Voting

Introduction
Overseas Americans – estimated at 9 million by the US State department – have had the right to vote in Federal elections since 1975 thanks to grassroots campaigning by citizens and organizations, particularly Democrats Abroad. Since that time, it's become clear that a theoretical right to vote does not necessarily translate into an effective reality. Each state has different procedures and deadlines, information distribution is difficult, and mail delivery times can be problematic.

Great strides have been made in recent years. More overseas Americans than ever before who wish to vote are able to do so. Congress passed important legislation both protecting and facilitating overseas citizens' ability to vote. Online registration tools like Vote From Abroad at www.votefromabroad.org have made it even easier to send a yearly request for ballot required by the law. 

DA Voting Leadership:

Heidi Burch
| Global GOTV Chair/DA Canada Victoria Chapter Chair/ DA Canada DPCA Voting Representative
Eileen Weinberg
| DA Switzerland / Global GOTV Co-Chair
See all Leaders



  • News

    UPU UPDATE: TRUMP AGREES TO ALLOW US TO REMAIN IN THE UPU

    Good news! Following an agreement by the member states at the Extraordinary Congress on 25 September 2019, the Trump Administration will allow the US to continue to participate in the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Please click on this link to see the Democrats Abroad Statement on the US remaining in UPU

    While this is excellent news for the current elections, there is reason to be wary! The agreement allows the US (and other countries) to set their own postal rates starting 1 July 2020. If the US enacts higher rates, it could have a significant impact on mailing to and from the US.

    To make sure you can successfully cast your ballot, please:

    1. When you fill out your ballot request form on votefromabroad.org, be sure to indicate you choose to receive your ballot by "Email or online". (We highly recommend you do not choose "Mail"--don't risk your ballot being lost or delayed in the mail!)

    2. Once you received your ballot, we recommend returning your ballot by email or fax if your state allows it.

    3. If your state does not allow ballot return using email or fax, please vote and mail back your ballot as soon as possible.

    4. Other options if you must mail back your ballot and postal mail isn't reliable or available in your country include (1) accessing the US Embassy/Consulate's diplomatic mail pouch (free but slow) and (2) private courier services (expensive but quick).
      It may also be possible to mail your ballot from within the US, but check with your Local Election Official first!

     

     

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    UPU Advice for 2019 Voters

    The US administration has tentative plans to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union (UPU) treaty mid-October 2019. Should that withdrawal happen, postal mail from abroad back to the US may experience delays and price increases. To make sure you can successfully cast your ballot in your state's elections this year we recommend the following steps:

    1. Prepare and send in your ballot request form now to your local election office via votefromabroad.org. choose
      • When you fill in your request form, make sure you indicate you choose to receive your ballot by "Email or online".
      • Do not choose "Mail".

      SEP 21Ballots for November 5 elections should be available on or around September 21.

    2. If you have not received your ballot by September 22 reach out to your local election office to find out its status. Find election office contact information at https://www.votefromabroad.org/states.

    3. Once you received your ballot, we recommend returning your ballot by email or fax if your state allows it.

      For those states that do not allow ballot return using email or fax, please vote and mail back your ballot immediately to avoid any disruption in mail service after October 17: 

     

    Is your vote dependent on the postal service?

    Does your state accept elections materials using alternatives to postal mail, such as email, online upload, or fax? Or is postal mail mandated?

     

    I.  States restricting transmission to postal mail for

    a.   Voter Registration (FPCA)

    1. Alabama
    2. Florida
    3. Idaho
    4. Oregon
    5. South Dakota
    6. West Virginia
    7. Wisconsin
    8. Wyoming

    b.   Ballot Request (FPCA)

    1. Alabama
    2. Wyoming – if originally registered with FPCA

    May submit FPCA by email or fax, but must mail form too:

    1. Arkansas
    2. Connecticut
    3. New Jersey
    4. New York
    5. Rhode Island

    c.   Voted Ballot Return 🗳

    1. Arkansas
    2. Connecticut
    3. Georgia
    4. Idaho
    5. Illinois
    6. Iowa   *email/fax only in "hostile zone"
    7. Kentucky
    8. Maryland
    9. Michigan
    10. Minnesota
    11. Missouri  *email/fax only in "hostile zone"
    12. New Hampshire
    13. New York
    14. Ohio
    15. Pennsylvania
    16. South Dakota
    17. Tennessee
    18. Texas  *fax only in "hostile zone"
    19. Vermont
    20. Virginia
    21. Wisconsin
    22. Wyoming

     

