The Illinois Democratic Primary is on March 20. Now is the time to request your ballot for primary, and doing so means you will be signed up to get a ballot for every election in 2018 you are eligible to vote in—including the General Election in November and any special or runoff elections.
The primary election will choose the candidates who will break the Republican majority in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. Help pick the candidates who will advance your vision for the future.
Overseas voters who indicate that they "intend to return" on the ballot request form may also vote in Illinois state elections. Electing Democrats to the Illinois state legislature and local offices is the best way to hold Republicans accountable for the damage they and the current administration are doing to the U.S. and the world.
Request an Absentee Ballot
Overseas voters need to request a ballot every calendar year you want to vote. Be sure to submit a ballot request form for 2018! Go to www.votefromabroad.org and follow the prompts to fill in the form. Then print it out, sign it and EMAIL, FAX or MAIL to your Local Election Official in Illinois. To vote in the primary, your form must be RECEIVED in Illinois by Monday, March 12.
If you are currently not registered to vote, use the same form to both register and request an absentee ballot simultaneously. If you indicate you "intend to return" and want to vote in the primary for both state and federal offices, your form must be RECEIVED in Illinois by Monday, February 20. All other overseas voters will receive a primary ballot to vote for federal offices only, as long as it's received by the deadline, Monday, March 12.
Voting your Ballot
When you get your ballot—or if you have already received it—be sure to fill it out and MAIL it back right away! Your signed and voted ballot must be POSTMARKED by Tuesday, March 20 and RECEIVED in Illinois by Tuesday, April 3.
Haven't received your ballot? Vote using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (or FWAB) and MAIL it back right away—it must be must be POSTMARKED by Tuesday, March 20 and RECEIVED in Illinois by Tuesday, April 3rd. For more information, go to www.democratsabroad.org/fwab_mail.
Gerrymandering is a much discussed topic these days for those concerned about voting rights. There are a few high-profile court cases across the country, including one awaiting decision that was argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Wisconsin.
Pennsylvania's highest court ruled on January 22 that the state's U.S. House District maps violated the state constitution due to Republican partisan gerrymandering, and struck them down.
This was one of the most closely watched gerrymandering cases in the country. In every election since the state map was redrawn by Republicans in 2011, Republicans have won the same 13 of the state's 18 congressional districts , despite Pennsylvania voting for President Obama in 2012 by over 5 percent and only barely favoring President Trump in 2016 by less than 1 percent.1
Or, as Vox explains:
To get a sense of how powerful Pennsylvania's gerrymander was, consider that, in 2012, Democratic candidates won slightly more votes in US House elections and Barack Obama won the state. But the state's 18 House seats didn't split 9-9 between the parties — instead, Republicans won 13 seats there, and continued to win them for the rest of the decade.2
While the New York Times plays down the significance of this ruling3 because the affected districts were and still will be competitive races, that is the very reason to fight against gerrymandered districts. When a district is gerrymandered to protect one party from a challenge by the other, it creates a seat whose representative is discouraged from compromise and discourse with the other party, who is insulated from listening to their constituents with opposing viewpoints. That is not representative government and that does not benefit progress.
Take a look at some of the articles reviewing the subject for a better understanding of the issue of gerrymandering, this case and the implications of the decision.
1 "Pennsylvania Court Rejects Congressional Gerrymandering." David S. Cohen, Rolling Stone, January 23, 2018.
2 "Pennsylvania’s gerrymandered House map was just struck down — with huge implications for 2018." Andrew Prokop, Vox, January 23, 2018.
3 "How Big a Deal Is a New Congressional Map for Pennsylvania?" Nate Cohn, New York Times, January 22, 2018.
Download 2018 Primary Elections list (Google Doc)
The Texas Democratic Primary is March 6, the first in the nation, so request your ballot NOW—and you'll be signed up to get a ballot for every election in 2018. One form does it all!
The primary election will choose the candidates who will run to break the Republican majority in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. Texas is traditionally a deep-red state, but it is ripe for Democrats to make inroads. Voters are motivated and, for the first time in 25 years, Democrats are running in every Congressional District in Texas.
