, our efforts abroad are in high gear and we need your help!

Time is running out to request your absentee ballot so you can vote in November. It only takes a few minutes to complete at Please go there and request your ballot NOW! Make sure you voice is heard in this historic election!

Also, all across the world we are phone banking Americans abroad to make sure they have requested their absentee ballots. We need your help to ensure that we get through our list of voters! Please email your Regional Field Director if you are interested in helping- it is very easy and important! In this election, every vote counts!

Below is the complete list of regional staff. **Please note that we have added five new field staffers since our last email** Reach out to your appropriate staff member with any questions you have regarding registering to vote, requesting your absentee ballot, or getting involved with Americans Abroad for Obama in your community. With only a few weeks left for Americans abroad to request their ballots, we need everyone's help!

Below are the names, contact information and regional assignment of our Regional Field Directors:

Eastern Canada: Will Fripp,
Western Canada: Kim Burkhardt,
Guadalajara area of Mexico: Tim Whiting,
All other parts of Mexico: Nick Moreno,
UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, and South Africa: Karin Robinson,
Francophone Europe and North Africa: Christine Houben,
Spain, Italy, Israel, Portugal and sub-Saharan Africa: Bob Barad,
Greece, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Cyprus, UAE area- Elina Mihalaki,
Germany and Central/Eastern Europe: Hilary Bown,
Australia, Philippines, and New Zealand: Carmelan Polce,
Northern Asia: Terri Macmillan,
Southeast Asia: Chang Chiu,
India & Nepal: Shelli Koffman,
Central/South America, Caribbean: Zak Schwarzman,

This is a grass roots effort that begins with individuals just like you. We need your involvement! Please reach out to your assigned staffer and get involved with this historic campaign in your community TODAY! We have no time to lose!

Thank you all for your continuing support!

Ali Sutton
Field Director, Americans Abroad for Obama

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  1. it seems like all the expats who went to Korea are Obama supporters :) Me 2 4 Obama.

  2. I think it depends on a few things like your profession and your employer. But yes, most teachers seem to support Obama. I'm glad you're in our ranks and make sure you request your absentee ballot.

  3. I just got my absentee ballot packet which contained everything but the ballot! (Return envelope, inner envelope, referendum explanation, write-in ballot, instruction for filling in the ballot and candidate list). Super annoyed! I supposed I could fill in the write in ballot, but I am afraid they wouldn't count it. Need to call Tuesday to figure out what to do.

  4. Yeah, same here. I got my ballot on Saturday.

    The contents were fine, BUT it was pouring rain so it got soaked. When I let it dry a bit, the envelope I'm supposed to return and seal with my signature was already sealed and it was pretty much ruined. I managed to get it open, but there is no way I think they'd accept it in that condition.

    Since there is plenty of time (thank God), I'm going to send it back as a "spoiled ballot" (that's the process in my district) and I'm going to just request that they send it to my job. Even if it's raining, it will be delivered to a dry office and distributed to me.

    So now my recommendation is if you've got a cheap little mailbox like I do at my home, have them send it to your job ;)

    Here is the info I've received from Democrats Abroad on using a write in ballot just in case someone finds this post via a panicked web search and it's too late to request a replacement ballot.

    Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)

    • Use this back-up ballot if your state ballot does not arrive in time to return it using your local mail system.

    • If you have not yet sent in your FPCA, you should:

    Fax your FPCA (unless you vote in AL, NY, or WY); and mail the original along with the FWAB. The FWAB must go in a blank envelope that is referred to as a security envelope. The security envelope, the voter declaration and the FPCA should all be mailed together from outside the United States. (If you are in the Uniformed Services or the Merchant Marines you can mail it from within the U.S.).

    • If you have already registered and requested your ballot, only mail the security envelope with the voted ballot inside and the voter declaration.

    • Foreign Postmark: All states will accept a foreign postmark as evidence of submission form outside the U.S.

    • Consular Stamp: All states have been informed by the U.S. State Department that they should accept a consular stamp as evidence of submission from outside the U.S.

    • Commercial Courier: Some states will also accept a commercial courier service waybill as evidence of submission from outside the U.S. Using a courier service should be a last resort. Alabama explicitly refuses to accept materials sent to them by commercial couriers, such as Federal Express and DHL.

    Also, if folks haven't registered and it's before October 6th, here is the link where you can fill in the form, print it out and mail it to register: Vote From Abroad

    Questions about voting if you're getting a hard time or confusing answers from your local voting officials:


Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my first blog, and I'm glad folks are still stopping by even though I'm no longer living in South Korea. Feel free to comment. If you want a personal answer, leave your email, and I won't publish the comment. Nasty comments and spam links will not be tolerated.