Voting Blog

California Voters - VOTE "NO" in the Sept 14th Recall Election

Democrats Need to Turn Out & VOTE "NO" -- Don't Let Republicans Take the California Governor's Office

Democrats must turn out to vote AGAINST the recall of current California Governor Gavin Newsom (D)! If this recall succeeds, Republicans will remove Newsom, who won in 2018 with nearly 62% of the vote, and replace him with a Republican.

Democrats can't afford to be complacent in this election. Republicans are highly motivated and even in a deep blue state like California, recent polls indicate that likely voters are now evenly split. Think of the damage a Republican Governor could do in California and beyond. We cannot sit on our hands and allow Republicans to take the Governor's office.

  1)  FILL OUT YOUR RECALL BALLOT TODAY!

Ballots went out to all California voters on July 31--either via email or postal mail depending on the preference you indicated. If you haven't seen your ballot yet, check your spam folder and secondary inboxes.

Here's what the ballot looks like--Stop the Recall by Voting NO!


**Special Note to Voters in Counties That Require a California Driver's License to Access Your Ballot**

We're hearing that the ballot access link for some counties, such as Alameda, require voters to provide a California Driver's License.
Don't worry--you can get your ballot even without a Calif Driver's License! According to Calif election officials:

IF YOU DON'T HAVE A CALIFORNIA DRIVER'S LICENSE, ENTER THIS NUMBER INSTEAD: A1234567.


IMPORTANT: If you didn't get your ballot, you may be able to vote, but time is running short, so don't delay!

First, confirm that you're on the voter rolls and your ballot was sent out to you. You can check online using this website: https://california.ballottrax.net/voter  Or, email or call your local election office. You can find the contact information at: www.votefromabroad.org/states/ca; scroll down to "Find Your Election Office"

Then, ask your local election office to email you a new one. It's the same contact information--just go www.votefromabroad.org/states/ca; scroll down to "Find Your Election Office"

Alternatively, many counties have ballots available for download, known as the Remote Accessible Ballot By Mail ("RAVBM"). RAVBMs were originally set up for voters with disabilities, but are available for all voters in 2021.

  • The link for Los Angeles County's downloadable RAVBM is: https://ravbm.lavote.net

  • The link for San Francisco County's downloadable RAVBM is: https://sfelections.org/tools/ravbm

  • If you vote in another county, you can find out if it has RAVBM ballots available for download by searching for "[name of your county] RAVBM"

Finally, if you have trouble getting in touch with your local election office or cannot download a ballot, you can also vote using a Backup Ballot (the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, or FWAB). It’s only for overseas voters and protects your right to vote. For detailed information how to use the Backup Ballot, please go to www.votefromabroad.org/fwab

The Backup Ballot isn't set up for an unusual election like the Governor Recall election, but in the "Write in Candidates" section, you can indicate "Governor Recall Election" and "NO"  Here's an example:

Then send in your Backup Ballot by fax or mail, just like the official ballot.


  2)  RETURN YOUR BALLOT TO YOUR LOCAL ELECTION OFFICE IN CALIFORNIA--DON'T WAIT, DO IT NOW!

We recommend returning your ballot by FAX. If you return it by fax, it must be received by September 14, 8:00 PM (California time).

Most people don't have a fax machine these days, but you can fax back your ballot using one of these methods:

1. Use a public fax machine (search for "fax machine near me");

2. Use an email-to-fax service (search for online services or a fax app for your phone);

3. Use the email-to-fax service through the Federal Voting Assistance Program (www.FVAP.gov).

For more ideas on how to return your ballot by fax, go to www.votefromabroad.org/how-to-return-your-ballot (under "How to Return Your Ballot Electronically").

You can also return your ballot by postal mail, but be careful of the deadlines. If you return your ballot by postal mail, it must be Postmarked by September 14 AND Received in California September 21.


  3) CONFIRM THAT YOUR BALLOT WAS ACCEPTED AND WILL BE COUNTED

Make sure your vote is counted. Please make sure your ballot was received and accepted.

Track your ballot online using this website: https://california.ballottrax.net/voter

Or, email or call your local election office. You can find the contact information at: www.votefromabroad.org/states/ca; scroll down to "Find Your Election Office"

 

NEED HELP? EMAIL US AT [email protected]

 



Votantes de California - VOTEN "NO" en las elecciones de desafuero del 14 de septiembre

Los Demócratas necesitan salir a votar “NO”  -- No permitan que los Republicanos tomen el cargo del Gobernador de California.

