by Andee Goldman, Regional Outreach, Israel, Overseas Vote Initiative
Approximately 7% of eligible American overseas voters returned their ballots in the 2016 General Election. That's right. Just 7%.
It's a tiny improvement over the 4% level last reported, which we also found quite disappointing.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) most recent Overseas Citiizens Population Analysis (OCPA report) cites "obstacles" to the overseas voting process as the reason for this low participation - an opinion that Overseas Vote does not share with the agency. Overseas voters have many streamlined processes, like the facility of receiving their ballots online, that make overseas voting easier than ever. And our research shows exceedingly high satisfaction rates from overseas voters who do participate. Rather than cast blame and make excuses for poor results, we think it would be better to start thinking out-of-the-box, team-up and do more effective outreach, or enable Overseas Vote to do so.
Were you one of the American voters who did not vote? Your vote was missed! Per the OCPA report, the “top 10” countries from which overseas voters are voting are Canada, UK, Mexico, France, Japan, Australia, Israel, Germany, Italy, and South Korea.
"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting." Franklin D. Roosevelt
With less than 2 months remaining to vote in the U.S. Midterm Elections, now is the time to act! This election will decide the composition and balance of power within Congress. All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested.
YOU are eligible to vote: if you are a US citizen, over 18 years on election day. Voting is based on where you last lived in the United States, or if born overseas where your parents last lived.