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Voting in 2018 US Elections


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VOTING IN 2018 U.S. ELECTIONS

Your vote counts!  Did you know that many U.S. elections for house and senate seats have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters?  All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.

 

Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2018 U.S. elections:

 

1.     Request Your Ballot:  Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2018 to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2018 elections.  The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted.  The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories. 

 

You can complete the FPCA online at www.FVAP.gov.  The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state.  We encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state).  Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option.  Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website.  FVAP.gov will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature.  If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options.

 

2.     Receive and Complete Your Ballot:  States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections.  For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.

 

3.     Return Your Completed Ballot:  Some states allow you to return your completed ballot by email or fax.  If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can use international mail, a courier service such as FedEx or DHL, or you may also drop off completed voting materials at U.S. Embassy Panama, Avenue Demetrio Basilio Lakas in Clayton, Panama City. Bring them to the Consular Section, American Citizen Services, from Monday to Thursday from 10a.m. – 12 p.m. The U.S. Embassy is closed on U.S. and Panamanian holidays. Place your materials in a postage paid return envelope (available under “Downloadable Election Materials” on the FVAP homepage) or in an envelope bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address it to the relevant local election officials. 

 

4.  New this year – email to fax service by FVAP! - the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will provide an email-to-fax conversion service for voters who have difficulty sending election materials to States that do not accept emailed documents.  Get more information here.

 

Researching the Candidates and Issues:  Online Resources.  Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues.  Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain onlineYou can also read national and hometown newspapers online, or search the internet to locate articles and information.  For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP's Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov)FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebookand Twitter.

 

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) website, FVAP.govIf you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact Panama’s Voting Assistance Officer at VotePanama@state.gov

 

Remember, your vote counts!        

Be absent but accounted for!

                  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Reason for posting here is to “bump” this topic back to the top in the activity stream here on CL.

We completed our FVAP registration process this weekend. Took about 10 minutes.

If you wish to vote this year in US federal elections in November, be advised that there are some registration deadlines that may soon close. Those deadlines vary by state.

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We got our confirmation email back from the County Registrar as of this morning. Quick service. Less than 24 hours from time of submission.

Again, if you wish to vote in November 2018, you need to get your absentee registration/ballot forms submitted soon.

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The operative word is in #1 above: "ensure." You complete and mail this form to ensure that you are properly registered. If you have left the country since the last election, you definitely have to complete and mail the FPCA to establish where to send your absentee ballot. If you have already voted in a U.S. election while in Panama, chances are you are registered to receive absentee ballots in the future.

You can check directly with your local U.S. Elections office to see if you are properly registered and, if so, it is not necessary to complete and mail this form. I did that online this morning and got an immediate, computer-generated response from my Elections office back in Florida.

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