A dismal 4% of voters abroad show up for midterms. It’s time to raise that number.
Truth time: Guilting people into voting doesn’t usually work.
What does? Learning that peers and friends DO vote.
That’s why we’re hoping you’ll support this week’s Tiny Action:
Activate your friends and get out the vote.
Five ways to be an advocate for voting abroad:
2. Tell friends and other Americans that you’ve already requested your ballot - or already voted in the primaries!
You might think it’s awkward, but people are LESS likely to vote if they think their peers don’t either. Besides, what's less awkward: having a conversation with a colleague about how you already requested your ballot, or explaining why Republicans retained Congress until 2020?
3. Offer to help those who seem unsure about how to vote, or even if they can.
For those who say they plan to vote, offer to be a voting buddy to check in on each other. You can both follow the easy steps on votefromabroad.org or check out this previous Tiny Action.
4. Know the facts - and share them on social media! Sample posts below.
- If you can vote for president, you can vote in the midterms - and voters in every Congressional District have something to vote for this year. That’s why I already requested my ballot: votefromabroad.org
- If you turn 18 by election day, you can request your ballot now: votefromabroad.org
- If you’ve never voted before, or haven’t voted in a long time, you still can. Find out more at votefromabroad.org, or ask me!
- For oversea voters like me, each state has different deadlines to register, request and return our ballots. That’s why I already requested my ballot. I hope all of you do too: votefromabroad.org
- FACT: Federal elections include midterms. If you can #votefromabroad for president, you can do the same in the midterms. I’ve already requested my ballot! Find out how: votefromabroad.org
- FACT: My #votefromabroad will be counted this year, as it is every year. I already requested my ballot at votefromabroad.org
- FACT: Each vote counts. Those of us who #VoteFromAbroad have swung elections before, and we’ll do it again. Help us power the #bluewave! VoteFromAbroad.org
5. Contact your alma mater to encourage them to educate study abroad students about voting. More here.
WHY VOTER ENGAGEMENT MATTERS THIS EARLY
News of elections being 100 days away gives a false sense of security that we have 99 days before we need to act. That’s not true for Americans abroad, and many won’t find out until it’s too late. Hearing that you’ve already requested your ballot will encourage others to do the same.
You’re probably not surprised to hear that guilting people into voting doesn’t work. What does? Hearing that peers and friends DO vote.
"In one experiment, Facebook users who received an update showing the profile picture of several Facebook friends who’d voted were more likely to do the same. In another study, households who were mailed details of their own voting records and those of their neighbors were 8.1% more likely to vote—roughly the same increase that comes from traditional campaigning techniques of 7-10 phone calls [though this is more effective for voters abroad], 1-2 pieces of mail and 1-2 knocks on their front door.”
There’s a science to getting people to vote (Quartz)
It’s really true: votes count the same as ballots at the poll site.
"In a close election, the media may report the preliminary results or say that the outcome cannot be announced until after the absentee ballots are counted. However, all ballots, including absentee ballots, are counted in the official totals for every election - and every vote (absentee or in-person) counts the same."
5 Things U.S. Military, Overseas Citizens Need to Know to Vote Absentee (FVAP)
Looking for more? Read our Midterm Elections FAQ and our Primary Elections FAQ. For other questions, contact email@example.com or visit VoteFromAbroad.org for deadlines and ballot requirements.
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.