THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
This Sunday, June 28, marks the beginning of two events to raise awareness of Overseas Voting, and to help overseas Americans to register their vote ahead of the 2020 Presidential and Congressional Elections. The two events are Armed Forces Voters Week and Overseas Citizens Voters Week, which both run from June 28 to July 5.
The Federal Voting Assistance Programme (FVAP) has highlighted its support ahead of the two events, saying that "Active duty military members, their families and overseas citizens are encouraged to register and request their ballot as soon as possible to avoid potential mail delays or other disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic response. The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) is sponsoring its biannual Armed Forces Voters Week and Overseas Citizens Voters Week (June 28 to July 5) with support from the Military Services and Department of State. During this week, U.S. military installations, embassies, consulates and overseas citizens groups offer voter registration opportunities to help Americans vote — wherever they are."
The FVAP are recommending overseas and military voters "use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at FVAP.gov to register to vote and request an absentee ballot by Aug. 1 to ensure they can participate in the General Election on Nov. 3. The FPCA not only allows these voters to register and request an absentee ballot simultaneously, it also guarantees certain benefits under federal law."
Explaining why the FPCA is a useful tool, the FVAP's Dirctor, David Beirne, commented that "Using the FPCA ensures that ballots for Service members, their families and overseas citizens will be sent out 45 days before the election (Sept. 19), with an option to receive their ballot electronically ... This can be particularly helpful this year when mail delays are possible. Using the FPCA also grants voters the ability to use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) as a backup ballot, if needed."
As always, campaigns to raise awareness for overseas voters are important in terms of offering a platform for Americans living overseas to have their voice heard on key issues that affect them, including issues which are often distinct from those faced by US Citizens residing in the US.
Check out the FVAP Website at FVAP.gov for more details on registering to vote from abroad, and advice on vote registration during the COVID-19 pandemic