Massachusetts State House Special Elections

Now is the time to VOTE in the Massachusetts State House Special Elections!

On November 7th, Massachusetts will vote for new representatives in the First Berkshire State House District (Pittsfield area of Berkshire County) and Third Essex (Haverhill) State House District.

All overseas voters can vote in Massachusetts State Elections – and your vote can be the difference! Turnout for Special Elections tend to be very low and just a few votes  such as yours  can be key. Let's elect John Barrett and Andy Vargas and keep these seats Democratic.

It's simple to vote! You don't need to register to vote, but these are local elections, so your town may require you to MAIL in your ballot.

When you get your ballot, MAIL it back right away. It must be POSTMARKED by November 7 AND received in Massachusetts by November 17 at 5pm (Massachusetts time).

Haven’t received your ballot yet? If you haven’t received your ballot yet  or if you haven’t requested a ballot, VOTE using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (or FWAB).

The same deadlines apply, so MAIL in your FWAB right away. It must be POSTMARKED by November 7 AND received in Massachusetts by November 17 at 5pm (Massachusetts time). For more information, go to www.democratsabroad.org/fwab_mail.


Missouri Special Elections for State Senate District 8 and State House District 23

Let’s elect more Democrats to the Missouri State Legislature!

On November 7th, Missouri will vote for new representatives in State Senate District 8 and State House District 23 (both cover Jackson County).

All overseas voters can vote in Missouri State Elections -- and your vote can be the difference! Turnout for Special Elections tend to be very low and just a few votes -- such as yours -- can be key. Let's send Democrats Hillary Shields and Barbara Anne Washington to the Missouri Legislature!

It's simple to vote! To request your ballot, just go to www.votefromabroad.org and fill out the form. Then print it, sign it and send it to Missouri. Send it in by EMAIL, FAX or MAIL -- it must get to Missouri by November 1. Or, you may be eligible to use Missouri's online system to request your ballot: www.momilitaryvote.com

When you get your ballot, MAIL it back right away. It must be POSTMARKED by November 7 AND also get to Missouri by November 10 at 12noon (Missouri time).

If you have any concerns you won't get your ballot in time, VOTE using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (or FWAB). Then MAIL it back RIGHT AWAY. For more information, go to www.democratsabroad.org/fwab_mail. And be sure to submit your ballot request form by the November 1 deadline!


New Hampshire State House Elections on November 7

Let’s elect Democrats Erika Connors and Brian Sullivan to the New Hampshire State Legislature!

NOW is the time to vote in the November 7th Special Elections in NH's State House District Hillsborough 15 (Manchester area) and State House District Sullivan 1 (Claremont area).

Overseas voters who indicate on their ballot request form that they "intend to return" can vote in New Hampshire State Elections--and your vote can be the difference! Turnout for Special Elections tend to be very low and just a few votes--such as yours--can be key.

It's simple to vote! To request your ballot (and also register to vote if necessary) just go to www.votefromabroad.org and fill out the form. Then print it, sign it and send it to New Hampshire. Send it in by EMAIL, FAX or MAIL. It must get to New Hampshire by November 6th.

When you get your ballot, you must MAIL it back and it must get to New Hampshire by November 7th at 5pm (New Hampshire time).


Improved Absentee Voting Forms Released

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) has released updated versions of the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) for the 2018 election cycle. Overseas citizens may use the FPCA to request absentee ballots, register to vote, and update contact information, and in the event that a requested absentee ballot is not received in a timely fashion, we can vote using the FWAB as a backup ballot.

Both the FPCA and FWAB forms are accepted by all states and territories in elections for federal office. Voters have the option of using other types of absentee ballot request forms, but Democrats Abroad strongly encourages all overseas voters to use these federal forms to guarantee certain protections — such as the option to receive a ballot electronically and the requirement for election offices to send ballots to voters at least 45 days before elections for federal office.

FVAP included Democrats Abroad in the design review process and incorporated many of our recommendations in the new forms. Voter may still submit older forms following current state requirements. FVAP notes that hardcopy versions of the forms will NOT be available until later this year. For now, the new forms are available as fillable PDFs via FVAP.gov: fillable forms are recommended to be sure voters comply with individual state requirements.

Fillable Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) from fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fpca.pdf

Updated FPCA

Fillable Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) from fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fwab.pdf

new FWAB

 


Virginians Abroad Vote Ralph Northam for Governor

Democrat Ralph Northam is running for Governor of Virginia. His team worked with DA to send this message to encourage Virginia's overseas citizens to vote in this year's state elections.

The deadline to register to vote is October 16 at 5:00 PM (Virginia time)! Send in your form by EMAIL or FAX - it must get to Virginia by 5:00 PM EDT.

Go to www.VoteFromAbroad.org NOW to send in your form to register to vote. Just follow the prompts, then PRINT it out, SIGN and EMAIL/FAX it in.

Share Ralph Northam's message on Facebook


Empowering the EAC

The Electoral Assistance Commission (EAC) was established following the enactment of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). It will, among other things, oversee the process of determining how many ballots have been voted from abroad.

The EAC should have four commissioners — two appointed by the Democratic Party and two by the Republican Party. Three are needed for the EAC to conduct votes, write policy and issue advisory opinions; this quorum has not existed since 2010. The House Committee on Rules and Administration, given oversight of the EAC, last met on February 12, 2014 — and the formal nominations of the two Democrats appointed by President Obama were put off again. During the Committee's December 2013 hearings, a debate ensued about whether the EAC should even exist. Its funding and resources have been severely cut in recent years.  Nonpartisan organizations like the League of Women Voters and the Brennan Center routinely demonstrate their support for the EAC by objecting to attempts to eliminate it.  They agree the EAC’s role in counting overseas ballots, among other mandates, is crucial. The four commissioners are needed, and the EAC is needed.

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Enfranchising Americans born abroad

American citizens born and residing overseas, who file taxes, register with the Selective Service and are for all other purposes recognized as American, are not yet entitled to vote in all states. The Uniform Law Commission passed a model statute known as the Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act (UMOVA) in 2010, which enfranchises Americans born and residing overseas and it is slowly being implemented by states. Currently, 36 states plus the District of Columbia have passed legislation allowing Americans born and residing overseas to vote, although several allow them to vote only under certain conditions. In the other states, American citizens who have never resided in the US and whose parents were last resident in states other than these 37, remain officially disenfranchised.[1]

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Legislative Advancements

The 2009 Military and Overseas Empowerment Act (MOVE Act) mandated that states send blank ballots, including by electronic means, to voters at least 45 days prior to an election. This is an incredibly important step in helping to resolve a key problem of overseas American enfranchisement: of those who wished to vote in 2008, but could not, half were unable to vote because they did not receive their ballot in time.[1]  Receiving the ballot in time to vote and return it is perhaps the most important issue with respect to overseas voting. The MOVE Act has been a crucial step forward.

Nearly as important for overseas voting has been the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA).HAVA mandates that overseas absentee ballots be tabulated separately from domestic absentee ballots, and created the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), whose mandate includes overseeing that process.

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Voting From Abroad

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.