What with my last post and all, I thought it would behoove me to actually register to vote. Sure, I’ve voted in almost every U.S. presidential election since I was 18. But, when I left New York City in 2005, I also relinquished my ability to easily vote. And, unless I become a citizen of Canada, I can’t vote here.
After a bit of research, I found a great site, called Democrats Abroad (and there’s a “sister” site called Republicans Abroad as well). The site has a very nice, intuitive Web-based wizard that collects your information and spits out a well-formed PDF that is then ready to send to the Federal Voting Assistance Program, an agency dedicated to helping those overseas (including those in the U.S. military) to vote. It’s all rather cool, except that, before finding the Democrats Abroad site, the information on the Web and the FVAP site was confusing to the point of being obscure. It wasn’t clear, to me, what information on the form I needed to complete and where to send the form. For instance, did I really need to provide my full Social Security number or not? (For New York State, it turns out the answer is “not.”)
After printing the completed PDF, I faxed the pre-built cover page and associated application to the 703 number provided. I then mailed the cover page and application to an address in Kings County (Brooklyn) that was also provided. (This part was never truly clarified for me but, essentially, you register to vote with the county in the state where you last resided, regardless of your current state residency status. In other words, though I’m no longer a resident of New York State, I sent my application to Kings County in New York State, which, apparently, has been given the responsibility of caring for me in my voting old age.)
Long story short, if you’re overseas and you’re an American citizen and you want to vote (and you should), use the Web wizard found on Democrats Abroad, regardless of your political affiliation.