    II.  States offering electronic options (email, online access, fax) to

    a.   Deliver Blank Ballot to Voter

    Every state will send absentee ballot electronically to voters abroad if preference to receive voting materials by "Email or online" or "Fax" is indicated on Ballot Request form (FPCA).

    b.   Return Voted Ballot 🗳

    1. Alabama – return using online upload of ballot if choosing to received voting materials by "Email or online."
    2. Alaska – return by fax if choosing to received voting materials by "Email or online" or "Fax."
    3. Arizona
    4. California – return by fax
    5. Colorado – vote online at ballotreturn.sos.colorado.gov
    6. Delaware
    7. District of Columbia
    8. Florida – return by fax
    9. Hawaii
    10. Indiana
    11. Louisiana – return by fax with prior arrangement by LEO
    12. Kansas
    13. Maine
    14. Massachusetts
    15. Mississippi
    16. Montana – vote online at www.vote4montana.us
    17. Nebraska – return by email or fax with prior arrangement by LEO
    18. Nevada
    19. New Jersey – return by email or fax, but must mail marked ballot too
    20. New Mexico
    21. North Carolina
    22. North Dakota
    23. Oklahoma – return by fax
    24. Oregon
    25. Rhode Island – check with your election official to return by email or fax
    26. South Carolina
    27. Utah
    28. Washington
    29. West Virginia
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    2019 Special Elections

    for Vacancies in the U.S. House

    North Carolina's 3rd | North Carolina's 9th | Pennsylvania's 12th | see Ballotpedia for State Legislative Special Elections ➚

    and coming early in 2020: Maryland's 7th | Wisconsin's 7th

     

    Make a new ballot request for 2019 — send the form right away!

    1. Go to www.votefromabroad.org to complete the *Ballot Request form (FPCA).
    2. Follow the Instructions to attach your signature online—or—print out and sign the completed form.
    3. Send the signed FPCA to your election official. You may EMAIL, FAX or MAIL your FPCA to your Local Election Official.

    We recommend that you request to receive your ballot by email/online or fax, for the fastest delivery. You can expect to receive your ballot 45 days before the election.

    If you have any questions while filling out the form, VoteFromAbroad.org has an online chat box (the orange square in the lower right corner of the screen).

    After you send in your form, be sure to email or call your Local Election Official to verify they received it and will be sending a ballot to you. The applicable contact information is in the printed instructions from VoteFromAbroad.org included with your completed form. You can also look up the contact information for your Local Election Official here: www.votefromabroad.org/states

     

    Maryland's 7th Congressional District — Special Primary: February 4, 2020 | Special General: April 28, 2020

    The special election will fill the vacancy left by Elijah Cummings (D), who died on October 17, 2019. MD-07 contains portions of Howard and Baltimore counties and parts of the city of Baltimore. 

     

    Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District — Special Primary: February 18, 2020 | Special General: May 12, 2020

    The special election will fill the vacancy left by Sean Duffy (R), who left office on September 23, 2019. WI-07 includes Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Clark, Douglas, Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor, Vilas, and Washburn counties. Portions of Chippewa, Jackson, Juneau, Monroe, and Wood counties are also in the district.

     

    North Carolina's 3rd Congressional District — Special General: Sept 10, 2019

    Concerns all overseas voters who vote in the eastern portion of the state and includes all or parts of Currituck, Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Chowan, Tyrrell, Dare, Hyde, Beaufort, Pamlico, Carteret, Pitt, Craven, Onslow, Jones, Lenoir, and Greene [MAP] to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Walter Jones (R) on February 10, 2019.

    Allen Thomas won the Democratic nomination [www.allenthomascongress.com | Facebook | Twitter | Ballotpedia bio ]

    The Republicans must go to a Primary Runoff Election to pick their nominee. The Republican only Primary Runoff Election will be held on July 9, 2019. Allen Thomas (D) will face the winner of the Republican nomination in the Special General Election on Sept 10, 2019.

    General Election: Sept 10, 2019
    Register to Vote: Sept 9, 5pm (NC time) by email, fax or mail
    Request Ballot: Sept 9, 5pm (NC time) received by email, fax or mail
    Return Ballot: mail by Sept 9, 11:59pm (voter time) and ballot must be received by Sept 19,
     OR email or fax received by Sept 10, 7:30pm (NC time)
    *May use FWAB to register to vote and vote at the same time.

