• Receive our Tiny Actions email:

New Jersey Voters - Contact Speaker Coughlin About Voting Rights for Overseas Voters

Support the Bill for All New Jersey Overseas Voters to Vote in State Elections

Democrats Abroad has gotten out the vote for every state in the nation, but this year most of our major battles are for state-level voting rights, particularly in New Jersey! Depending on what they fill out on their absentee ballot request, many overseas voters in New Jersey don't have the right to vote in state elections! They used to have it, before Chris Christie pushed through a change in the law in 2017.

This needs to change. Overseas voters are stakeholders in New Jersey government. Issues like climate change and net neutrality affect us everywhere. New Jerseyan overseas voters deserve a voice at all levels of government, and Assemblywoman Joann Downey has introduced a bill, NJ A5306, to change that law back and enfranchise voters once again.

Please help us tonight to get this bill passed! If the New Jersey Legislature approves the bill, overseas voters will be able to vote in the New Jersey state and local elections on November 2nd, 2021.


Please call Speaker Coughlin's Office and ask him to put NJ A5306 on the voting schedule for the Assembly! You can phone his office at:  1-732-855-7441 Or use this link to email: [email protected]

I'll do it!

Talking Points/Script:

  • Hi my name is --------    

  • I am a New Jersey voter, voting in ---------- County, and I currently live in [Current Country]   

  • I live overseas but I regularly vote by absentee ballot.    

  • (If asked for an address) Would you like my voting address?    

  • I am calling to ask Speaker Coughlin to support Assembly bill A5306 and put it on the Assembly schedule. The bill allows overseas voters to vote in state elections even if there is uncertainty regarding their return. Many overseas voters check the box on their absentee ballot request, “return uncertain,” without knowing that they will lose their voting rights in New Jersey state and local elections by doing that. Whether US citizens have plans to return to New Jersey or not we are stake holders in state government on many issues such as Climate Change, Net Neutrality, and of course, our voting rights.

  • We do have some protection under federal law, but, like most things, much is left up to the state. We formerly had the right to do so in 2017 and are looking to restore this voting right.     

  • The majority of states in our country believe that our voting rights should be taken with us when we move abroad. NJ is one of the small handful of states that denies us the right to vote, even though we are US citizens and have a stake in state government.      

  • Thank you so much for your time.

 

Thank you for supporting voting rights for ALL New Jersey voters!

And don't forget to request your ballot for 2021--just to go www.votefromabroad.org, click Start and follow the prompts to fill out and submit your Ballot Request form.

If you would like to make a donation, please click here!


Call Congress and Support HR1

Support H.R.1 - For the People Act of 2021

HR1, "For the People Act of 2021", protects voters from state voting list purges, expands and standardizes early voting, provides for automatic voter registration, ends gerrymandering, removes dark and foreign money from politics, and provides many other protections that will transform our voting landscape. It will, in many cases, reverse the Republican attacks on voting happening now at the state level across the United States. And it is getting voted on today, March 3, in Congress. 

The Action:
Call your Representative immediately and let them know that you support HR1.
Look up your Representative here.

Sample Script:
Hi, I'm {Name} and I am a constituent of {insert person's name}. I support HR1 and hope you will do everything you can to pass the strongest possible bill to support voting. 

More information and call tips:  
Due to the pandemic, many Congressional staff members are working remotely and you may need to leave a message. Be prepared before your call with your voting address in the United States, including your zip code.  

Bill text: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1/text


Call on the Senate to Convict Trump

The Senate will shortly be voting on whether or not to convict Donald Trump - your US senators need to hear from you now. 17 Republicans and every Democratic and independent senator need to vote to convict Trump, or he will walk free for inciting domestic terrorism. 

The Action:
Call, text or email your Senators and demand that they act to convict Trump immediately.

Look up your Senators' phone numbers

Send an email via democracy.io

Sample script : 

Hi, I'm {Name} and I am a constituent of {insert person's name}. I strongly believe that Trump must be convicted by the Senate. His actions put democracy at risk, threatened hundreds of lives, and killed five people. He must not be allowed to ever hold office again. 

 


Ratify the ERA Now

There’s lots of new activity on the Equal Rights Amendment now that it’s a new year and we have control of the Senate.  YOU CAN HELP.

