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The Widget Hits the World: Greenback Expat Tax Launches Overseas Voter Ballot Request

By Carrie McKeegan, CEO and Co-Founder of Greenback Expat Tax Services

Greenback Expat Tax Services is proud to partner with Overseas Vote Foundation and help boost expat voter registrations amongst Americans living abroad. We care deeply about all the issues expats face – not just taxes – so partnering with Overseas Vote is another way Greenback upholds its commitment to serving and advocating for the 9 million expats around the world.

We believe that US expatriates are passionate about the US and care deeply about its future. In our 2018 US Expat Survey, which received input from 3,800+ US expats around the world, we found that 63.7% of Americans living abroad planned to vote in the November elections. These votes could play an important role because many states are won in too-close-to-call elections. American expats have a profound influence on the outcomes. With so many tax changes coming down the pike, it's crucial that expats rock the vote!

HELP! Voter Help Desk - Top 2018 Voter Questions and Answers

We are so happy that people love our Voter Help Desk on US Vote and Overseas Vote. You seem to love us a LOT right now:-) We answer all questions individually and personally. Here are the top questions and answers we've been getting - if you have a question - check this list, you may find your answer right here!

 

Did I miss the deadline to….?

You can check your state's deadlines (there may be several) for the upcoming election in our Election Dates and Deadlines directory.

You can also check for different ways your state allows you to send in voting materials (like registration and ballot request forms) under the Voter Materials Transmission Options section of the State Voting Requirements directory.

 

Am I Registered?

You can check your registration status through each state's look up service.

Go to the the State Voting Requirements directory and click into State Look Up Tools - you will see your state's "Am I Registered?" link at the top of the list.

 

Where’s my Vote-by-Mail (absentee) ballot?

Good that you want to check it!

You can go here to our State Voting Requirements directory: Look up your state and open the "State Lookup Tools" section. There you will see a "Where's My Ballot" link as well - if your state offers it.

If the above suggestion does not work, you will need to look up and call your election office - they manage ballot sending and counting. Look them up in the Election Official Directory.

 

The voting process from a unique perspective: a first-time, visually-impaired voter tells her story

By Pauline Ugalde

The midterm election season is about to peak and I would like to address the voting process from a unique perspective: that of a first-time, visually-impaired voter and how that initial experience informs my decision to vote again in the upcoming midterm election.

Over the years, I have noticed how people have primarily focused on the mechanical, physical process of voting versus a voter’s individual voting experience, let alone why they vote, or the emotions invoked by participating in this act which makes the United States a democratic nation. I intend to address the accessibility of preexisting voting systems and the emotions surrounding the occasion. In short: my reasons for voting profoundly affected my reactions to the act of voting itself.

The Myth of “Secure” Blockchain Voting

by David Jefferson, Verified Voting[1]

In the last couple of years several startup companies have begun to promote Internet voting systems, this time with a new twist – using a blockchain as the container for voted ballots transmitted from voters’ private devices. Blockchains are a relatively new system category somewhat akin to a distributed database. Proponents promote them as a revolutionary innovation providing strong security guarantees that can render online elections safe from cyberattack.

Unfortunately, such claims are false. Although the subject of considerable hype, blockchains do not offer any real security from cyberattacks. Like other online elections architectures, a blockchain election is vulnerable to a long list of threats that would leave it exposed to hacking and manipulation by anyone on the Internet, and the attack might never be detected or corrected.

In its recent report[2], “Securing the Vote – Protecting American Democracy” the National Academy of Sciences summarized its findings:

Conducting secure and credible Internet elections will require substantial scientific advances.

The use of blockchains in an election scenario would do little to address the major security requirements of voting, such as voter verifiability. The security contributions offered by blockchains are better obtained by other means. In the particular case of Internet voting, blockchain methods do not redress the security issues associated with Internet voting.

In this short paper we attempt to explain why blockchains cannot deliver the security guarantees required for safe online elections. But the summary is simple: Most of the serious vulnerabilities threaten the integrity and secrecy of voting before the ballots ever reach the blockchain.

Special Feature: theSkimm Launches No Excuses Campaign powered by US Vote Civic Data

Whoosh! theSkimm has hit the accelerator with their NoExcuses campaign.

In their own words, No Excuses is "theSkimm's nonpartisan campaign aiming to get 100,000 people to vote in the midterm elections. We're not here to tell you who to vote for, we just want to make sure that you vote. Because democracy." And that about says it all.

