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Update 8/1/2008: Problem solved! Talked with NYC Board of Elections office yesterday morning. They had the correct ballot forwarding information in their computer records. So, in October they will forward my ballot for the presidential general election to my mom's house, and all is fine. I'm grateful to the competent and patient woman who works the phone there.

Below is the diary from before the problem was solved. Hopefully, in the future, someone doing a Kos search on a similar issue will find it useful.
I need help! I'm about to leave for 6 months backpack traveling, and it looks like voting isn't going to be as simple as it appeared earlier. I need advice.

I'll be voting from somewhere in Central America, as a New York city/state resident.
My problem: The NY City board of elections told me I was all set to vote from abroad, and it looks like they made a mistake!
I leave for Guatemala City, Guatemala on Sunday, 8/3/2008... and just received a 'transfer notice' from my NY City address that didn't get sent to the correct address they said they would send to! I won't be staying in any place very long, and have no fixed plans for country/village - things would be much easier otherwise.

Details: I went to my NY board of elections in NY City in mid-May 2008, before moving away. They told me to fill out a form, and they said my voting ballot for the 2008 presidential election would get mailed to my mom's house (in Wisconsin). She would then forward my ballot to me in Central America, and I could mail it directly to the NY City Board of Elections address. (I will be backpack traveling by busses, and am not currently sure what country I will be in, when the ballot arrives at my Mom's place. When it arrives, she'll email me, and I'll tell her where to mail it... then stay put until it gets there and I can mail my vote.)

I'll be phoning the election offices tomorrow morning, and emailed the Obama site for some help... however there are only a few working days and  I don't know how much will get done.

I want to make sure I get to vote for Obama for president, in the general election. Backpack travel voting advice would be appreciated!

Board of elections info:
Board of Elections in the city of New York
200 Varick St., 10 Fl
New York, NY   10014
Election district: 112

Originally posted to foldingBicycle on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 05:38 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  6 months (0+ / 0-)

    Going to central America in the summer from New York is not smart.

    The only way you can become a POW is to surrender

    by abomb on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 05:48:46 PM PDT

    •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

      Like you sig, though.

      Silvio Levy

    •  Why? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This country would be a far better place if more people did extencive travel like this.

      •  Having been there before, I'd guess (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        1. Might be hot (although maybe not -- see #2)
        1. Rainy season is May to November.

        "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

        by mbayrob on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 06:01:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sure it is. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sitting at a cafe on the Zocalo in Oaxaca; hanging on the beach at Zipolite or chilling at nearby Peurto Angel; taking a horse ride through the rain forest near an active volcano or following the howler monkeys up to the waterfalls near Montezuma in Costa Rica;  snorkeling off Bocas del Toro after a visit to Boquette in Western Panama?

      Ah, friend, you are quite mistaken.

      •  indeed (0+ / 0-)

        was just in Montezuma last December, and yes the walks with monkeys to the waterfalls are beautiful! Can't wait to see more of this big world we live in...

        •  Is the hotel just south of there on the beach... (0+ / 0-)

          ...still for sale?  Asking price, with restaurant, was $50,000 when I was there.

          •  don't know that one (0+ / 0-)

            stayed at Luna Llena, $10/night for beautiful hostel with monkeys in the trees, gorgeous views from the deck, and really nice people.

            •  Hope it doesn't become too commercialized (0+ / 0-)

              It surely is one of the nicest places I've been.  I stayed on the beach in a more primitive place ($5, if I remember correctly) and watched the sunrise with the old man who owned the place each morning.

              What did you think of Nicaragua?  My impression was that between the hurricane back in the 70's and the war in the eighties, they were still behind the eight-ball.  Trying to rebuild with no resources.  A hint of resentment towards Americans in some people.

              Misaya, with its seated hammocks (one is behind me as I type) and Ometepe, with its character and characters, were both favorites of mine.  

              Traveling from Rivas to San Juan del Sur was a shock.  Think of how easy it would have been to put the canal there, compared with what they went through in Panama!  Flat, dry, level land, with one hill to go around (or cut through) at the coast.  Cornelius Vanderbilt had it right. From Wikipedia:  "During the 1849 California Gold Rush, he offered a shortcut via Nicaragua to California—shaving 600 miles (960 km) at half the price of the Isthmus of Panama shortcut."

  •  Are you unable to vote absentee? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Try Democrats Abroad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't know how long you'll be Guatemala, but Democrats Abroad, an organization of Democrats living outside of the US, know a lot about voting from outside the US.

    My sense that you may very well be able to get this straightened out in time.  You may even be able to contact people in Guatamala's chapter of DA before you go.

    "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

    by mbayrob on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 05:58:11 PM PDT

  •  The NYC board of elections *sucks* (0+ / 0-)

    I'm still an (I), despite 3 separate attempts to switch over the last few years.  

    •  that's really bad (0+ / 0-)

      sorry to hear about your NYC party registration problems. The League of Women Voters website has registration forms (for all genders), that's what I used for NYC Democratic Party registration and had no problem. Have you tried registered mail? some kind of signature record might make people more careful with your form. Good luck!

  •  Check the Thorntree at Lonely Planet (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I spent 10 weeks in Central America a few years ago.  Learning Spanish, chasing waterfalls (highly recommended) and finding places to go back to.  

    Stay out of the larger cities whenever possible.  There are abundant things to see and do.

    Don't forget a side trip to Cuba.  You'll want to go back.

    •  thanks for the advice (0+ / 0-)

      Sounds like you had a great trip! Working on better Spanish is definitely a goal. Thorntree is full of great information...

      •  There is a great hostel in a small town... (0+ / 0-)

        outside of Cartago, run by a French Canadian and Nederlander who married.  They have a small language school there.  I can get you particulars if you like.

        Otherwise, Antigua, Guatemala offers opportunities...

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