Los Demócratas necesitan salir a votar CONTRA la elección de desafuero del Gobernador actual de California, Gavin Newson (D)!  Si esta elección tiene éxito, los Republicanos echarán a Newson, quien ganó en 2018 con casi 62% del voto, y lo reemplazarían con un Republicano.

Los Demócratas no pueden darse el lujo de ser complaciente en esta elección.  Los Republicanos están muy motivados y aún en un estado tan “azul” como California, las encuestas recientes indican que los votantes probables están divididos equitativamente.  Piense en el daño que un Gobernador Republicano pueda causar en California y más allá.  No podemos permitir que los Republicanos tomen el cargo del Gobernador.

1) ¡RELLENE SU BOLETA HOY!

Se enviaron las boletas a todos los votantes de California el 31 de julio—O por correo electrónico o por servicio postal, dependiendo de la preferencia que usted indicó.  Si no ha recibido su boleta, revise su “spam folder” y sus “inbox” secundarias.

Así es como se ve la boleta—Vote NO!

Traducción de la boleta:

Cargos Nominados por los Votantes

Todos los votantes, independientemente de la preferencia de partido que revelaron al registrarse, o negarse a revelar la preferencia de un partido, pueden votar por cualquier candidato para un cargo nominado por los votantes.

ESTADO

Gavin Newsom debería ser desaforado (quitado) del cargo de gobernador?

 
  NO


IMPORTANTE:  Si no recibió su boleta, podría votar de todos modos, pero le queda muy poco tiempo.  ¡No se demore!

Primero confirme que está en las listas de votantes y que se le envió la boleta.  Usted lo puede confirmar en linea en la página de web http://california.ballottrax.net/voter    O póngase en contacto por correo electrónico o por teléfono con su oficina electoral local.  Si no sabe cómo ponerse en contacto, haga “click” en: www.votefromabroad.org/es/states/CA     y desplácese hacia abajo para “Funcionarios Electorales"

Luego, pida a su oficina electoral que le envíe una boleta nueva por correo electrónico.  Alternativamente, muchos condados tienen boletas disponible para descargar, conocida como Remote Accessible Ballot by Mail (“RAVBM”).  Antes los RAVBMs eran para votantes discapacitados, pero en el 2021 están disponibles para todos los votantes.

  • El “link” para descargar los RAVBM para el Condado de Los Angeles es  http://ravbm.lavote.net   

  • El “link” para descargar los RAVBM para el Condado de San Francisco es  http://sfelections.org/tools/ravbm

  • Si vota en otro condado, usted puede averiguar si hay boletas RAVBM para descargar buscando “[nombre de su condado] RAVBM"

Finalmente, si le hace difícil ponerse en contacto con su oficina electoral local, o no puede descargar su boleta, usted puede usar la boleta de respaldo (the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, conocido como FWAB).  Solamente votantes en el extranjero pueden usar esto, y protege su derecho al voto.  Para información detallada de cómo usar esta boleta de respaldo, vaya al www.votefromabroad.org/es/fwab

La boleta de respaldo no está configurado para una elección extraordinaria como la desafuero de un gobernador, pero en la sección de “Write in candidates” usted puede indicar “Governor Recall Election “ y “NO” Aquí tiene un ejemplo:

Luego envíe su boleta de respaldo por Fax o correo postal como la boleta oficial.


2) DEVUELVA SU BOLETA A SU OFICINA LOCAL DE ELECCIONES EN CALIFORNIA- NO ESPERE HÁGALO ¡YA!

Le recomendamos que devuelva su boleta por FAX. Si devuelve su boleta por fax tiene que ser recibida el 14 de SEPTIEMBRE a las 8:00 PM hora de California.

La mayoría de la gente no tiene máquinas de fax, pero usted puede devolver su boleta por fax usando uno de los siguientes métodos:

  1. Use una máquina de fax pública (busque una máquina de fax cerca de usted)

  2. Use un servicio de e-mail-a- fax (busque servicios en línea o aplicaciones de fax para su celular)

  3. Use el servicio de e-mail-a-fax usando el Programa Federal de Asistencia al Votante: www.fvap.gov (FVAP por sus siglas en ingles)

Para más ideas de cómo devolver su boleta por fax favor de visitar:  www.votefromabroad.org/Cómo Entregar Su Boleta Electoral (busque bajo "CÓMO ENTREGAR SU BOLETA ELECTORAL DE FORMA ELECTRÓNICA:").

