Our voting rights are under threat.
In June, a Supreme Court decision allowing for states to purge voters meant that six states would be allowed to continue this practice. And last week, the Brennan Center for Justice released a new report on voter purges, which found:
- Dramatic increase in voters purged between 2014 and 2016
- Higher rates of purging registered voters in states with histories of racial discrimination
- Illegal purges in 4 states in the past 5 years, and unlawful purge rules in another 4
- Inaccurate tools used in some states to determine the voter purge lists
This is just the latest in a running list of the Republican campaign tactic of voter suppression, which take place in states across the country. The only way to fight it will be to elect leaders who will defend our voting rights.
This week’s #TinyAction: Protect yourself from the purge.
1. Double check that you are registered to vote, and that your overseas absentee ballot request has been confirmed.
After you have requested an overseas absentee ballot, use our Election Official Directory and select your voting state and region to find your Election Official. Then ask them if they have received your ballot request. Be sure to specify that you have requested an OVERSEAS absentee ballot, and not a general absentee ballot.
My name is (NAME) and I vote in (DISTRICT). I currently live in (LOCATION) but I believe I’ve already submitted my overseas absentee ballot request, and I just wanted to check to be sure that I’m properly registered and will receive my ballots throughout the year?
Most Election Officials have both phone and email contact options, and they’re very used to responding to questions like yours, which makes it an efficient way to check your voting status quickly and easily.
- Voting Laws Roundup 2018 (Brennan Center for Justice)
- Center for American Progress Action Fund: Health of State Democracies (Center for American Progress)
- Rock the Vote: Know Your Voting Rights (Rock the Vote)
- How to Fight Voter Suppression in 2018 (Dissent Magazine)
Study: States with racial discrimination history purge voter rolls more aggressively (The Hill)
WHY IT MATTERS
Republican-controlled state governments are actively working to make it harder for Americans to vote, and flawed methods like too-simple name and birthdate matches, which misidentify millions as dead or having moved, result in voter roll purges. You may even have received a voter purge notification at your *voting address* back in the US, but don’t know it.
Illegal purges have occurred over the past few years in Florida, North Carolina, New York and Virginia. Just this year, at least 28 bills restricting access have been introduced in 14 states, including California, and in Wisconsin, 308,000 voters have had their registrations deactivated in this year alone, with thousands thought to have been removed in error. And recent reports confirmed that Georgia, which could elect America's first black female Governor, purged 850,000. Republicans are doubling down on this tactic - because it's worked.
Defending your right to vote is fundamental. The time to act is now.
- Purges: A Growing Threat to the Right to Vote (Brennan Centre for Justice)
- Today’s Voter Suppression Tactics Have A 150 Year History (Talking Points Memo)
- White Fight: Donald Trump is leading the Republican charge to preserve a shrinking white majority. (Slate)
- Why It’s Getting Harder and Harder to Vote in the US (Global Citizen)
- Read our FAQ specifically for primary elections
- Find our FAQ on midterms here
- Still have questions? Contact [email protected] or visit VoteFromAbroad.org to explores schedules, deadlines and ballot requirements.
If you are registered but haven’t sent in your overseas absentee ballot request (FPCA) this year, do it now. Your state is only required to send a ballot if you request it that calendar year, and the FPCA form protects your ballot from challenge at the federal level in case of a recount.
Not registered yet? You can also use the overseas absentee ballot request (FPCA) to register to vote.
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.