(UPDATE: Steps and links to cure your ballot in NV, AZ, GA and NC below in the notes.)

It’s been an historic election season with unprecedented levels of early and absentee voting. Local Election Officials (LEOs), already overwhelmed by the volume of absentee and mail-in ballots, will now play a critical role in the final counts of some very close races. But in addition to counting ballots, many of these officials will also need to “cure” them.

Allow us to explain. Part of the process of counting absentee ballots is verifying that these have been submitted following the state election…

Representation Matters: The Still-Relevant Legacy of President James Madison

Image: White House Historical Association via Flickr

“It was politic as well as just that the interests & rights of every class should be duly represented & understood in the public Councils. It was a provision every where [sic] established that the Country should be divided into districts & representatives taken from each, in order that the Legislative Assembly might equally understand & sympathise [sic], with the rights of the people in every part of the Community” James Madison, July 26, 1787

It is clear that James Madison — America’s fourth president — believed in equal and…

Photo by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash

I’ve never been all that patriotic.

Part of it is that I’ve lived abroad for many periods in my life. So most days I feel much more like a “global citizen” than rooted in any one country.

I also hold two passports – one for the U.S. and one for the U.K. Trust me: if you’ve ever had to study for the UK citizenship test, you’ll instantly feel bonded to the Queen simply by virtue of the two weeks you spent memorizing the speed limits on assorted “motorways,” the population of Wales, and which healthcare benefits pregnant mothers can expect.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Elbridge Gerry would probably have preferred to be remembered as John Adams’s friend, or a key framer of the Constitution, or the fifth Vice President of the United States. Or really anything other than what he ultimately is remembered as: the creator of the gerrymander.

Every ten years following the census, the number of representatives within the 50 states is recalculated. At this point, electoral districts may be redrawn, and the authority to do so rests with the states. A gerrymander is a system of redistricting that favors either the party in control of a given state legislature, or an…

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

Restrictive voting laws are currently sweeping the United States. Georgia recently came under fire for a law which would — among other measures — limit the number of drop boxes, restrict the use of provisional ballots, and criminalize the distribution of food or water to voters waiting in line to vote. However, other states including the very notable example of Florida, are passing similarly severe voting legislation that is laser-focused on restricting voting rights.

The Florida state legislature is currently considering several bills including HB 7041, SB 656, and SB 90. SB 90, in particular, limits voting by absentee ballot…

This year, Americans abroad are concerned about their ballot arriving securely and on time. With postal delays and late court rulings, this is a valid worry for Americans abroad. Particularly those who vote in one of the [20] states that require ballots be sent back by mail.

Every voter wants their voice to be heard. The road a ballot takes from overseas to the States can be a long one. Mailed ballots stop in numerous cities before reaching their destination. Electronic return by email, fax or online upload are the fastest and most secure way to send back your completed…

The author, voting in the UK in the 2020 elections.

When I raised my virtual hand to volunteer with Vote from Abroad back in March, I was motivated primarily by a desire to give back. Little did I know that in addition to helping millions of Americans living overseas make their ballots count, my volunteer work would also be a tremendous learning experience.

Here are five lessons I’ve learned about voting overseas:

  1. It can and should be easier. Vote from Abroad streamlines the process of registering to vote and requesting a ballot. But as many of us have come to realize during this extraordinary election year, the rules governing voting…

Roughly 6.5m US citizens living abroad are eligible to vote, but turnout is a fraction of domestic turnout (anywhere from 9% to 20%). The main reasons for this are that a lot of overseas voters:

  1. Don’t know they can vote
  2. Don’t know how to vote
  3. When they try, they run into obstacles which deter them.

Since the launch of the Voting Champion program on the 4th of July and massive efforts to promote voting to overseas voters through votefromabroad.org, we’ve come a long way in tackling the first two obstacles. Visitors to the Vote from Abroad website last week were…

Artist: @edmon_deharo

It is officially Ballot season! U.S. voters abroad are enthusiastic about voting this year. Vote from Abroad’s website is seeing 2 to 3 times more traffic than it did during the same period in 2016. We’re also getting a lot of questions as deadlines are starting to hit and overseas Americans are receiving their ballots. We are running a Voter Help Desk via Zoom 5 days a week. (Here’s the link.) Many of the voters coming to the voter help sessions are voting for the first time in decades or for the first time. For them — and even experienced…

2020 is an election year like no other. A global pandemic, domestic unrest and an economic downturn have motivated many voters — and not just those in swing states — to go to the polls.

Experts are predicting record turnout. But what about those Americans living abroad? If you’re an American living overseas, here are five reasons your vote matters:

  1. Absolute Numbers. There are roughly nine million Americans living overseas. Of those 9 million, 6.5 million are eligible voters. And don’t kid yourself. Your vote matters even if you live in a deep Red or deep Blue state.
  2. Relative Numbers

Vote from Abroad

Vote from Abroad has one goal: to make sure every U.S. citizen has the info and tools to vote. Request a ballot now! votefromabroad.org

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