Blog

  • Too Young to Vote? That Doesn’t Mean You’re Too Young To Help Get Out the Vote

    One of the true pleasures in being part of a non-partisan get-out-the-vote organization is the interest that young people show in what U.S. Vote Foundation does in order to make sure Every Citizen is a Voter. Even though our motto is technically about every eligible citizen, young people who are under the age of 18 and not eligible to vote can still have an impact on the voting process for this election and in the future.

    Engaging young voters isn’t just a good idea: it’s essential to the success of our democracy. Young people lag behind other age cohorts in voting, and while the 2018 mid-terms were a watershed in youth vote turnout, the totals are still embarrassingly small: only 28 percent of all eligible voters between the age of 18-30 voted in 2018. As this age group represents approximately 35 percent of the total electorate, the largest single group of voters overall, this means that almost 10 percent of the electorate was missing action in 2018. That’s greater than the margin of victory in most major races.

    So, even if you’re under 18, it’s not too early to get involved and get started on the road to actually casting a ballot when you come of age.

  • US Vote and Overseas Vote: Proud to Support Our Uniformed Service Members Since 2004

    One of the things we’re most proud of at U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) and Overseas Vote is our longstanding role supporting the efforts of uniformed services voters and their families to participate in the electoral process, regardless of whether they’re stationed overseas or stateside.

    That role continues today with a wide range of services that active duty military personnel can access to ensure their vote gets counted.

    Our services include:

    We also have a Voter Help Desk where voters can find answers to most frequently asked questions and ask our experts to help you with specific voting problems.

  • US Vote Announces New Ex-Offender Voting Rights Resource

    NEW! Ex-Offender Voting Rights Clarified

     

    If you've been convicted and lost your voting rights, you can restore your right to vote in every state! 

    In partnership with Hip Hop Caucus, U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) has created a comprehensive, up-to-date, easy-to-understand resource to guide voters through the ups and downs of ex-offender disenfranchisement.

    There are variations in how the states address voting by ex-offenders and those with misdemeanors. Take nothing for granted - get informed. US Vote has made it easier for you. We created a new resource to allow voters and policy makers to easily navigate and understand the complex patchwork of laws regarding ex-offender disenfranchisement and re-enfranchisement.

    Additionally, US Vote has worked hard to include all aspects of criminal disenfranchisement for all Americans, all in one place! This means that the US Vote Ex-Offender Voting Rights resource includes information on misdemeanor disenfranchisement, not just felony disenfranchisement, and includes US territories, not just the states. Check it out today!

  • NEW! Early Voting Dates Chart – available now

    Early Voting and In-person Absentee Voting: Two Important Voting Options Explained.

    One of the biggest issues facing the electorate in the run-up to the November 3 General Election is the question of how to vote, and in particular, how to vote safely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Needless to say, this has spurred an enormous interest in alternatives to showing up at a polling place on Election Day. While many voters are deciding to vote-by-mail, it’s not for everyone. 

    This where early voting and in-person absentee voting come in. These voting methods provide alternatives that you may want to consider.  

    US Vote is excited to announce our new Early Voting Dates Chart that you can consult to see your state’s available options.

  • College Student Voting Information Blog Post

    A College Student’s Take on the Voting Process

    Balancing college life is tough. Fulfilling extracurricular commitments, maintaining a social life, earning money, and caring for physical and mental health all pile on top of meeting the demands of coursework itself. So when a student seeks to vote, to engage themselves in the democracy they live in, to make their voice heard, no obstacles should stand in the way. But in today’s America, navigating the voting process for college students is a chore in and of itself.

  • Introducing theSkimm's New Ballot Request Site (developed by US Vote!)

    Those of you who log on to U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) and Overseas Vote for help in getting your ballot or contacting your local election official may be surprised to know that we have another important mission: helping other organizations, companies, and even states provide the same services to their members, customers, employees, and constituents. We do this by licensing the data and services that power this very website. This allows us to provide hosted systems and widgets to create a customized website experience that provides US Vote’s voting services directly to the licensee’s website, while mimicking the website’s look and feel.

    We're very excited to announce our partnership with theSkimm to provide licensing data and services that make it easier to request your absentee ballot, navigate your state-by-state voting options, and get in touch with your local election official."

  • New! Ballot Return Options Chart

    Do you have questions about how to return your ballot without putting it into the postal system?

    U.S. Vote Foundation has answers for you on our new Ballot Return Options chart.

    We are all a bit shaken by the compounding news stories relating to our treasured U.S. Postal Service. With so many voters needing absentee vote-by-mail ballots to participate this year, the timing of this drop in postal service efficiency is disastrous.

  • Votes for Women!

    With the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution upon us, it’s worthwhile taking a look at what led to that historic moment a century ago. While 1920 marked the first election in which women could vote for president, it was hardly the first time that women were “allowed” to vote in the United States. The saga of the journey from colonial disenfranchisement to the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the modern era is a journey into the complicated history of voting in the United States, one that has oscillated between inclusion and exclusion since the dawn of our democracy.

    One of the first women to vote in the United States, according to historian Stephen Ambrose, was Sacagawea, the young Shoshone woman who helped lead the Lewis and Clark expedition from the Central Plains to the mouth of the Columbia River. At a key moment in their journey in 1805, a decision to proceed by one route or the other was decided by a voice vote of the entire Corps of Discovery, including Sacagawea as well as York, William Clark’s slave. As both were technically slaves (Sacagawea had been kidnapped and “married’ to a French trader at the age of 15 after her original owner lost her in a card game), the significance of this vote is not to be denied, however little it actually influenced voting rights back home.

  • Top 15 Absentee Vote-by-Mail Ballot Questions of 2020

    Here are the most commonly asked Domestic and Overseas Absentee Ballot questions from our Voter Help Desk. Have a look and see if your question is answered.

    1. Is there still time to request an absentee ballot?

    2. When are ballots mailed out and where’s mine?

    • States vary in their timing for mailing out ballots. For domestic voters, expect it to be sent about 4 weeks prior to Election Day. For overseas voters, it will be sent as of 45 days prior to the election.
    • If you sent your ballot request form to your election office and confirmed that you are registered, but don't yet have your ballot - it is good to check on its whereabouts as soon as possible.
    • Go to the State Voting Requirements directory: Look up your state and open the "State Lookup Tools - Am I registered? Where's my ballot?" section. There you will see the "Where's My Ballot" link - if your state offers it (they don't all have this).
    • If the "Where's My Ballot" link is unavailable or you do not find your ballot, you will need to look up and call your election office - they manage ballot sending and counting.
    • Also, check out the new Ballot Return Options chart.

  • Dispatches: An “Only in America” Story Inspires Voters

    This second post in a new series on overseas voting is by Mariana Neisuler, a career diplomat in the U. S. diplomatic service. Her views are presented in a personal and non-partisan capacity and do not represent those of the U.S. Department of State.

    My Macedonian driver was chatting away as he made blood curdling turns along a mountainous road on the way to an Albanian village. It was June 2008 and Macedonia was holding its first early elections since the country’s founding in 1991. I was the Embassy’s elections monitor.