Overseas voters who indicate that they "intend to return" on the ballot request form may also vote in Texas state elections. Electing Democrats to the Texas state legislature and local offices is the best way to hold Republicans accountable for the damage they and Trump are doing to the U.S. and the world.
Register to Vote
If you are currently not registered to vote, go to www.votefromabroad.org and fill out the ballot request form. Then print it out, sign it and EMAIL or MAIL it to your Local Election Official in Texas.
- If you indicate you "intend to return", your form must be RECEIVED in Texas by Monday, February 5 to vote in the primary for both state and federal offices.
- To vote in primary for federal offices only, your form must be RECEIVED in Texas by Friday, February 23.
Request an Absentee Ballot
Overseas voters need to request a ballot every calendar year you want to vote. Be sure to submit a ballot request for 2018! Go to www.votefromabroad.org and follow the prompts to fill in the form. Then print it out, sign it and EMAIL or MAIL to your Local Election Official in Texas. To vote in the primary, your form must be RECEIVED in Texas by Friday, February 23, but earlier is better.
Return Voted Ballot
When you receive the official ballot, vote right away. Your voted Absentee Ballot must be returned by MAIL, postmarked by Tuesday, March 6 and received by Monday, March 12. Don't wait for the deadline, send your ballot as soon as you can.
Take the First Step to the Ballot Box by Requesting an Absentee Ballot to Vote in the 2018 Elections
Fill in the form at www.VoteFromAbroad.org now.
Help win back the House and Senate
Americans abroad can vote in elections for federal office: every overseas voter is entitled to vote for U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative. Remember that every seat in the House is up for election. And Democrats are defending 26 of the 34 seats up for election in the Senate so we need to get out every vote.
Overseas votes can make a difference in the midterm elections, when turnout is typically lower than in years of Presidential elections. Every vote counts and very few votes can swing an election (or a state legislature!) from red to blue. Many Americans abroad can vote in crucial races at the state and local level, which will influence redistricting after 2020.
Voter drives around the world
The New Year rings in the beginning of Voter Registration Season for Democrats Abroad, and drives have already begun around the world. Many countries and chapters are organizing March To the Ballot Box Voting Drives over the weekend of January 20-21, marking the anniversary of the Women's March and our collective activism by encouraging voters to take the first step by completing the ballot request right away. It only takes minutes and will demonstrate your commitment to taking back control in the Senate and House.
Remember, Americans abroad need to send a ballot request in the calendar year we want to vote. Even voters who cast ballots this past November or in a recent Special Election must request their ballot again for 2018. This is the only way we are guaranteed the federal protections promised to overseas voters and that our ballots will be counted. Only one request is needed per year for all elections, including primaries that begin in March.
Complete a ballot request at www.VoteFromAbroad.org now.
We hope that all Alabama voters have sent in their ballot request to vote in the December 12 Special Federal Election for US Senator. Earlier today, while requesting information from the Alabama Secretary of State, it was uncovered that the ballot request deadline of December 7 published by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) was incorrectly labeled at postmarked by, when in fact, the FPCA form required every year to receive a ballot must be received by your election official in Alabama by that date.
This is not good news for any registered Alabama voter who has not yet sent in their FPCA to vote in this extremely important election. Please do so without any delay, and depending upon the reliability of the airmail service in your location, consider using an express delivery service to be sure your required FPCA request form is received by the deadline on December 7. And even if you do not believe your FPCA will be received by the deadline, please send in your form anyway -- you never know how events will unfold.
The silver-ish lining for any voter in this situation is that we have also learned that voters who choose to receive the ballot by email/online will be given access to Alabama's online ballot marking system to cast your vote. You can both mark your ballot and certificate AND submit them both online. The ballot and certificate are encrypted and sent separately, thus preserving the secret ballot.