Call to Action 1 - Send a postcard to both of your Senators asking them to co-sponsor ERA bill SJRes 1. This resolution removes the deadline from the ERA passed in 1972 so that it can finally be added to the U.S. Constitution.  You can find instructions, addresses, and text by going to https://www.democratsabroad.org/era_senate

Call to Action 2 – Call both of your Senators asking them to co-sponsor ERA bill SJRes 1. You can find instructions, phone numbers, and a sample script by going to https://www.democratsabroad.org/era_senate. 

Call to Action 3 - Write a Letter to the Editor/Op-Ed to your local paper back home in support of ERA.  You can find instructions and sample letters by going to ERA Special LTE - Democrats Abroad.  We hope to have letters published in every state.

Call to Action 4 - Tell your story.  Head to our ERA Stories page and add your story to the page. You can also make a video and send in the link! More details there. 

Please share this information with your friends.

Thank you for helping make 2021 the year women are added to the U.S. Constitution – a long 245 years after men.


Not One More Day

No one should be above the law, and inciting domestic terrorism is arguably an act of treason. Congress members are now calling on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, and others are working on Impeachment articles. Regardless of the legal course of action chosen, Democrats Abroad urges our Congressional representatives and senators to insist on full accountability immediately. We encourage you to reach out to your Rep and Senators too.* 

The Action:
Call your Senators & Representative and demand that they act to remove Trump from office immediately.

Look up your Representative here.
Look up your Senators here.

Sample script : 

Hi, I'm {Name} and I am a constituent of {insert person's name}. Trump incited terrorists to attack the Capitol. He should not be President one day longer. Remove him immediately.

*****

Reminder: please be kind and respectful to the staff that you speak with; they have just experienced a very traumatic event.

* Indivisible explains the importance of constituents calling their Representative and Senators. 


Accept the Votes & Stop the Seditionists

On Wednesday, Jan 6th, the 117th Congress will hold a joint session to accept the results of the Electoral College and certify Joe Biden & Kamala Harris as President and Vice-president elect. Currently, 140 GOP House & 12 Senate members have stated they will not accept, or will challenge the votes from some states. 

Democrats Abroad is outraged by this seditious behavior. With the release of the Trump Tape it is clearer than ever that Trump is trying to get people to do literally anything they can to steal the election for him. Even if this sedition will fail, it happening at all is damaging to our democracy. Let's do everything WE can to help Congress stand up to him, end the reign of this would-be autocrat, and help us turn the page on this awful chapter in our history. 

The Action:
Call your Senators & Representative and ask that they support the Constitution and state elections, and accept the results of the Electoral College vote. 

A) If your Senators or Representative have stated they will challenge the Electoral College results, call them to demand they stop. They are participating in an attempt to steal the election, disenfranchise and invalidate the votes of American citizens, and support Trump's baseless accusations of fraud. 

List of Senators in the #SeditionCaucus*
Tommy Tuberville, Alabama
Mike Braun, Indiana
Roger Marshall, Kansas
John Neely Kennedy, Louisiana
Josh Hawley, Missouri
Steve Daines, Montana
James Lankford, Oklahoma
Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee
Bill Hagerty, Tennessee
Ted Cruz, Texas
Ron Johnson, Wisconsin
Cynthia M. Lummis, Wyoming

(A full list of Congressional members is not available, but 2/3 of Republican Representatives have stated they will challenge the results.)

B) If your Senators or Representative have not spoken up, or have said that they do not support this sedition, call them to let them know you support their decision to defend the Constitution and support the will of the people. 

Look up your Representative here.
Look up your Senators here.

* Note: this is a developing story and this list is changing in real time. 

Sample script for seditionists: 

Hi, I'm {Name} and I am a constituent of {insert person's name}. I'm calling about Wednesday's joint session to certify Joe Biden as President elect. I strongly support {insert person's name} accepting the results of the Electoral College vote, and believe that it is sedition to not do so.  

Sample script for others: 

Hi, I'm {Name} and I am a constituent of {insert person's name}. I'm calling about Wednesday's joint session to certify Joe Biden as President elect. I appreciate {insert person's name} accepting the results of the Electoral Collect vote. 

 

 


Count-Every-Vote Demonstrations

To protect our votes, Americans abroad need to draw attention to the importance of counting each and every one of them. 

