Voting Blog

Vote from Abroad: Voter registration training

 

Help Get Out The Vote (GOTV) in 2020

Are you an American living abroad and want to help register voters that live abroad?
Drop in for one of our voter trainings and learn how easy it is help get out the vote wherever you are around the world!
Event length will vary based on factors but average session 1-2 hrs

Click on the specific dates to RSVP and get the specific login details:

Hosted by DA Switzerland: July 28th 8pm CEST (2pm Eastern)
Hosted by DA United Kingdom: July 30th 2pm BST (9am Eastern)
Hosted by DA Netherlands: August 2nd 1pm CEST (7am Eastern)
Hosted by DA Germany: August 3rd 7pm CEST (1pm Eastern)

Hosted by DA United Kingdom: August 9th 4pm CEST (10am Eastern)
Hosted by DA United Kingdom: August 13th 2pm BST (9am Eastern)
Hosted by DA Netherlands: August 16th 1pm CEST (7am Eastern)
Hosted by DA United Kingdom: August 16th 4pm CEST (10am Eastern)
Hosted by DA United Kingdom: August 20th 2pm BST (9am Eastern)
Hosted by DA United Kingdom: August 23rd 4pm CEST (10am Eastern)
Hosted by DA United Kingdom: August 27th 2pm BST (9am Eastern)
Hosted by DA United Kingdom: August 30th 4pm CEST (10am Eastern)
Hosted by DA Netherlands: September 6th 1pm CEST (7am Eastern)

**if you cannot make an live event you can watch this handy training video (just hit play) to get the basics of voter registration using votefromabroad.org**

Should you have training questions email: Comms@votefromabroad.org

Here is a handy website to convert the time to where you are in the world.

 


LIVE global voter registration assistance

Did you know every eligible American living abroad can vote in U.S. elections this year? 

Do you have questions about how to vote? Click the chat bubble at the bottom of this screen and we'll help you find the answers.  

Starting July 26th, join us any Sunday till November from midnight to midnight Eastern time to talk to a volunteer LIVE on Zoom about questions you have about voting from abroad.

More information: The easiest way to request your ballot is at VoteFromAbroad.org. It takes just a few minutes to complete and send in your form to the US state where you last lived. The website will guide you step by step. In most cases it’s pretty simple. But if you’re new to overseas voting, or if you haven’t done it in a while, you may have additional questions. That’s why we’ll be here every Sunday until election day to help.

If you can’t make it any Sunday, you can always email us at helpdesk@votefromabroad.org or send in your question through our online help bubble, and a volunteer will get back to you.

CLICK ON A DATE TO GET SPECIFIC DETAILS :

July 26th,  
August 2nd9th,  16th23rd, 30th
September 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
October 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
November 1st


New Voter Registration Training

Join our voter registration team—protect votes from abroad!

Democrats Abroad sets up Voter Registration events all over the world to help overseas voters makes sure they will get their ballots and VOTE!

Overseas voters need to send in their Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) form to request their ballot every calendar year in which they wish to vote. Our website, www.votefromabroad.org, makes it easy for overseas voters to fill in and submit their form.

To volunteer at a Democrats Abroad Voter Registration event near you, please contact your local chapter of Democrats Abroad. Go to: www.democratsabroad.org and click on "Countries" for contact information--or email us at: gotv@democratsabroad.org

These training materials will provide the background you'll need to volunteer at a voter registration event and help your friends, family, and other overseas voters register to vote and request their ballots. (For your convenience, the training materials are offered either in a training deck OR video format):

 

Questions about voter registration or volunteering? Send an email to the Voter Help Desk at: gotv@democratsabroad.org