Here's what you need to know:
- Alabama voters must send an FPCA form to request a ballot to vote in this Special Election → Fill out the form at www.votefromabroad.org
- The FPCA form must be received by December 7 by your election official in Alabama
- When filling out the FPCA, choose to receive your state ballot by email/online and you will be able to vote online
- For voters waiting to receive the state ballot for return by mail, vote now using the FWAB backup ballot → How to Vote with the FWAB
- The state ballot or FWAB deadline is December 12
- mailed ballots must be postmarked by DEC 12 AND received by DEC 19, 12 noon CDT
- online ballots must be received by DEC 12 (remember: only those who selected to receive the ballot by online will have this option)
If this news affects your ability to vote in the December 12 Special Election, please let us know. Tell us about your situation at email@example.com.
Let’s keep this Pennsylvania State House seat Democratic!
On December 5th, Pennsylvania voters in State House District 133 (Allentown and Bethlehem areas, covering portions of Lehigh and Northampton counties) will vote in a Special Election for a new State representative.
Overseas voters who indicate on their Ballot Request form that they “intend to return” can vote in Pennsylvania State Elections. If you vote in this PA State House District, Request Your Ballot and Vote for Democrat Jeanne McNeill (widow of three-term incumbent Rep. Dan McNeill). Let's keep this seat Democratic!
Your vote can make a difference! Turnout for Special Elections tend to be very low and just a few votes – such as yours – can be key. Just a few days ago, Democrats won a Special Election in the Oklahoma State House, flipping a long-held Republican seat by only 37 votes.
It's simple to vote! All registered voters must still request a ballot. Just go to www.votefromabroad.org and follow the prompts. Then print out the form, sign it and MAIL it to Pennsylvania. Your Ballot Request Form must be RECEIVED in Pennsylvania by Tuesday, December 5th.
When you get your ballot, MAIL it back right away. Your ballot must be POSTMARKED by Monday, December 4 and RECEIVED in Pennsylvania by Tuesday, December 12 at 5pm (Eastern Time).
Concerned You Won’t Get Your Official Ballot in Time? VOTE NOW using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (or FWAB). Then MAIL it back right away. Like the official ballot, it must be POSTMARKED by Monday, December 4th and RECEIVED in Pennsylvania by Tuesday, December 12th at 5pm (Eastern Time). For detailed instructions, go to www.democratsabroad.org/fwab_mail. And be sure to mail in your Ballot Request form by the deadline too!
Important Update: to request your ballot the FPCA form must be RECEIVED by your election official by DEC 7, not postmarked as has been published by the Federal Voting Assistance Program in error.
Let’s elect Democrat Doug Jones as Alabama's new Senator!
NOW is the time to request your ballot for the Alabama US Senate Election on December 12 for the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Alabama is the deepest of red states, but Democrat Doug Jones, a career prosecutor, is currently tied in the polls with the truly awful Roy Moore. Republican Moore is looking increasingly vulnerable in the wake of multiple well-documented accusations of improper conduct with underage girls in The Washington Post. (See follow-up reporting in the Huffington Post too).
Democrats just posted historic wins in races across the US. We can do the same in Alabama, but every vote is crucial!
It's simple to request your ballot: overseas voters need to request a ballot every year. Go to www.votefromabroad.org and follow the instructions to fill out the FPCA form (used for both voter registration and ballot requests). Then print, sign and MAIL it in. Your ballot request form must be RECEIVED by Thursday, December 7.*
However, Alabama officials have confirmed that if choose to receive you ballot by email/online, overseas voters will be able to use the state's online ballot marking system to cast your ballot. You may both mark your ballot and certificate AND submit both online. The ballot and certificate are encrypted and sent separately in order to maintain a secret ballot.
If you choose to receive your ballot by postal mail and haven't received it yet, we highly recommend you VOTE NOW using the FWAB “emergency ballot” for overseas voters. You can fill out the FWAB at the same time as the FPCA at www.votefromabroad.org or follow our instructions to Vote by FWAB. It must be POSTMARKED by Tuesday, December 12 and RECEIVED in Alabama by Tuesday, December 19.
When you get your ballot, it's recommended that you vote and mail in the state ballot even if you already voted with the FWAB. Mail it back right away.