También puede devolver su boleta por correo postal pero tenga en cuenta la fecha límite . Si devuelve su boleta por correo tiene que ser marcada por el correo el 14 de SEPTIEMBRE y recibida el 21 de SEPTIEMBRE en California.


3) CONFIRME QUE SU BOLETA HAYA SIDO ACEPTADA Y QUE VA A SER CONTADA

Asegúrese que su voto cuente. Por favor asegúrese que su boleta sea recibida y aceptada. 

Puede usar el método de rastreo en esta página: http://california.ballottrax.net/voter

O, puede mandar un correo electrónico o llamar a su oficina local de elecciones. Puede encontrar la información de contacto aquí: www.votefromabroad.org/es/states/ca; desplazase hacia abaja hasta:  “Funcionarios Electorales

 ¿NECESITA MÁS AYUDA? MÁNDENOS UN CORREO ELECTRÓNICO A: [email protected]


2021 Special and State-wide Elections

2021 is considered an "off-year" for elections, but there are still major elections happening in:

California, New Jersey, Virginia, Ohio, and Florida

To register to vote and/or request your ballot for 2021, go to www.votefromabroad.org


1. CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR RECALL ELECTION - SEPTEMBER 14, 2021

Special election to determine if Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom should be recalled. And, if he is recalled, who should be his successor.

Who can vote: All overseas California voters who are registered to vote by the deadline

Voters will be able to vote on two questions:

(1) Should Governor Newsom be recalled? Yes or No  -- we urge you to vote NO

2) In the event Gov Newsom is recalled, whom do you choose to succeed him as governor?
You must choose from the list of candidates on the ballot and Governor Newsom is not an option.

Important reminder to voters: Even if you vote NO on the recall, you should also vote for a Democrat to succeed Gov Newsom in the event the recall is successful.


Deadline to Register to Vote: May be sent in by Mail or Fax (Online submission available only with valid California state identification)

  • Postmarked by: Aug 30, 2021 - If sent by Mail

  • Received by: Aug 30, 2021 - If sent by Fax or submitted online (to use online registration you must have a Calif driver's license or ID)

  • Conditional Registration: Available from Aug 31 to Sep 14 for voters who appear in person in California


Deadline to Request a Ballot: May be submitted by Email, Fax, or Mail (Online submission available only with valid California state identification)

  • Not Required: Every California voter who is registered by the deadline will receive a ballot

*If you haven't voted in the last 4 general elections (that is, haven't voted since 2012), then you may not be considered a registered voter any more and you'll need to register to vote by the Aug 30 deadline.


Deadline to Return Ballot: May be returned by Mail or Fax

  • Postmarked by Sept 14, 2021 AND Received by Sept 21, 2021 - if sent by Mail

  • Received by Sept 14, 2021, 8pm - if sent by Fax

 

2. NEW JERSEY STATE ELECTIONS: GENERAL ELECTION - NOV 2, 2021
Offices on the ballot: Governor, Lt Governor, State Senate, and State Assembly

Who can vote: Overseas NJ voters who indicate that they "intend to return" to NJ

*Overseas NJ voters who indicate their "intention to return is uncertain" or that they have "never resided" in the US are eligible to vote in federal elections only and will not receive a ballot for NJ state elections


Deadline to Register to Vote: May be sent in by Email, Fax, or Mail

  • Received by Oct 3, 2021 - If you request on your form that your ballot be sent to you by Mail

  • Received by Oct 12, 2021 - If you request on your form that your ballot be sent to you by Email or Fax


Deadline to Request a Ballot: May be sent in by Email, Fax, or Mail or Fax
 *Even if you are registered to vote, you MUST send in a form to request your ballot in 2021 to vote in this election

  • Received by Oct 3, 2021 - If you request on your form that your ballot be sent to you by Mail

  • Received by Oct 29, 2021 - If you request on your form that your ballot be sent to you by Email or Fax


Deadline to Return Ballot: May be returned by Email, Fax, or Mail
 *If returned by Email or Fax, voter must also put original ballot in the mail at that time

  • Received by Nov 2, 2021, 8pm

 

3. VIRGINIA STATE ELECTIONS: GENERAL ELECTION - NOV 2, 2021
Offices on the ballot: Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and State House of Delegates

Who can vote: Overseas VA voters who indicate that they "intend to return." Also, overseas VA voters who indicate their "intention to return is uncertain" if they provide the name of an employer for themselves, their spouse, or their parent (if a dependent).