2020 Primary Calendar

    State / Territorial Primary
Mon Feb  3 Presidential Only:  Iowa caucuses
Tue Feb 11 Presidential Only:  New Hampshire
Sat Feb 22 Presidential Only:  Nevada caucus (D)
Sat Feb 29 Presidential Only:  South Carolina (D)
Tue Mar  3 Alabama ∙ Arkansas ∙ California ∙ North Carolina ∙ Texas
Presidential Only:  American Samoa caucus (D) ∙ Colorado ∙ Maine ∙ Massachusetts ∙ Minnesota ∙ Oklahoma ∙ Tennessee ∙ Utah ∙ Vermont ∙ Virginia
    Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary runs through March 10
Tue Mar 10 Mississippi
Presidential Only:  Idaho ∙ Michigan ∙ Missouri ∙ North Dakota caucus (D) ∙ Washington
Sat Mar 14 Northern Marianas convention (D)
Tue Mar 17 Illinois
Presidential Only:  Arizona (D) ∙ Florida
Tue Mar 31 Arkansas runoff ∙ Mississippi runoff
Sat Apr  4 Presidential Only:  Alaska (D) ∙ Hawaii (D) ∙ Wyoming caucus (D)
Tue Apr  7 Presidential Only:  Wisconsin
Tue Apr 28 Ohio
Sat May 2 Presidential Only:  Guam caucus (D) ∙ Kansas (D)
Tues May 12 Nebraska
Tue May 19 Oregon
US Congress & State:  Idaho
Tue Jun  2 District of Columbia ∙ Indiana ∙ Maryland ∙ Montana ∙ New Mexico ∙ Pennsylvania ∙ South Dakota
Presidential Only: Rhode Island
US Congress & State:  Iowa
Sat Jun  6 Presidential Only:  Virgin Islands caucus (D)
Sun Jun  7 US Congress & State:  Puerto Rico
Tue Jun  9 Georgia ∙ West Virginia
US Congress & State:  Nevada ∙ North Dakota ∙ South Carolina
     
Tues Jun 23 Kentucky ∙ New York
US Congress & State:  Mississippi runoff ∙ South Carolina runoff ∙ Virginia
Tue Jun 30 US Congress & State:  Colorado ∙ Oklahoma ∙ Utah
Tue Jul 7 New Jersey
Presidential Only:  Delaware
Sat Jul 11 Presidential only:  Louisiana
Tue Jul 14 Alabama runoff ∙ Texas runoff
US Congress & State:  Maine
Sat Aug  1 US Congress & State:  Virgin Islands
Sat Aug  4 US Congress & State:  Arizona ∙ Kansas ∙ Michigan ∙ Missouri ∙ Washington
Thr Aug  6 US Congress & State:  Tennessee
Sat Aug  8 US Congress & State:  Hawaii
Tue Aug 11 Connecticut
US Congress & State:  Georgia runoff ∙ Minnesota ∙ South Dakota runoff ∙ Vermont ∙ Wisconsin
Tue Aug 18 US Congress & State:  Alaska ∙ Florida ∙ Wyoming
Tue Aug 25 US Congress & State:  Oklahoma runoff
Sat Aug 29 US Congress & State:  Guam
Tue Sep  1 US Congress & State:  Massachusetts
Tue Sep  8 US Congress & State:  New Hampshire ∙ Rhode Island
Tue Sep 15 US Congress & State:  Delaware
     
Sat Sep 19 45 Days to Election: Ballots for the November 3rd General Election should be arriving
     

 


2020 Special Elections

for Vacancies in the U.S. House

Maryland's 7th | Wisconsin's 7th | California's 25th | see Ballotpedia.org for US House Special Elections 2020 ➚

 

Make a NEW ballot request for 2020 — send your form as early as JAN 2, 2020.

  1. Go to www.votefromabroad.org to complete* the Ballot Request form (FPCA).
    We recommend that you choose to receive your ballot by EMAIL or ONLINE to get it fastest.
  2. Follow the instructions to attach your signature online, or print out the completed form to sign it.
  3. Send the signed FPCA to your election official.
    To request an absentee ballot, registered voters can EMAIL, FAX or MAIL the FPCA.
    To register to vote:
      •  Maryland and Wisconsin voters must MAIL the form.
      •  California voters can MAIL or FAX the form or register online.
  • 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. You can find contact information for your election official using the State Voting Guide on VoteFromAbroad.org or on the instructions printed with your completed form.
  • If you use the FPCA to request a ballot, only one form submission is needed to cover all 2020 elections, including the November 3 general election.
  • You can expect to receive your ballot 45 days before the election. Send your FPCA as early as January 2, 2020 to get all your ballots as soon as they are available. Mark your calendar: the November ballot will be sent to you by September 19.

If you have any questions while filling out the form on VoteFromAbroad.org, click the orange chat box button orange online chat button on the lower right corner of the screen to send a question to the Voter Help Desk or email gotv@democratsabroad.org.

 

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

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.  see map of MD-07 ➚

Primary ballots available from December 21, 2019 (MD has requested a delay for this deadline).
Special General ballots available from March 14.

 

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

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.  see map of WI-07 ➚

Primary ballots available from January 4.
Special General ballots available from March 28.

