Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Checklist for Overseas or Absentee Voters

I'll add this up top 'cause it's deserving of being immediately noticed:

Click on this link: 2008 US Voter Info, enter your address and it will pull up voter registration information for you. By the way, some states have deadlines later than October 4th, so just check. Okay?

If you're abroad, like me, register using Vote From Abroad or the Overseas Vote Foundation. Either one does the trick.

If you're in Korea and have questions about your absentee ballot, contact Democrats Abroad Korea:

Okay, done.

I got this in my email from Democrats Abroad this morning. It applies to all Americans voting from overseas though, so go through the checklist and make sure your vote counts.

I got my absentee ballot a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, the mail carrier left it out in the rain and it got soaked. I returned it as a spoiled ballot per my election authority's instructions and got an email today that they'll be sending a new ballot to me today. Remember should something happen to yours in transit or you make a mistake, you can use a Back-up Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. You can get step-by-step information on how to use that here at the Federal Voting Assistance Program website.

Click to

Time to Vote! A Checklist for Overseas Voters

Request Your Ballot: Make sure that you have requested your absentee ballot. Go to if you have not.

Be Aware: Let your American friends who may not know - that voting in the Democrats Abroad Primary this past February will not get you a ballot to vote in November. Help us spread the word.

Source for State Deadlines: Deadlines are fast approaching. Send in your ballot today to ensure you have sufficient time to meet this deadline. Note that most states allow the deadline to be met by faxing the original signed FPCA (Federal Post Card Application) as long as the original hardcopy is mailed and received before the ballots are counted.

Here is an up-to-date list of registration and ballot return deadlines.

Confirm Your Registration with Your State On-line: The following states allow you to find your registration status on-line: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Go to the following and click on the link for your state.

Confirm Your Registration with Your State via Other Means (i.e., if not available online): Contact information for your local election officials is available at the following website. Select your state and then the local jurisdiction from the drop-down menus. Email or call your election official directly to find out if you are on the voter registration and absentee ballot rolls.

Use the Federal Write In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), as needed: Along with your ballot request, will provide a backup ballot called the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Keep it in a safe place. If you do not receive your official state ballot by October 15, then go ahead and send in the FWAB. If your state ballot arrives later, complete and mail that one, too. This is not double voting - your election official will count only one. Provided you requested your ballot early enough.

If you are not on the electoral roll or if you cannot contact your local election official, please let us know and we will provide additional help and guidance.

Questions? Email with your state and as much information as feasible:

Don't forget the postage!! Expect to receive your absentee ballots in early October, although dates depend on each state. Every state ballot is different since some may have pages of referendums. We recommend posting your absentee ballot at a post office and getting this post marked. Return your ballots as soon as feasible to ensure sufficient time to be returned to your County's election office.

Note that even if the envelope says postage paid, this is NOT the case from mailing outside of the US. Ensure you add sufficient postage! Take your ballot to the post office. They can give you proof of posting for free, weigh the ballot to assure correct postage and stamp it with a post mark which is required in some states.

Sphere: Related Content


  1. I voted!

    I called my local election board in PA to find out why I didn't have the ballot, just the write-in and they said that there was a court challenge so their ballots weren't printed so overseas voters had to use the write-in ballot. It would have been helpful if they would have included a letter stating that instead of the instructions for filling out a ballot that they didn't include. Oh well!

    At least I got it mailed! Saw them postmark it so now I am just hoping for the best!

    Hope your new ballot comes soon!

  2. I'm glad you voted but are you serious? Pennsylvania's absentee voters have to use a write in ballot but they're not calling, emailing or writing everyone, in lieu of mailing actual ballots, to let people know?

    Yeesh! It looks like it's time to get the word out to absentee voters from Pennsylvania.

    I'll vote soon. Like I said, I got an email from my election authority office saying they'd gotten my spoiled ballot and were sending out a new one. Should it not arrive in time, I'll do a write in. But I think there was enough lead time that I'll get an actual ballot...yeah!

    I'm glad you got the information and voted! Thanks for letting everyone know about PA's absentee voters by posting a comment.

  3. As far as I know it is an Erie County issue, not the whole state.

    Just annoying that they didn't put a letter in the package, but there might be a legal reason like maybe they aren't allowed to include anything else.

    One advantage of a write-in is that you have to write the candidates whole name. no mistake on who you are voting for there!

  4. Just one county...okay, phew!

    I fired off emails to Democrats Abroad and the Democratic party. My request was they verify this and then let all the voters affected by this know. Even if it's one county, I don't want any votes lost because people don't know.

    Yeah, with the write-in, they can't claim a hanging-chad type of error.

  5. More on the FWAB:

    Here is what I suggest for the General Election if your ballot is late getting to you. As long as you are registered and you filed the Registration/Ballot Request Form this year, you are eligible to use the online Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot from OVF. This is a standard ballot accepted across all states and territories. It will allow you to use a Vote-Print-Mail system to generate your candidate lists so that you can vote a federal ballot off our site.

    Also see the OVF/FedEx Express "Express Your Vote" intitiative for express delivery of ballots at reduced rates or at no cost according to the country you are living in -- from S. Korea it is free. Please note you must sign up for this service on the OVF Web site

  6. Thanks for posting this information Susan ;)


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.