*Overseas VA voters who indicate their "intention to return is uncertain" and do not have an employer, or that they have "never resided" in the US are eligible to vote in federal elections only and will not receive a ballot for VA state elections


Deadline to Register to Vote: May be sent in by Email, Fax, or Mail

  • Received by Oct 12, 2021, 5pm - For civilian (non-military) overseas voters

  • Received by Nov 2, 2021, 7pm - For military voters and their eligible family members


Deadline to Request a Ballot: May be sent in by Email, Fax, or Mail
 *Even if you are registered to vote, you MUST send in a form to request your ballot in 2021 to vote in this election

  • Received by Oct 22, 2021, 5pm


Deadline to Return Ballot: Must be returned by Mail

  • Postmarked by Nov 2, 2021, 7pm AND Received by Nov 5, 2021, 12 Noon

 

4. SPECIAL CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS: OHIO CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS 11 and 15
GENERAL ELECTIONS - NOV 2, 2021

OH-11 Special election to replace Democrat Marcia Fudge, who resigned her seat to serve as Secretary of Housing & Urban Development

OH-15 Special election to replace Republican Steve Stivers, who resigned his seat to become President of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce

Who can vote: All overseas voters with a voting address in either Ohio's 11th or 15th Congressional Districts
*To find your Congressional District, enter your voting address here: www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative


Deadline to Register to Vote: May be sent in by Email, Fax, or Mail

  • Received by Oct 4, 2021


Deadline to Request a Ballot: May be sent in by Email, Fax, or Mail
*Even if you are registered to vote, you MUST send in a form to request your ballot in 2021 to vote in this election

  • Received by Oct 30, 2021, 12 Noon

Deadline to Return Ballot: Must be returned by Mail
 *It's ok to use a private courier services, such as DHL or FedEx, but a different deadline applies:

  • Postmarked by Nov 1, 2021 AND Received by Nov 12, 2021 - If returned by regular mail;

  • Or, Received by Nov 2, 2021, 7:30pm - If returned by courier service

 

5. SPECIAL CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION: FLORIDA CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 20
PRIMARY ELECTION - NOV 2, 2021  [GENERAL ELECTION - JANUARY 11, 2022]

Special election to replace Democrat Alcee Hastings, who died on April 6, 2021

Who can vote: All overseas voters with a voting address in Florida's 20th Congressional District
*To find your Congressional District, enter your voting address here: www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative


Deadline to Register to Vote: Must be sent in by Mail (Online submission available only with valid Florida state identification)

  • Postmarked by Oct 4, 2021 - If sent in by Mail

  • Received by Oct 4, 2021 - If submitted online (to use online registration you must have a FL driver's license or ID) 


Deadline to Request a Ballot: May be sent in by Email, Fax, or Mail
*Even if you are registered to vote, you MUST send in a form to request your ballot in 2021 to vote in this election

  • Received by Oct 23, 2021

Deadline to Return Ballot: May be returned by Fax or Mail

  • Received by Nov 2, 2021, 7pm - If returned by Fax

  • Postmarked by Nov 2, 2021 AND Received by Nov 12, 2021 - If returned by Mail

Volunteer Opportunities - How to Support the Senate Runoff in Georgia

Interested in helping Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev Raphael Warnock win election to the US Senate--and help Democrats gain control of the Senate?

Click on this link for Volunteer Opportunities


Cure Your Ballot

Make sure your ballot counts this year - track your ballot to check it has been accepted.

You can still "cure" your ballot in states including Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and North Carolina.

