75.2 F
Mérida
Thursday, October 21, 2021
###

Living abroad is no excuse not to vote in the 2020 election. Here’s how to do it.

Hostility to mail-in voting means expats should start the process sooner rather than later

Latest headlines

Coronavirus deaths in Yucatán include a 14-year-old boy

While coronavirus deaths in Yucatán have recently declined, victims are at times very young.

New jobs report offers some much needed good news for Yucatán’s economy

Officially at least, the recovery has come earlier than expected. It was announced in October 2020 that the lost jobs would be recovered in roughly two years — but many are skeptical. 

Scientists discover a massive underground cave network in Yucatán

The cave system extends from the Chuy Ha Cenote, in the municipality of Kaua, to the Aktun Kaab dry cave, in Santa Rita — which is roughly 85 kilometers away in a straight line. 

Botánica Alfabeta — Flowers are this photographer’s hidden talent

Weddings took up most of Fabrizio’s time, until the pandemic halted all social events. Then, as most anxious personalities did, he turned back into his hobbies to find purpose and inspiration.
Yucatán Magazine
Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week.
Living abroad is no excuse for not voting in the U.S. election. Photo: AP

The U.S. mail is slowing down, which is a big problem for Americans who live in other countries but want a say in the 2020 elections.

Voters living abroad need to fill out ballots and some will be required to use snail mail to get those ballots back in time. Washington, however, is hostile to mail-in ballots.

The organization Democrats Abroad warns that the current administration is doing everything possible to slow down the mail, so time is of the essence.

Overtime has been eliminated for hundreds of thousands of postal workers while the U.S. Postal Service is reeling from mail delays and financial problems. Meanwhile, record numbers of mail ballots are expected because of the coronavirus pandemic.

And voting by mail is opposed by President Donald Trump, who has warned on Twitter that allowing more people to do so will result in a “CORRUPT ELECTION.”

So where does that leave the expat voter? Under pressure to get ballots in the mail ASAP, that’s where.

But it’s challenging, which is perhaps why in 2016 only 7% of U.S. citizens living in another country voted. That is a shame, according to Democrats Abroad.

The first step is to make sure you are still registered to vote, especially since some states have been purging voter lists.

Voters can visit vote.org to confirm they are registered to vote. Local election office contact information is at votefromabroad.org under the State Voting Guide tab. A pull-down menu will lead to specific information.

Most states allow voters to register online or via email, but to register in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Wisconsin or Wyoming, registrations are sent by mail.

If you are registered, a ballot can be sent by email — the most expedient way — by the voter’s hometown election official. Voters abroad cannot actually cast a vote on vote.org.

If you are not registered, there are two sites where U.S. citizens outside the country can rectify that situation: The official FVAP.gov site and the Democrats Abroad votefromabroad.org site, which is equally useful to voters from any party.

Registration forms need to be signed. If you are going to send it back electronically, you need to scan and upload your signature to your computer so that it can be inserted into the form.

“The process is fairly simple.” said Jose B. Carranza, who lives in Merida with his partner, Joe. “We came from California, a state with online registration and mail-in ballots. We’ve voted by mail for the last 20 years. Consequently, every election we go online to make sure we are registered to vote by mail. Then, it’s a question of looking forward to the arrival of the voting information material, to review, discuss, research if necessary before making our choices, marking our ballots, signing them, sealing them, and mailing them. The voter registration office in California has added a ‘Vote Tracking’ feature on their website. You signup for it online. I did so, and I’m excited to see how it works.”

You don’t need to have a U.S. mailing address or domicile to qualify. Your “voting address” is the address of the last place either of your U.S. citizen parents lived in the U.S. If both of your parents are U.S. citizens, you may use the last U.S. address of either U.S. parent.

If you are a civilian overseas voter, you will also see the question: “Are you abroad temporarily or indefinitely?” For most states, you will choose one of these three alternatives: “I intend to return”; My return is uncertain”; or “Never resided.” Depending on the state, “never resided” voters may receive only a federal ballot or may receive the full state and federal ballot.

However, the “Never Resided” category is not applicable for the 13 states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Illinois (non-military), Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah — that require registered voters to have resided in the state for a set amount of time. If you are registering to vote in one of those states, you will choose between: “I intend to return” or “My return is uncertain.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

More articles

Make your projects a reality with a little help from the pros at ACE Hardware

The place with the helpful hardware folks celebrates its first year in Mérida.

Construction at Xcaret’s new theme park near Valladolid shut down

Construction at Xcaret’s Xibalba theme park in Yucatán has been halted after a surprise inspection by Mexico’s federal environmental agency, Profepa.

A new campaign demands junk food ban in Mexican schools

Junk food consumption has increased along with the obesity epidemic, which one of the critical risk factors for chronic non-communicable diseases, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

Good news for Yucatán’s sea turtles

Sea turtles continue to be endangered in Yucatán, but a new study suggests that their numbers are beginning to recover. 

More remains of the world’s largest shark found in the depths of a cenote in Yucatán

The megalodon, or “big tooth” is an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 2.3 to 3.6 million years ago from the early Miocene to the Pliocene periods.

The untamed beauty of Hormiguero and its exotic wilderness

Part of its appeal likely has to do with the fact that it is rarely visited by tourists because of how poor the roads needed to access it are

Casa Alta Blanca: Easy, peaceful beach living

Casa Alta in Telchac Puerta is on the market. Photo: Yucatan Beach & City Properties When John Bradshaw...

COVID cases continue steady decline as vaccines for teens arrive

Yucatán's health ministry reported a steady drop in new cases this week. Daily infections averaged around 208,...

ELLA: Mérida hosts a weeklong international lesbian festival

The grand opening took place at Casa Thó, located in Paseo de Montejo. A special Meet & Greet was held with Diana Deskarados, renowned Youtuber, and Tigre Jimenez, Boxing Champion. 

Cozumel’s cruise industry bounces back in a big way

Quintana Roo has come to depend on a steady stream of cruise-goers, to maintain jobs at businesses including restaurants, excursion operators,...