american expats, vol 4: vote from abroad

Happy 4th of July! The best thing you can do to show your patriotism on 4th of July this year is stand up for what you care about. It’s been an overwhelmingly confronting year with everything going on in the world, especially in America. I read a quote recently that it is our moral duty to make the world better than the generation we were brought up in. Literally living on an island over here, I have had the opportunity to looking at America from the outside in, like the rest of the world. Sadly, when I think about what all has transpired in the States over the last 3.5 years, I don’t feel pride in being American. It’s time to make changes and our generation needs to show up. It’s our duty to VOTE.  Here is an expat’s guide on how to register and vote from abroad:



TLDR; KEY DEADLINES:

  • You need to both 1) register to vote AND 2) submit a request for an overseas ballot - recommended by Aug 1, 2020 -- even if you are registered to vote already, you still need to apply to request an overseas ballot each year.

  • If you do need to register (or register in a new county) you need to do this ASAP (cutoff is Aug 1) because most counties will make you physically mail in the copy with a wet signature, vs. allowing you to fax.

  • With the COVID-19 postage delays, it's best to request your ballot be sent by email

  • Ballots will be sent out (via mail & email) from Sept 4-19, 2020

  • You can only return your ballot by fax or mail to your county's elections office, but it is recommended by fax this year. More details on where to find this info below.

  • Please vote! --> *please vote Trump OUT!


Photo from FVAP.gov

There are 9 million Americans living abroad, and as a citizen, it’s our civic duty to exercise our right to vote. Being lazy because there are a couple extra steps is no excuse! According to FVAP.gov, stateside citizens are 10x more likely to vote than those living abroad. Living overseas is not an excuse not to show up, so I’m breaking down the steps below to make it easier for you to make sure your voice is heard.

Photo from FVAP.gov


Note for 2020/COVID-19: Prioritise faxing your information & your official ballot this year, over snail mail. Your vote will likely not be counted if you're mailing in from abroad, with COVID-19 postage delays internationally up to 8 weeks each way.


STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Go to votefromabroad.org to register to vote and request your overseas ballot (you still need to register to request one if you are already registered and voted in years prior)

  2. Fill out the online form in the county you want to register in to vote from, save it and print it out. It's recommended to receive your ballot by email this year due to COVID-19 postage delays.

  3. Take a screenshot of your local county's fax number for future reference -- this is where you will fax your ballot to later!

  4. Confirm the correct fax number for your county's election office here, as they can be out of date on votefromabroad.org.

  5. Fax in your registration/ballot request by September 3, 2020 - try to find a way to fax it this year vs. mail in! If you are mailing it, it may not arrive in time since the average US postage time to Australia and most other countries is ~8 weeks due to COVID-19 delays.

  6. You will receive your ballot between Sept 4-19, 2020.

  7. Fill it out and FAX it back by Nov 2, 2020!

  8. VOTE TRUMP OUT OF OFFICE.

If you have any trouble or get confused at all, you can call your county's election office & speak to someone! There are so many resources to help us, so leverage them!

Love is love.

Black lives matter.

Climate change is real.

Religious freedom for all.

Immigrants make America great.

Women's rights are human rights.


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