Overseas Voters Should Vote Absentee Now to Ensure On-time Receipt

Only 4.8% of Americans overseas voted in the 2018 Midterm Election.  With such a low turnout, what message does overseas Americans send to the President, Congress, and Senate?  (FVAP Photo)
Only 4.8% of Americans overseas voted in the 2018 Midterm Election. With such a low turnout, what message does overseas Americans send to the President, Congress, and Senate? (FVAP Photo)

It is essential for overseas civilians to return their voted absentee ballots as soon as they are received to ensure timely receipt at the election office. The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) encourages overseas citizens to take recommended steps to return their ballots by their state’s deadline.

“The UOCAVA (Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act) voting process was designed to reduce obstacles for military and overseas voters,” FVAP Director David Beirne said. “We know the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional concerns for overseas voters about receiving and returning their voted ballots on time, and there are several ways to do both as quickly as possible. FVAP.gov has all the information.”

There are 542 federal offices: President, Vice President, 100 U.S. Senators (two from each state), 435 U.S. Representatives, four delegates to the House of Representatives from U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, and one Resident Commissioner from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

U.S. Senators serve six-year terms, with one-third of them up for election every even-numbered year. U.S. Representatives serve two-year terms, with the entire House up for election every even-numbered year.

(Photo courtesy of the US Embassy Jerusalem)

The US Embassy Jerusalem will be hosting a live Q & A  Facebook event on this Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 6PM to explain the methods of returning your absentee ballot for the 2020 General Election.  This is a perfect time to ask your voting questions.

Still time to register and request an absentee ballot?  Voters can check their state registration and ballot request deadlines (these are different in many states) at FVAP.gov and use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) for both.  Every state allows the blank ballot to be sent electronically upon request.

Vote now. Vote your absentee ballot as soon as you get it, and be sure to sign the package as indicated when returning it.

Send ballots electronically, if allowed by state law. To save time, voters can check if their state accepts completed absentee ballots by email, fax or via an online portal.

What if your state allows you to fax your ballot, and you don’t have a fax?  FVAP’s Fax Service enables voters to email their ballot and FVAP will fax the election material. Email Address: fax@fvap.gov  Voters should use this fax transmission cover sheet as a cover sheet when faxing or emailing election materials back to their local election office.

Navigate potential COVID-19 mail delays. Voters can check if their country has mail disruptions. Overseas citizens can check with their nearest embassy or consulate to use the diplomatic pouch.

DHL-Israel is offering a 40% discount for sending in ballots. Promo Code USA40.  To benefit from this deal, go to: https://mydhl.express.dhl/il/en/shipment.html#/#address-details (1) Fill out the airway bill. Fill in all the mandatory boxes.  Skip the optional boxes. Company name is your name on the sender side and the local election official on the recipient side.  Choose your means of payment — credit card or PayPal.
Before entering your payment details check the box for a 40% discount, Promo Code USA40

(2) Print out your airway bill and receipt.

(Photo courtesy of FVAP)

(3)  Peace of mind you voted!!   Voting from overseas? Get your “I Voted From…” sticker!  Just because you’re voting absentee doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the “I Voted” sticker. If you’re voting in U.S. elections from another country, let your friends and family know with your very own “I Voted From” sticker.

Make sure the ballot was received. Voters can select their state and click “Check the status of your voted ballot.”

If a requested ballot has not arrived, use the backup ballot. If there isn’t enough time to receive and send back your requested ballot before the election, use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). It works like a backup ballot. If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, fill out and send in the official ballot too. Only one will be counted.

For additional information, visit FVAP.gov, email vote@fvap.gov or call 1-800-438-VOTE (8683)/ DSN at (425) 1584 (CONUS)/(312) 425-1584 (OCONUS). Visit our COVID-19 page for other helpful information.

“Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it.” — Susan B. Anthony                          Susan B. Anthony was an American suffragette, reformer, and anti-slavery activist known for her work for women’s rights.  She worked for much of her life to win women the vote and was arrested for it when she cast her ballot. She founded or co-founded a variety of organizations to advance the cause of suffrage and worked for years to create the political capital that would one day pass the 19th amendment to the constitution.

With this quote, she begins to hint at the efforts she put into helping assure the right to vote for women in the United States and the efforts put in by others to maintain that right for everybody. It is a lot to throw away by not voting.  The 19th amendment was ratified August 18th 1920, 100 years ago this year.




About the Author
Andee Goldman moved to Israel in 2006 from Las Vegas, Nevada. Since 2008, as a nonpartisan, she has volunteered helping Americans overseas to vote in America's Federal Elections. YOUR VOTE IS YOUR VOICE https://www.nass.org/can-I-vote 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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