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Andee Goldman
Overseas Voting Consultant

American Voting from Abroad 2024

(Photo courtesy of FVAP)
(Photo courtesy of FVAP)

Americans overseas are you ready for the 2024 Federal Election for President, US Congress, and US Senate?  The 2024 Federal Election is ready for you!!

Your vote is your voiceBy not voting you are allowing others to speak for you.

Voting is one of our fundamental rights as U.S. citizens. Members of the military, their families, and Americans living abroad can choose to exercise that right — from anywhere in the world. Our right to vote from overseas was given to us by the US Congress, US Senate, and the President.  99th Congress (1985-1986) passed the bill that gives us the right to vote –Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act .  111th Congress (2009-2010) passed  H.R. 6009 which amended the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to ensure that absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters are aware of their voting rights and have a genuine opportunity to register to vote and have their absentee ballots cast and counted.

If Congress, Senate, and the President give overseas voters the right to vote, then why such a low turn out of voter?  When reaching out to voters, the responses were all across the board:

  • Arnie S, “What I can vote from overseas? I didn’t know that.  How can I vote?”
  • Sheri G, “I don’t live in America, why should I vote?”  When she learned about her right to vote, she also asked, “How can I vote?”
  • Myra B, “My vote doesn’t count, so why vote?”  History, however, shows otherwise.  In the 2022 Midterm Elections, Republicans retook the House majority in the midterms, but just a few thousands votes in five races could have swung the outcome in favor of Democrats.

Since you have the right to vote, are you ready to make a big difference in this year’s Federal Election??  Currently the Republicans hold a majority in the U.S. House, while Democrats and independents who caucus with Democrats hold a majority in the U.S. Senate.  A total of 468 seats in the U.S. Congress (33 Senate seats and all 435 House seats) are up for regular election on November 5, 2024

Each state has their own voting guidelines and state deadlines.  The state where you are eligible to vote is determined by the last place you lived at in the U.S. before moving overseas. You do not need to have any current ties with this address.  Many states allow citizens who have never resided in the U.S. to use a parent’s voting residence as their own.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS —The first month of the new year is chock full of news events, with the promise of consequential election results out of Iowa and New Hampshire that will tell us just how much of an inside track former President Donald Trump has for the GOP nomination and perhaps even how strong President Joe Biden looks within his own party.”  Political Nightly

          Upcoming elections for federal office: The following states have elections for federal office in the next 90 days:  (P- Presidential Primary; S- State Primary; D- District Primary; R- State Runoff  *Dates subject to change. Election dates marked with an asterisk are updated and state-approved.)

 January 2024:    *January 23rd: New Hampshire (P)

February 2024:   February 3rd: South Carolina (P) – Democratic; February 6th: Nevada (P). February 24th: South Carolina (P) – Republican; *February 27th: Michigan (P)

March 2024:  March 5th*Alabama (P)(S), Arkansas (P)(S), California (P), Colorado (P), Maine (P), Massachusetts (P), Minnesota (P), North Carolina (P)(S), Oklahoma (P), Tennessee (P), Texas (P)(S), Utah (P), Vermont (P), Virginia (P); March 12thGeorgia (P), Mississippi (P)(S), *Washington (P); March 19thArizona (P), Florida (P), Illinois (P)(S), Kansas (P), Ohio (P)(S); March 23rd: Louisiana (P)

April 2024:  April 2ndArkansas (R), Connecticut (P), Delaware (P), Mississippi (R), New York (P), Rhode Island (P). Wisconsin (P); April 16th*Alabama (R); April 23rd: *Pennsylvania (P)(S)

If you have not received a registration form from your state, then now is the time to register and request your ballot by your state’s deadline. You can use FVAP’s easy online assistant at www.fvap.gov/FPCA to walk you through each section of the form.

 Make sure YOU request your ballot to be emailed since the international mail is now called “snail mail”.  After you finish filling out the FPCA, print it, sign it, and send it to your election office. Most states accept the FPCA by email or fax while some require it by mail. Check your state-specific guidelines at FVAP.gov.

Once you receive your requested absentee ballot, vote and return it as soon as you get it. Remember to carefully follow the instructions, especially if a “security envelope” is required, and sign the package as indicated when returning it.

To save time, send voted ballots electronically if allowed by state law. Voters can check if their state accepts completed absentee ballots by email, fax, or via an online portal at FVAP.gov/guide.  Many states who require ballots to be returned by mail will accept one courier package of individually sealed ballots addressed to the same election office.  Best to verify with your state election official.

If a requested ballot has not arrived within 45 days of the election, use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) immediately at www.fvap.gov/FWAB. It acts as a backup ballot. If your official state absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, complete and send in the official ballot, too. Only one will be counted.

To ensure your voted ballot is received by your state, go to FVAP.gov, click on your state and then the “check the status of your voted ballot” button.

To find your state’s election website for specific information on candidates, elections, contact information, and links to your local election offices, visit the FVAP.gov contact page. You can also reach out directly to your election office for status updates on your registration and absentee ballot.

Still not sure about voting from abroad? Study.com sums up in three main points why is it important for citizens to vote ~

  • First, voting is a right that many generations have fought hard for. Today, millions of people around the world do not have access to this right.
  • Next, voting allows citizens to have their beliefs and issues represented in government.
  • Finally, every vote matters in deciding the outcome of an election. A small voter margin can be the difference between a candidate winning or losing. https://study.com/academy/lesson/voting-costs-and-benefits.html

YOUR VOTE IS YOUR VOICE.  

BY NOT VOTING YOU ARE ALLOWING OTHERS TO SPEAK FOR YOU.

 

 

About the Author
Andee Goldman moved to Israel in 2006 from Las Vegas, Nevada. Since 2008, as a nonpartisan, she has volunteered helping and encouraging Americans overseas to vote in America's Federal Elections. The 99th Congress (1985-1986) passed the bill that gives Americans overseas the right to vote YOUR VOTE IS YOUR VOICE https://www.fvap.gov/ As an Israeli, she has become a history buff and enjoys sharing her experience and travels around Israel and the world!! Andee is available to answer your voting questions at: votingfromabroad@gmail.com
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