We are asking all members to organize social distanced photo events around the world. Tell your voting story, and help raise awareness of who Americans abroad are as voters. Share your images on your social channels, and share your pics with us at [email protected] Details below:  

Safety: Please be COVID cautious and follow all local regulations. If you are participating with others, please practice appropriate social distancing.

Organize a stand alone demonstration 

  1. Identify an iconic location near you, or a background that is clearly abroad 
  2. Print or make a sign (here are samples) and organize a selfie or portrait of yourself (or a group, location permitting) with the sign and the iconic location behind you.
  3. Go live on FB or Instagram and tell the story of why voting from abroad and ensuring your ballot counts is important to you
  4. Make sure you share your pictures and videos across your social channels - tag @demsabroad and add hashtags: #CountOurVotes #DAResists 
  5. Email your selfie pic to [email protected] and join our online demonstration

Sample Script 

  • My name is ____ and I live in ____ and vote in ____ . 
  • This year (talk about your voting experience, any challenges that you had, how you tracked your ballot). 
  • I followed the rules, I sent my ballot on time. 
  • I demand that my vote is counted and my voice is heard. 
  • Trump cannot call the election. 
  • We have a legacy of free and fair elections in this nation, and this election should be no different.
  • Count Our Votes! 

Tips for Pics and Video

  • Avoid standing with your back to the sun
  • Look directly at the camera
  • Hold the #CountOurVotes poster or place it on a ledge/wall/table so it’s visible in the image 
  • For videos, set up your camera in front of you and film (a selfie video is ok too)



Demand Senators Wait for SCOTUS Replacement until 2021

Call your representatives and demand they wait: Find your Member of Congress and senators’ information here

Just before she died, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told her granddaughter, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

As Republicans plot to fill the seat before a new president is sworn in, the nation is faced with the terrifying prospect of a Supreme Court that is shifted to the far right for generations.

We've been here before. Before the 2016 election, the Republicans stopped President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. Mitch McConnell declared: “Given that we are in the midst of the presidential election process, we believe that the American people should seize the opportunity to weigh in.”

That’s right: The American people must weigh in before the Senate moves to fill this vacancy. Honor Justice Ginburg’s memory and continue her fight for justice by calling your Republican senators today to demand that the Supreme Court vacancy stay open until after inauguration.

* Wondering what your senator said in 2016 and what they are saying now? Check out https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/what-every-republican-senator-has-said-about-filling-a-supreme-court-vacancy-in-an-election-year


Contact the USPS Board of Governors Now

Trump-appointee Louis DeJoy, the Postmaster General, is gutting the USPS in a blatant attempt to suppress the vote in the election this year.

Below you'll find the names and email of the members of the USPS Board of Governors. 

Because the Postmaster General is selected by and serves at the pleasure of the board, we encourage all members of DA to contact each member, explain why DeJoy should no longer be in his position, and why mail-in voting matters to you. 

USPS Board of Governors

Robert Duncan:
[email protected]

John Barger:
[email protected]

Ron Bloom:
[email protected]

Roman Martinez:
[email protected]

Donald Moak:
[email protected]

Wiliam Zollers:
[email protected]


Take a Stand for Emailed Ballot Returns

The 2020 presidential elections are fast approaching, yet we know that due to the pandemic there are long delays in postal mail delivery and almost 80 countries who have suspended their international postal delivery service altogether (https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/international/welcome.htm). This is an urgent time to voice our concerns about voter access and stand up for our voting rights. To have safe, healthy, and fair elections this year, Americans abroad must have the ability to return their ballots securely via email attachment or web portal. 

If your voting state has a Democratic Governor but DOES NOT allow ballot returns via email attachment or web portal, call or email your governor’s office to express your concerns and let them know how your ability to vote is impacted. Then let us know their response by adding that information here

Democratic led states that currently do not allow email, fax or web portal ballot returns (contact information for your state here*): CT, IL, KY, MI, MN, NJ, NY, PA, VA, WI
If you prefer to email rather than call, look up your governor's website here, then go to their contact form. Use your voting address in the US to identify your voting location prior to sending in your comments. 
**********

Script for Phone calls

Hi, my name is ____, and I’m a constituent of Governor [Name], residing in [name of country]. 

I’m calling Governor ____ to express my concerns about the fact that [state] does not offer ballot returns via email attachment or web portal for Americans voting from overseas. There are currently 26 states that do offer email or web portal ballot returns and 5 that offer fax returns. Unfortunately [name of state] is not one of these. 

