Don’t Forget To Vote!
Many U.S. elections have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters.
It is forecast that if most of the US citizens abroad vote, it could turn the election.
How To Vote
All U.S. citizens can receive their ballots electronically.
Depending on the state in which you are eligible to vote, you can get your ballot by email, fax, or online.
This video ends with a pro-democratic party message. I am not suggesting that you vote Democratic. I used this video for its great message, “You can vote from abroad!”
7 Online ‘How to Vote’ Sources
My husband and I voted in the U.S. Presidential election via email. It was both satisfying and easy.
It wasn’t always so easy to vote from overseas. Thankfully, it continues to get easier and the number of information sites on how to vote overseas keeps growing.
I have compiled 7 reliable sources to register to vote, vote, and to find out information about upcoming elections. Pick whichever one you like best.
1) Overseas Vote Foundation is a non-partisan site for US citizens abroad and US military. You can register to vote and request your absentee ballot through this site.
It also offers a wealth of information on the State voting requirements, election dates and deadlines, and contact information. It even includes information on candidates running for election. One thing I like about this site is that it easily lets you vote overseas, even if you are only overseas for a few weeks. This means if you are only out of the country for election day, you will remain registered in your home state, so you don’t have to re-register.
Best of all, it offers a Federal write-in absentee ballot. You can use that type of ballot if your requested absentee ballot is late.
2) Democrats Abroad is the official Democratic Party arm for Americans living outside the US. Last year, they had an online Presidential debate just for Democrats Abroad. For the Presidential primary vote, they had polling booths all over the world, including in Panama City.
In the 2016 Democrats Abroad’s Global Presidential Primary, Bernie Sanders received 69% of the vote, Hillary Clinton 31%. In Panama, it was 71% for Bernie, 29% Hillary. Almost 35,000 people in over 170 countries voted. Sanders picked up 9 pledged delegates as a result of the Global Presidential Primary, while Clinton secured 4 delegates.
Democrats Abroad is recognized as a “state” Party by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and is represented on the DNC by eight voting members, as well as at the quadrennial Democratic National Convention.
This is not a voting information venue, but it does have regular and up-to-date posts on political issues of interest. Which means they will probably post information on how ex-pat Republicans can vote during US election times.
(Note, as of 2016, Republicans do not allow US Citizens to vote in the Presidential primary election while overseas. Republican expats can only vote in the general election.)
4) Vote from Abroad is a site for U.S. Citizens that allows you to both register and vote from abroad. It also has all sort of information, such as
- Quick write-in ballot access
- State election dates & deadlines
- State election official contact information
- Recent votes from your representatives
5) Federal Voting Assistance Program provides voting assistance to Service members, their families, and US Citizens overseas. It seems to have an easy 5 step process as well as quite a lot of information about upcoming elections.
6) US State Department has a wealth of voting information about voting abroad. It includes a link to an emergency last minute ballot.
7) US Embassy in Panama usually has a message to US citizens about voting abroad and in Panama specifically. For example it explains where and when to submit your US ballots to locations in Panama, or if you can mail them to your home state.
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact Embassy Panama Voting Assistance Officer at 317-5000, or at [email protected].