*Check your email, especially your spam folder and any secondary inboxes, for any notices from your county. Any questions? Get in touch in the comment bubble below or email [email protected]

Arizona voters
1. Check your ballot status: https://my.arizona.vote/AbsenteeTracker.aspx
   [Website requires a Voter Identification number--check the email you received when you got your ballot]
2. If there is a problem or if you can't access the website, contact your county immediately to find out how to "cure" it
    [find contact info here]
3. Maricopa county ballot cure details
Deadline to Cure:  5th business day after federal election = Nov 10, 2020

Georgia voters
1. Check your ballot status: https://georgia.ballottrax.net/voter/ or  https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do
   [After you submit your information, go to "Click here for Absentee Ballot status" in lower left box]
2. If there is a problem, contact your county immediately [find contact info here]
3. You will need to send in a photo ID (US passport or military ID is ok) & Signature Cure affidavit confirming the ballot is yours
(You can send in ID and affidavit by email or fax)
Deadline to Cure:  3 days after election = Nov 6, 2020

Nevada voters

1. Check your ballot status: https://nevada.ballottrax.net/voter/ or  https://www.nvsos.gov/VoterSearch/ 
2. If there is a problem, contact your county clerk immediately (find contact info here)
3. You will need to confirm your signature belongs to you. The process is set up on a county by county basis.
Deadline to Cure:  7 days after federal election = Nov 12, 2020 at 5pm (Nevada time)

North Carolina voters

1. Check your ballot status: https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/
2. If there is a problem, contact your county clerk immediately (find contact info here)
3. You will need to provide an Absentee Cure Certification if your signature is missing or in the wrong place (you can send in the Absentee Cure Certification by email or fax)
Deadline to Cure:  7 days after federal election = Nov 12, 2020 at 5pm ET


More details on ballot "curing" 

Part of the process of counting absentee ballots is verifying that these have been submitted following the state election rules. If such a problem arises, the ballot may not be accepted and therefore not counted. Many states’ election laws provide for a process called ‘curing,’ which gives voters a chance to fix this problem so that their ballots can be counted.

Ballot curing entails two steps:

1. The Local Election Official identifies a problem including:

A) A voter’s signature doesn’t match the one on file. This can happen if a voter signs their ballot materials with a mouse or trackpad, making the signature
different from one written with a pen. If the signature on file is years or decades old, it may differ from the current signature.
B) A voter’s signature is missing or in the wrong place on the ballot
C) Witness information (where relevant) is incorrect or incomplete.

2. The LEO contacts the voter and offers a way to fix or “cure” the problem. Typically, the LEO will give the voter an affidavit to sign and return with a form of identification like a copy of a passport or state driver’s license. By completing this process, the ballot can then be counted. (For a complete list of the verification process by state, click here. For a list of states that allow signature correction, click here.)


General Election Voting Survey

 >>> Share your voting experience <<<

Your voter story can help Americans abroad protect our right to have our ballots counted.

Democrats Abroad is preparing to go to court to fight for absentee ballots to be counted in the United States. Please share your voting experience in this short survey. We will also use this information to push for election reform in Congress and in state legislatures.

 


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

Video Training for GA Senate Run-off election. Questions? Email: [email protected]

Updated Training November 22nd:
https://youtu.be/5OvhvTnzjW8

 

Training November 13th
https://youtu.be/XnVNaWrPOLc

For Generic Voter Registration training see below:

You can also watch this handy training video (just hit play) to get the basics of voter registration using votefromabroad.orgOnce you have taken a training take this certification quiz. Once you've done that you'll hear from us!

 

Should you have training questions email: [email protected]

Here is a handy website to convert the time zone to yours wherever you are in the world.

 


What to do if your FWAB is rejected

Are you worried about your Federal Write in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) getting accepted by your election office in the US? Federal law protects these ballots, and we can help too. If you hear from your local election office that they have turned down your FWAB, please consider sending your election officer the below email, customized to your situation. 

For supporting guidance on FWABs, we recommend reviewing this document from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP.gov).

Read more

Email Ballot Return

Every state is required by the federal Military and Overseas Voters Empowerment Act (the “MOVE Act”) to provide blank absentee ballots to military and overseas voters (“UOCAVA voters”) in at least one electronic format—email, fax or online delivery system.  And, every state must do so at least 45 days before an election.  This year, that deadline is September 19, 2020.

This federal requirement is limited to sending blank ballots to voters.   The MOVE Act allows each state to direct how these ballots are to be returned.  Currently, 35 states and territories have gone beyond the federal requirement to allow UOCAVA voters to submit their voted ballots electronically (email, fax or online) as well.  This leaves 20 states that require return via post.

This year, postal delivery and consular pouches from abroad will be significantly delayed, and in some cases altogether unavailable.  Hundreds of thousands of UOCAVA ballots will be received too late to be counted. What can states do to enfranchise their overseas voters in time for the November 2020 election?

