October 25, 2018 at 3:44am
Don’t let the Canada Post rotating strikes keep you from returning your ballot. Below are a few suggestions on how you can submit your ballot outside of the Canada Post system, however you need to act quickly.
If you can return your ballot electronically (email, fax or online upload), we urge you to do so! 28 states permit fax returns and 23 of those permit email so don't presume it's not an option.
If your state only allows fax return [AK, FL, CA, LA (with special permission) and OK] and you don’t have access to a fax machine, there are free apps that will convert an email attachment to a fax.
Or you can use the DoD Fax service through the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP.gov). Email your ballot, any required supporting materials and a cover sheet (see: http://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/coversheet.pdf) to email@example.com. FVAP will then fax your election materials to your Local Election Officials. (This option is ONLY to use their email-to-fax service, if your state accepts email ballot return, just email to your state directly.)
If you must mail your ballot, consider using an overnight service. Or, if you're close to the US Embassy or Consulate, ask if they are accepting ballots to place in the diplomatic pouch. You can contact them here: http://ca.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/voting
It will be taken to the US and placed in the US mail, so be sure to ask how long they anticipate it will take to get to your ballot to your election office--there can be a significant time lag! Check the date your mailed ballot must get to your state here: www.votefromabroad.org/vote/svid.htm?submission=true.
We’ve checked with the Toronto Consulate and they are accepting ballots, as most should. Their diplomatic pouch ships to New York on Tuesdays, so if you drop off your ballot by Monday Oct. 29th it’ll have a good chance of arriving at your local election office in time.
If you choose to take your ballot to the US Embassy or Consulate you must either have USPS postage (envelopes entering the USPS system with Canada Post stamps won’t be delivered) or you must use the postage-paid envelope available at this link (http://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fwab_envelope.pdf). You have two options, you can either print an envelope or print it on a sheet then cut out and place on top of a blank envelope.
Finally, if you plan to go to the US to mail your ballot, please contact your Local Election Official first to confirm your ballot will be accepted if mailed from within the US. You can find the contact information here: http://VoteFromAbroad.org/states". If you mail your ballot within the U.S. you must put your out-of-country address in the return address area – follow the directions that came with your ballot.
We appreciate that some of these options take more effort than usual. Democrats Abroad has delivered the numerical difference in several close elections and our votes are needed now more than ever. These strikes are occurring at the worst time for Democratic voters in Canada – please don’t let Canada Post be an obstacle to helping deliver the blue wave!
Chair, Democrats Abroad Canada