 

California's 25th Congressional District — Primary: March 3  |  General: May 12

The special election will fill the vacancy left by Katie Hill (D), who resigned her seat on November 1, 2019. CA-25 includes the north-eastern portion of Los Angeles County and a small portion of eastern Ventura County. In California, non-presidential primary elections include all candidates regardless of party. The top two finishers advance to the general election, again regardless of party.  see map of CA-25 ➚

March 3 Special Primary coincides with California's Presidential Primary election.

  • January 18: Primary ballots available.
  • February 18: Register to vote (MAIL postmarked, ONLINE, FAX received)
  • February 25: Request a ballot (EMAIL, ONLINE, FAX, MAIL received)
  • March 3: Return voted by ballot (MAIL postmarked, FAX received by 8pm). Mailed ballots must be received no later than 3 days after election. Under California law, while you may receive a blank ballot by email, you may not return a voted ballot by email.

Special General ballots available from March 28.

 


*Note: When you fill in your Ballot Request form, be aware that selecting "I intend to return" rather than "my return is not certain" may contribute towards establishing yourself as a tax resident in your voting state. Because the legal requirements to establish "residence" or "domicile" for tax purposes are determined by state law and the specific facts of your life, if you are thinking about indicating "intend to return" on your form, you may consider seeking advice on these matters from your tax professional. (Not applicable to voters in AK, FL, NV, SD, TX, WA and WY)

Read more

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!

 

 


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

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
    ➜ share on Facebook

  • 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
    ➜ share on Facebook

  • 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
    ➜ share on Facebook

  • New Jersey — General Assembly
  • *Overseas voters who indicate they "intend to return" may vote in NJ state elections
    ➜ share on Facebook

  • 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)
    ➜ share on Facebook

 

Read more

Federal review of ballot request and back-up ballot forms

Drafts of the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) forms are available for review and comment on the Federal Register until January 22 at regulations.gov.

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act -- also know as UOCAVA, the federal law that defines overseas voting -- requires that the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) review and accept public comment every three years on the two federal forms: the FPCA used to register to vote, request an absentee ballot and update contact information, and the FWAB  backup ballot if the voter doesn’t receive a requested ballot in time.

 

View and comment on the draft FPCA form: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=DOD-2018-OS-0092

View and comment on the draft FWAB form: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=DOD-2018-OS-0091


Georgia Secretary of State Dec 4 Runoff

Georgia will hold a State Runoff Election on Tuesday, December 4 to elect the next state Secretary of State. Georgia holds runoffs when no candidate receives a majority of the vote in an election. We all saw Republican Secretary of State Kemp carry out his outrageous tactics of voter suppression while serving his term as Georgia's chief election official, undermining democracy to narrowly eke out a win to be the next Governor over Stacey Adams. Vote for Democrat John Barrow     in the Runoff and ensure Georgia's future elections are fair and every vote is counted!

Overseas voters can vote in the Runoff Election if you registered as "intend to return" and also requested a ballot for the General Election. You should have received a Statewide State Office Write-In Ballot (SWAB) with the absentee ballot for the General Election, or download the SWAB. Official ballots will be mailed to voters, but time is tight to mail your ballot back before the deadline, so vote now using the SWAB!

Georgia Runoff for Georgia Secretary of State: Tuesday, December 4

  • Ballot Return: by mail only, postmarked by Tue, Dec 4 and received by Fri, Dec 7 to be counted

Please share this information on to any Georgia voters you know. Voters flipped by electing Lucy McBath, and we can flip this office too. Democrats win when Democrats vote!

Send any questions to gotv@democratsabroad.org. And complete our 2018 Voter Survey about voting in the 2018 midterms to help make it easier to #votefromabroad.

 

SWAB Instructions for Georgia Overseas Voters

from http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/elections/ballot_selection

  1. Write in the candidate's first and last name. 
  2. To ensure secrecy, place your folded ballot into a plain envelope and seal.
  3. Print and complete the required oath (PDF) statement. Place the completed oath and the sealed envelope into another outer envelope and seal. Write the words “Official Absentee Ballot” on the outer envelope. Failure to sign and return the oath will cause your SWAB to be rejected.
  4. Return the SWAB by mail to your local county registrar. The SWAB will not be accepted if it is returned by fax or email. All ballots postmarked by the runoff date will be counted if received by the county office within three days of the runoff election.