The best solution is to allow and enable ballot return via email.  Twenty-six States already allow emailed ballot return, which attests to its efficiency and relative security; even more states are moving in that direction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In July 2020, Vermont amended its procedures to allow for the email return of ballots from countries that do not have reliable postal service to the United States. In mid-August Rhode Island also shifted its requirements, allowing UOCAVA voters to return their ballots by email rather than fax, Missouri has recently confirmed that it will extend the practice they adopted during their primary and allow email ballot return, and Iowa has also moved to email ballot return. Wyoming is working with its counties to provide either fax or email ballot return for their overseas voters. 

No state in the US handles more ballot returns by email than Washington State, which transmitted more than 100k ballots to UOCAVA voters in 2016. 

King County, Washington, for instance, has assembled a nonpartisan “Alternative Format Ballot Team” within the Elections Administration section to handle email and faxed ballots. The team has its own procedures, guidelines and training; most are paid staff who work for 2-3 weeks during each election season.  The team maintains a secure email account to which voters can email their ballots as attachments; the account is completely separate from the broader state election network to mitigate system infiltration. 

During election season, the team monitors the email account regularly.  When a ballot is received, team members manually download each ballot from the email account, save it to a folder and print it according to their procedures. They also check spam and other background folders to ensure that no ballots are inadvertently sorted there.  Voter authentication is generally ensured by signature verification. Once a ballot is received, printed and stored, the signature is compared to the one on record for that voter. In addition, each ballot has a unique serial number which is connected to that ballot and voter.  Once authenticated, the printed ballots are fed into the tabulating process just as any ballot received via postal mail.  The same basic process is replicated in Oregon and other email states.

Compared to more complicated online voting portals (such as in West Virginia) the security considerations for email ballot return are relatively straightforward. The largest risk vector is attachment security, i.e. someone intercepting an emailed ballot after it is sent by a voter but before it is received by the state elections account.  The two manifestations of that risk are (1) election system infiltration from an intercepted ballot and (2) illicit changes to an intercepted ballot - but these risks are small. To protect against the former, most states already have cybersecurity software that performs a threat scan on all incoming attachments; separating the UOCAVA computer from the broader state election system can further mitigate this risk. Regarding the latter, a one-off opportunity to affect a single ballot is simply not the sort of risk that usually materializes. The larger risk in electronic submission would come from a denial of service attack, which would overwhelm election systems and prevent voted ballots from getting through. DNS attacks are very noticeable events, however, and allow election officials the opportunity to respond with other delivery options.

Privacy considerations also arise with emailed ballots. To be sure, such ballots will not remain private and anonymous, but voters who decide to vote by email are informed and must expressly agree to this as a trade-off for a guaranteed counted vote transmitted with ease. In Oregon, for instance, voters must sign a secret ballot waiver form when voting by email. In King County, Washington, there is an affirmative statement to this effect on the online ballot form. States can also decide to compartmentalize the downloading, printing, authenticating, and counting of emailed ballots, thereby reducing the election personnel exposed to email voter identities. 

The additional costs of implementing an email ballot return system is minimal. Every state already has online voter registration systems, so they also already have certain electronic security protocols in place. Every state already has some personnel to review, authenticate and tabulate UOCAVA votes received via mail, as well. The only additional cost of allowing emailed ballots is the cost of maintaining and checking a separate email account; saving and printing the attachments; and tabulating more votes—which should be the ultimate goal of any election process.  

In the end, all forms of voting carry risks that may be outweighed (or not) by the practicality of enfranchising voters. In 2020, voters face obstacles that have never before been fully appreciated—e.g. the health risk of in-person voting, the disruption of postal services around the world, and the uncertainty of diplomatic pouches. So this year, states that have been slow to modernize their voting methods need to weigh these real and proven obstacles (and guaranteed voter disenfranchisement of several million voters) against the potential cyber risks that would follow from allowing these voters to exercise their right via email—just as a majority of states already allow. 

 


Voting Issues for postal mail voters abroad: US Postal Service return to sender (NIXIE label)

Summary: During the 2018 general election cycle, hundreds of postal mailed ballots and other voting materials were erroneously returned to voters abroad by the USPS from International Service Centers in the US, principally the ISC in NY. The USPS was unable to explain why this material was returned to sender. 

Details: During the course of the research that Democrats Abroad conducted into this issue, we talked with Lori Gaither-Gordon from USPS (a senior consumer manager based in CT) and Lisa Del Rio Leavenworth (Inplant Support – NEA).  

Read more