     

    North Carolina's 9th Congressional District — Special General: Sept 10, 2019

    Concerns all overseas voters who vote in the southern portion of the state and includes all or parts of Anson, Bladen, Cumberland, Mecklenburg, Richmond, Robeson, Scotland and Union counties. [MAP]

    With only 905 votes between the top two candidates, NC State Board of Elections refused to a declare a winner following the November 6, 2018 General Election, due to ballot fraud allegations in parts of the district, specifically in Bladen and Robeson Counties. On February 21, 2019, voted 5-0 to call a new election. The GOP candidate implicated in the fraud announced that he would not run in the special election, citing a "health situation".¹ ²  

    Dan McCready (D) is still in this race and, as the only Democrat running, there was no need for a Democratic Primary. [ DanMcCready.com | Facebook | Twitter | Ballotpedia bio ]

    General Election: Sept 10, 2019
    Register to Vote: Sept 9, 5pm (NC time) by email, fax or mail
    Request Ballot: Sept 9, 5pm (NC time) received by email, fax or mail
    Return Ballot: mail by Sept 9, 11:59pm (voter time) and ballot must be received by Sept 19,
     OR email or fax received by Sept 10, 7:30pm (NC time)
    *May use FWAB to register to vote and vote at the same time.

     

    Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District — Special Election: May 21, 2019

    Republican Fred Keller won the May 21st Special Election, retaining the seat for the Republicans. He'll serve out the remainder of the term and stand for re-election in Nov 2020.

    Concerns all overseas voters who vote in portions of Bradford, Centre, Clinton, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, and Wyoming counties [MAP] to fill the vacancy caused when Representative Tom Marino (R) resigned from office on January 23, 2019 to take a job in the private sector. 

    Democrats nominated Marc Friedenberg (D) on February 12: [ www.MarcforPA.com | Facebook | Twitter | Ballotpedia bio ]

    General Election: May 21, 2019
    Register to Vote: April 22 mail by or received by email, fax or online ⁱ
    Request Ballot: May 20, received by email, fax or mail
    Return Ballot: mail by May 20, no later than 11:59pm and received by May 28 at 5pm
    *Must register to vote prior to using the FWAB to vote.

    ⁱ If registering to vote online, overseas voters must also send in the FPCA form to request a ballot by the deadline 

    ⚠️Remember that PA changed their congressional districts in 2018 so be sure to check the 2018 Remedial Map for New District 12.

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    2019 State Gubernatorial and Legislative Elections

    Five states — Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia — will hold General Elections in November 2019 for state executive offices, state legislative offices or both.

        State Election
    Tue May 21 Kentucky Primary
    Tue Jun 04 New Jersey Primary
    Tue Jun 11 Virginia Primary
    Tue Aug 06 Mississippi Primary
    Tue Aug 27 Mississippi Primary Runoff 
    (If needed, top two finishers for any office where no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote in the Mississippi Primary Election)
    Sat Oct 12 Louisiana Primary
    (Any candidate who receives at least 50% of the vote in the Louisiana Primary Election wins office and does not go to the Louisiana General Election)
         
    Sat Sep 21 45 Days to Election: overseas absentee ballots for the General Election should be arriving
         
    Tue Nov 05 General Election - Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia
    Sat Nov 16 General Election - Louisiana 
    (If needed, top two finishers for any office where no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote in the Louisiana Primary Election)

    Advice for voters on US plans to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union (UPU)

    Download 2019 State Gubernatorial and Legislative Elections list (Google Doc)

     

    What is on the Ballot in 2019?

    • Kentucky — includes Governor, Lt. Gov, Attorney General and Secretary of State
      *All overseas voters, except those who have "never resided in the U.S.", may vote in KY state elections
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    • Louisiana — includes Governor, Lt. Gov, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Senate and State House
      *All overseas voters, except those who have "never resided in the U.S.", may vote in LA state elections
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    • The race for Governor (Democratic John Bel Edwards seeks re-election) and Secretary of State (Democrat Gwen Collins-Greenup) advance to General Election on Nov 16.
    • Mississippi — includes Governor, Lt. Gov, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Senate and State House
    • *All overseas voters, except those who have "never resided in the U.S.", may vote in MS state elections
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    • New Jersey — General Assembly
    • *Overseas voters who indicate they "intend to return" may vote in NJ state elections
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    • Virginia — includes State Senate and State House
      *Overseas voters who indicate they "intend to return" may vote in VA state elections.
      In addition, VA overseas voters who indicate their "return is uncertain" may vote in VA state elections if they provide the name of an overseas employer for either the voter or the voter's spouse or the voter's parent (if the voter is a dependent)
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