Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

On my eighteenth birthday, my dad woke me up bright and early. But instead of giving me a carefully wrapped present, he drove me to our local voter registration office. My father wanted to instill in me the value of having my voice heard, and from that day forward, I have voted in every general election. Today, millions of Americans will head to the polls to cast their votes in the 2012 general election and for once, I will not be one of them.

Thankfully, an absentee ballot will keep me from being disowned by my father for failing to make it to the polls on Election Day.

Voting from abroad is a rather easy process. First, Matthew and I submitted our requests for absentee ballots to New York State through the Overseas Vote Foundation, a non-partisan organization dedicated to assisting U.S. citizens register and vote from abroad. While we no longer maintain a physical address in NY, this is the last state we voted in and therefore, we continue to be registered voters there. A few weeks before Election Day, we received our absentee ballots in the mail. We simply filled them out and then were tasked with returning them to our county board of elections. We chose to have our ballot delivered by diplomatic pouch (mostly because I thought it made us sound important), but could have had it delivered through international mail or a private courier service such as FedEx or UPS. For us, it was easiest to drop off our sealed ballots at the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai and allow them to take care of the rest. 

While we may not be the U.S. this year for the election, I'm happy to know that my vote will count from abroad. And I'm sure my father is too.


  1. Why are the same candidates on the ballot multiple times?

  2. The same candidate can appear again if they are nominated by a different party. So here, Obama was the candidate for both the Democratic Party and the Working Families party while Romney was the candidate for the Republican and Conservative parties.


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