Young voters are INSPIRED and ACTIVE this year, helping to register fellow new voters across the country. But, for the thousands who will study abroad this fall semester, far too many won’t know how to vote from abroad, or even if they can.
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 email@example.com.
Thank you to the many volunteers who helped us connect with American universities when we first asked about alumni/ae contacts in June! Now that the fall semester is nearly here, we’d like to make one more push to help reach as many students as possible. If you missed the action in June, or if you reached out and didn’t get a response, now is the time to get in touch!
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.
- The front and back of an informational handout we’ve created recently. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com**
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!).