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US Expats Can Still Rock the Vote

It may not be a presidential election year, but that doesn’t mean that there is no benefit to voting! In the November 2014 elections, all the seats in the House of Representatives and one third of the Senate seats will be up for grabs. Will you make your vote count?

Rocking the Vote

If you are concerned that you can’t vote because you’re overseas, have we got news for you! The Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) exists solely to help expats make sure their vote is counted. If you haven’t voted abroad yet, OVF makes it simple! Simply visit their website and find easy access to voting registration, as well as the ability to request an absentee ballot—all online.Voter registration and ballot requests may be sent to you automatically from the voting precincts where you are registered. Of course, if you didn’t forward your mail to your overseas address, that won’t work for you. In this case, registering online is the best option.

It is important to keep in mind that every US state has different voting deadlines.

You can check your state’s deadlines on the OVP website as well.

In prior years, the ballot request form required voters to indicate whether or not they planned to return to the US. This year’s ballot request form does not ask this—you can simply note that you are a resident outside the US and you aren’t sure when you may return. Many expats chose not to register to vote previously because they felt the questions on the ballot request form were intrusive, which is why OVF and ACA (American Citizens Abroad) worked collaboratively to ensure these changes were incorporated this year.

If you miss the deadline for ballot request or submission, you always have the option to vote via the federal write-in absentee ballot (FWAB). The FWAB is an alternative ballot, and can in certain states (AK, AZ, AR, CO, DE, DC, GA, IA, MA, ME, MD, MN, MS, MT, NE, NC, NV, OK, OR, SC, SD, UT, VA, or WA ) serve both as a voter registration document and absentee ballot.

For more information:

Overseas Vote Foundation (www.overseasvotefoundation.org)

American Citizens Abroad (www.americansabroad.org)

Federal Voting Assistance Program (www.fvap.gov)

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