THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
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It's Absentee Voting Week – Tell your Friends!
Use this week to make sure overseas Americans know it's easy to register their ballot from abroad
October 1 to October 8 is Absentee Voting Week, a 7 day period in which organizations and bodies in the USA and overseas will be reminding Americans residing outside of the United States of the importance of registering and exercising their vote from wherever they are in the world.
The FVAP (Federal Voting Assistance Programme), US military installations, embassies, consulates and overseas citizens groups will be championing the voting rights of the many Americans who live and work overseas, including those on military and diplomatic missions. The FVAP in particular is also highlighting its interactive online tool which helps voters to fill out their backup ballot. FVAP Director David Beirne said that "Absentee voters should check their state voting deadlines, follow all ballot instructions and send back their ballot in plenty of time for it to arrive", before noting that the FVAP encourages "military and overseas voters to use the backup ballot at FVAP.gov if they are concerned about missing their state’s voting deadline."
A recent study by the FVAP noted that during the 2016 elections, "the voting rate among overseas citizens in 2016 would have been over five times higher if these voters could register to vote and cast ballots as quickly and easily as voters living stateside."
The study is an important reminder that the over 3 million Americans resident overseas do have an important say in US politics. Other organizations, such as AARO (Association of Americans Resident Overseas) have also been highlighting the value of the overseas vote, as they recently revealed their 2018 Midterm survey of candidates views on issues affecting Americans abroad. The US Embassy in the UK has also played its part in spreading the word, with US Ambassador Woody Johnson taking to Twitter to remind Americans in the UK that there's still time to register for the upcoming Midterms:
If you have any questions or uncertainties relating to registering your vote, head over to the FVAP website - FVAP.gov - which contains a wealth of information and contact details to make sure you have your say in this year's Midterm elections in November 2018.