And be sure to mail in your voter registration and ballot request form by the above deadlines!
* DA urges every registered voter in Alabama to send the FPCA immediately, and consider use of an express delivery service if you have any concerns that airmail from your location won't reach the office of your election official in Alabama by December 12. Let us know if this error by the federal authorities has impacted your ability to vote in this election. Tell us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to All Democrats on an Amazing Election Night!
Results like this don’t just happen--it took the hard work of Democratic volunteers to “Get Out the Vote” and deliver this stinging repudiation of Trumpism and the Republicans!
Our GOTV efforts brought these victories up and down the ballot:
Ralph Northam won a resounding 9-point victory (54% to 45%) to become the new Governor of Virginia. Democrats also swept the state-wide races for Lt Governor and Attorney General by similar margins.
Democrats flipped an astounding 14 seats in the VA House of Delegates. With results still pending, Democrats have a strong shot at doing the impossible and taking back the majority in the VA State House.
- Five seats still too close to call--and our overseas ballots will be the deciding factor!
- Only 69 votes defeated the Chair of the VA House Republican caucus. Every vote counts!
Phil Murphy won a huge 13-point victory (55% to 42%) as Governor of NJ, giving Democrats a new “trifecta” with control of NJ state government. And as the icing on the cake, Democrats also flipped a NJ State Senate seat.
Manka Dhingra's resounding 11-point victory (55% to 44%) in WA’s State Senate race gives Democrats control of WA State Senate and another new “trifecta” with control of the WA State government. WA Democrats can now implement progressive measures that were stymied by Republicans in the State Senate
Democrats lost only one election as Dr. Kathie Allen was defeated in her race for the Utah 3rd Congressional District race.
And in other races around the US on November 7th:
Maine overwhelmingly approved (59%) the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, overturning Republican Gov LePage refusal to provide health insurance to 80,000 low-income residents.
Progressive women won both Michigan State Legislature Special Elections.
In Montana, a former refugee from Liberia was elected mayor of Helena, the first African-American mayor in Montana
In Missouri, an African-American woman won Special Election to the State House.
In Georgia, Democrats picked up two State House seats.
In NH, Democrats won the two special elections for State House, flipping one seat, and Manchester, the largest city, elected a Democratic mayor for the first time in 14 years
In PA, Philadelphia elected Larry Krasner, a civil rights lawyer who pledged to combat justice system inequalities, as District Attorney
Since Trump’s election, Democrats have flipped 21 state legislative seats--and we’re just getting started! Democrats Win When Democrats Vote!
Join Us for GOTV Training – Live WebEx Sessions
We have set up an initial round of live Webex training sessions for volunteers interested in Phonebanking and helping with Voter Registration. These training sessions are optional.
Phonebanking training is for anyone who wants additional support to set up a CallHub account and to get started with phonebanking. Voter Registration training will discuss best practices for setting up Voter Registration events and how to help overseas voters register to vote and request their ballots.
If you would like to sign up for Phonebanking and/or Voter Registration Training, please fill out this form: GOTV TRAINING – LIVE WEBEX SESSIONS. We have scheduled several sessions to allow DA members in different parts of the world to access the training. Pick the one that is most convenient for you!
- Friday November 10 at 7pm ET
- Saturday, November 11 at 9am ET
- Thursday November 16 at 2pm ET
- Thursday, November 9 at 1pm ET
- Tuesday, November 14 at 3am ET
- Wednesday, November 15 at 9am ET
If you aren't able to attend any of these sessions, we will record them for later viewing. And we will be offering additional phonebanking training sessions throughout the coming months.
→ Sign up for a training session using the GOTV TRAINING – LIVE WEBEX SESSIONS form.
IMPORTANT! If you are new to WebEx, you will need to install the WebEx software on your computer in advance of the meeting. Click on this link for Instructions How to SetUp WebEx on Your Computer
*We strongly suggest you do an advance test-meeting as we will not be able to provide tech support during the meeting!
QUESTIONS? Email us at: email@example.com