The March for Our Lives movement has developed into a full-blown nationwide tour to register new student voters ahead of this year’s midterm elections. If you’re inspired to help and have already reached out to any young voters you may know, we’ve got another step you can take.
This week’s Tiny Action: Ask your stateside Alma Mater to help study abroad students Vote From Abroad!
- Search online for [your alma mater] + [study abroad] + [contact] to find the right person to reach out to.
- Use the script below to call or email.
- If you choose to call them, please then send their contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello! My name is [NAME] and I am a [YEAR] graduate from [INSTITUTION; DEGREE PROGRAM].
Currently, I live abroad in [LOCATION]. As an international alumni, I wanted to reach out to you about a resource that has been really valuable to help me vote from abroad, that could be just as valuable for your study abroad students, too.
Vote From Abroad (votefromabroad.org) is a nonpartisan website that helps Americans living and studying overseas to register, request and return their ballots in each election. It’s 100% volunteer run and helps voters request a federally-protected overseas absentee ballot (FPCA), which offers options not available to those who request a general absentee ballot.
I really want to be sure every [INSTITUTION] student that wants to vote, can vote, this and every year. That's why I volunteered to reach out to you.
I’m also providing a couple things for your reference:
- Sample letter to students so they know how to register to vote before or after they’ve left for their study abroad term.
- A couple of informational posters that we’ve created recently (1 and 2). We’d be happy to do something similar for you.
Helping your students vote from abroad not only offers them the information they need to be able to vote, but also provides them a unique experience to add to their bucket list while abroad. As well, many of your study abroad students will develop a new appreciation for American democracy, and why their right to vote is fundamental to that enterprise.
If you’d like to find out more, please just send an email to email@example.com, and a volunteer from their team will get in touch.
**If you are calling instead of emailing, please write down their email address and send to firstname.lastname@example.org**
Please note that as this is US voter registration, it must be 100% non-partisan.
Thanks very much for your time.
WHY IT MATTERS
Study abroad students aren’t exposed to the same voting reminders their peers get on American campuses. Amid classes, travel and new experiences, they also have fewer opportunities to meet groups such as Democrats Abroad. This means they’re likely to be missing out on the chance to vote this year. We can change that.
At the same time, study abroad offices at American universities don’t know what we know - that requesting a ballot from abroad is easy, but that it doesn’t happen without a little effort. They also may not know that nonpartisan sites like Vote From Abroad can offer free resources for their students. We can change that, too, with the help of a few of their alumni/ae (YOU!).
- Parkland Students to Tour the Country to Encourage Young People to Vote (Slate)
Young People Keep Marching After Parkland, This Time to Register to Vote (NYT)
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As always, our aim is to turn tiny actions into big results, so we hope we can continue to count on your help! Be sure to forward and share this action with other activists, and send suggestions for our next tiny action to info at democratsabroad dot org.