This is important to me personally because _______. [Explain known travel times for mail, embassy guidelines that indicate delays, costs of courier from your country, etc]

Currently almost 80 countries around the world do not have postal service to the US and the majority of other countries are delivering postal mail to the US via boat, severely delaying delivery. In the UK, the embassy has notified its voters that they could use the diplomatic pouch for ballot delivery but are not advising it, as they are expecting delivery to take 8 to 10 weeks - well beyond the time for a ballot (released at the earliest on Sept 19th) to reach our state in time. Courier service is our only, very expensive, option at the moment, applying an incredible poll tax on voters from abroad. 

If Governor [Name], allowed ballot returns via email attachment or web portal for citizens overseas, they would resolve the problem immediately, allowing voters abroad to successfully vote this year. 

Will you make sure that the voices of American citizens living abroad are heard in the upcoming election by working to implement email or web portal ballot return in the state of ____ ?

Many thanks for all that you do.


Script for Answering Machine Message

Hi, my name is ____, and I’m a constituent of Governor [Name], residing in [name of country]. 

I’m calling Governor ____ to express my concerns about the fact that [state] does not offer ballot returns via email attachment or web portal for Americans voting from overseas. 

This is important to me personally because _______. [Explain problems/delays you’ve experienced, or describe why mailing your ballot from abroad is difficult]

Currently almost 80 countries have no postal service to the US and the majority of others are delivering mail to the US via boat, causing severe delays. Delivery via Embassy diplomatic pouch is also very delayed (UK guidelines are 8-10 weeks), meaning ballots may not arrive on time. Courier service is our only, very expensive, option at the moment, applying an incredible poll tax on voters from abroad. 26 states have successfully developed safe and secure protocols for accepting ballots through email or web portal ballot returns for Citizens abroad, but the state of ____ hasn’t.

Will you make sure that the voices of American citizens living abroad are heard in the upcoming election by working to implement email or web portal ballot return in the state of ____ ?

Many thanks for all that you do.

Script for Emails

Hi,
My name is ____, and I’m a constituent of Governor [Name], residing in [name of country]. 

I’m emailing Governor ____ to express my concerns about the fact that [state] does not offer ballot returns via email attachment or web portal for Americans voting from overseas. There are currently 26 states that do offer email or web portal ballot returns and 5 that offer fax returns. Unfortunately [name of state] is not one of these. 

This is important to me personally because _______. [Explain known travel times for mail, embassy guidelines that indicate delays, costs of courier from your country, etc]

Currently almost 80 countries around the world do not have postal service to the US and the majority of other countries are delivering postal mail to the US via boat, severely delaying delivery. In the UK, the embassy has notified its voters that they could use the diplomatic pouch for ballot delivery but are not advising it, as they are expecting delivery to take 8 to 10 weeks - well beyond the time for a ballot (released at the earliest on Sept 19th) to reach our state in time. Courier service is our only, very expensive, option at the moment, applying an incredible poll tax on voters from abroad. 

If Governor [Name], allowed ballot returns via email attachment or web portal for citizens overseas, they would resolve the problem immediately, allowing voters abroad to successfully vote this year. 

Will you make sure that the voices of American citizens living abroad are heard in the upcoming election by working to implement email or web portal ballot return in the state of ____ ?

Many thanks for all that you do.

Kind regards,

[Name]

Talking points that help customize your script.

  • Email and web portal ballot return provides a paper trail as voters return their marked ballot and there’s no risk that the ballot will be delayed or lost in the international postal mail system. 26 states successfully use email or web portal ballot returns for Citizens abroad but the state of ____, doesn’t. 
  • Requiring postal ballot returns puts my health at risk since it makes it impossible for me to keep to the social distancing and stay at home measures by requiring travelling to and standing in lines at post offices and US embassies. 
  • There are over 6 million eligible US voters living (and potentially voting) from abroad and our votes are proven to make the margin of difference time and again.

More information

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) promoted accessibility, including expansion of electronic systems as a means of improving Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) ballot return rates. The majority of states allow for ballot returns options via email attachment, fax or web portal, 20 require ballot returns by postal mail.
Summary of HAVA plus link to complete bill (from the Election Assistance Commission).