With the midterm primary season now in full-swing, we hope to see more people requesting their ballots, contacting their state officials, and talking to other Americans about voting from abroad (you have, right?).
Unfortunately, we’ll also continue to see states working to make it harder for Americans abroad to vote, in addition to misinformation about voting from abroad continuing to spread. Although this is almost always accidental, that doesn’t mean we can ignore it.
This week’s Tiny Action: Be ready to fact check the truth about voting abroad. Know your rights and help us spread the word.
Our voting experts see comments every day along the lines of: votes won’t be counted; voting from abroad in a federal election will lead to tax consequences by default; and even that submitting a ballot or ballot request incorrectly is a crime — none of which are true, according to U.S. federal law.
Unfortunately rumors spread faster than facts, and often just hearing reasons not to vote will deter millions of voters abroad from voting this year, regardless of whether these reasons are valid.
Help protect our rights and spread the word this week — and through election season:
1. Post the facts on social media.
Everyone deserves a vote. Stand up against voter suppression so we can all #VotefromAbroad.
FACT: Federal elections include midterms. If you can #votefromabroad for president, you can do the same in the midterms.
FACT: Every vote is counted in every election. Even those that #votefromabroad.
FACT: Each vote counts. Those of us who #VoteFromAbroad have swung elections before, and we’ll do it again.
Or create a similar message of your own.
2. Stay informed
- Read up on US Voting and Election Laws
- Review the changes in Voting Laws Roundup 2018, and a plethora of other info from the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice.
- See voter ID laws in different states
- Follow the latest in voter suppression news and actions
- Share the news you learn on social media
3. Use your voice
- If you’ve received false information from the experts, feel that your right to vote has been disenfranchised as a voter abroad, or have another story to tell, let us know.
- If you have received false information, never received a ballot that you requested, or have a similar recent experience, notify the Elections Assistance Comission (this is their job!) and copy firstname.lastname@example.org in the email.
- If you witness or suspect other forms of voter intimidation or suppression, you can report it to your state election office or to the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. You can also use this online Election Complaint Report form.
- If you feel that voting in your state is made unnecessarily difficult for Americans abroad, email your Secretary of State and copy email@example.com in the email.
Still haven’t requested your ballot this year?
- Visit www.votefromabroad.org, click “start here,” fill out the required fields, and send in your ballot request as directed.
- Don’t be disenfranchised! Contact your Local Election Official to verify they received the form and will be sending out your 2018 ballots. Find your LEO here.
Spread the news. Tell your Facebook and Twitter followers that you’ve registered to vote using www.votefromabroad.org and ask your American friends, family and colleagues to do the same.
Recent Related Tiny Actions
Questions about the primary?
Our FAQ specifically for primaries can be found here.
As always, our aim is to turn tiny actions into big results, so we hope we can continue to count on your help! Please send suggestions for our next tiny action to info at democratsabroad dot org.