There are over 7 million Americans living outside the United States. They are teachers, students, business executives, artists, diplomats, foreign aid workers, members of the armed forces, and many other professions. If the overseas Americans counted as a state, it would be the 12th most populous state, larger than Virginia or Massachusetts.
Americans overseas who are over 18 are entitled to vote in their home state (or the state they last lived in if they have no plans to return). However the deadlines for registering and voting are almost here. Many states require that they have the registration form by Oct. 2, 2004.
The fastest way to register is to go to www.overseasvote2004.com to fill and print the registration form. This should then be sent to your county clerk as described below.
Below is some advice from Democrats Abroad; presumably Republicans Abroad has the same advice since it is about how to register, not who to vote for.
"Your ballot request MUST reach your state NO LATER than OCTOBER 2nd if you want to use the Federal Write-In Ballot. Democrats Abroad had suggested you post your application no later than September 15th to allow for the inevitable bumbling at the post office. However, the deadline for your state to receive your ballot application is OCTOBER 2nd. At this point, to ensure your right to vote, we urge you to send your ballot request by FedEx, DHL or other express service. Yes, it will be more expensive that ordinary post, but it's hard to put a price on our future!
You may FAX your application to MOST states by OCTOBER 2nd, and it will be accepted as long as you SEND IN THE ORIGINAL BY MAIL, as well. The one you mail may be received after October 2nd. It will simply validate your fax. In other words, the Fax "reserves" a ballot for you. You will be able to vote, as long as the state receives the original in addition to--albeit after--it receives the fax. You can fax it to 703 693-5527. Include a fax cover sheet with your name, state and county of last residence, and your email address. Toll-free fax numbers are available from some countries.
The Following States WILL NOT accept faxes at all: Alabama, Guam, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Wyoming. Again, if you are from these states, we urge you to use an express service to deliver your ballot.
The following states will accept faxes in LIMITED circumstances: Utah will accept faxes ONLY in emergency situations. Rhode Island will NOT accept faxes from people who checked "other U.S. citizen residing outside the U.S." on their federal postcard application. Rhode Island WILL accept faxes from people who checked "a member of the Uniformed Services or merchant marine on active duty, or an eleigble spouse or dependent"; "a U.S. citizen temporarily residing outside the U.S."; or "a U.S. citizen overseas by virtue of employment or accompanying spouse or dependent."
The Following States will accept faxes ONLY if you have registered in the state before. In other words, if you have lived in these states AND voted in these sates, you may apply for your ballot by fax. If you have lived in these states, but never registered to vote or voted in them, you may NOT: Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
Wisconsin will only accept the fax if the original is post-marked the same day it is faxed.
Some states will allow Overseas Voter to register after October 2, but you forfeit the right to use the Federal Write-In Ballot and may be disenfranchised if the state ballot does not arrive in the mail. Many states provide two deadlines -- one for people who have previously registered and/or voted in the state where they lived and one for people who have not. These deadlines and other voting information can be found at: http://www.democratsabroad.org/vote.php."
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