When you click into No Excuses, and choose your state, you are instantly served the election dates and deadlines that you need to know about to effectively participate in the 2018 Midterm Election.

We won't hide it: U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) is very proud to be the Civic Data source that is powering this great service and this tremendous outreach campaign. Our goal at US Vote is to enable election and voting innovators who are creating exactly these sorts of interactive tools and services for voters, to use the best and most relevant civic data available.

US Vote's Civic Data API does that part. And theSkimm is bringing it forward. What they say is: "This year, there are literally no excuses." Now that is something we can all agree on!

Discover "My Voter Account" - Your Personal Democracy App

NEW! Discover integrated news content from America's most respected non-partisan political fact-checking site, Factcheck.org.

 

 

Get your voting and election information all in one place. Your Voter Account moves with you, stays with you and informs you. It is your personal democracy app.

 

Create your Voter Account and begin experiencing the MVA service today! Create Voter Account

Press Releases

Michael Steele to Lead U.S. Vote Foundation

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 9, 2018 -- U.S. Vote Foundation's Board of Directors unanimously elected Michael Steele, Former Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), as Chair of U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) and its Overseas Vote initiative. His appointment will strengthen the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and support its work to advance its mission to make Every Citizen is a Voter, a reality.

“With the 2018 midterm election now underway, Mr. Steele's leadership and skill at driving engagement will positively augment our outreach efforts,” US Vote President and CEO Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat. “His breadth of communications experience and insight into the political and media establishment will help us keep our finger on the pulse during this important midterm election year.”

“This is the ideal time for me to take the reigns at US Vote and work with the organization to reach out to more voters, getting them involved in the voting process. We have the tools and services at US Vote to help every US citizen to engage in our democracy with voting as a central action,” stated Mr. Steele. "I'm truly looking forward to helping more people make their voices heard at the ballot box."

U.S. Vote Foundation Welcomes New Board Members and Interim Chair

Marcia Johnson-Blanco and Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro Join U.S. Vote Foundation Board; Michael Steele appointed as Interim Chair

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 19, 2017 - U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) has elected two new members to its Executive Board: Marcia Johnson-Blanco, Co-director, Voting Rights Project, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Deputy Vice President, Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation, UnidosUS. Both new members served since May 2015 on US Vote’s Advisory Board. Michael Steele, who has served on the board since March 2016 was appointed as Interim Chair of Board.

US Vote CEO Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat said, “It is an honor to have two new members of our board with such breadth of professional expertise in the realm of voting rights and outreach to diverse communities. They bring real election and voting advocacy muscle coupled with individual talents that will serve our organization immeasurably. In addition, we are all grateful to Michael Steele for taking the lead as we mobilize for the midterms.”

U.S. Vote Foundation to Tackle a Nationwide Data Problem

New Local Elections Data Resource and API

NEW YORK, NY, January 18, 2017 – U.S. Vote Foundation’s (US Vote) twelve year investment in development of its election data and API technology will be used to address a vast and unmanaged data challenge: Local Election Dates and Deadlines. The announcement was released at the Knight-Civic Hall Symposium on Tech, Politics and the Media.

“Ask anyone if they know the date of their next local election and what it is about, or how to find out? They cannot tell you. People are not participating in the elections that direct affect the quality of their lives. We are poised to unlock this data and fix that problem,” states Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, US Vote’s President and CEO.

A Knight Foundation Prototype Fund grant for “Local Election Dates and Deadlines (LEDD) Data Resource and API” served to kick-start the program.

US Vote Announces 2016 Election Day Voter Experience Survey Highlights

January 16, 2017 - The 2016 Election Day Voter Experience Survey, conducted by U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) together with its Overseas Vote initiative from Nov 8-11, 2016, provides new insights into approximately 12,000 voters’ actual experiences of casting a ballot (or not) through six different voting methods, both domestic and overseas.

Highlights / Key Findings

Among the many new insights, certain findings stood out:

  • Satisfaction and Motivation – 76% of all respondents indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with the voting process; and in a rating from 1 to 5, with 5 highest, overall voter motivation was 4.6%
  • Online Ballot Delivery Dominates for Overseas Voters – For the first time ever in a general election, overseas absentee voters in the 2016 election were more likely to receive their blank ballots through an electronic method (72%) than through postal mail

View Your State Voting Requirements & Election Deadlines