Today, I received my ballot to vote in the Presidential Election. I actually received the ballot in an Email from the Fairfax County Board of Elections in Fairfax Virginia. You see, I am an Ex-Pat living in Australia, and this is my first presidential election living outside the United States. Four years ago, I was busy in Virginia following Barack Obama and taking photos for a couple of blogs in Virginia. I also was one of the first people to report on the alarming comments being made by Palin Supporters in the early days after the 2008 GOP Convention. I was proud to see Barack Obama's final Rally of the 2008 campaign in Manassas, Virginia only hours after his Mother's death. I wish I could be there now... but I will do my part here in Australia.
More under the Squiggle
I often find myself having to... explain... the American experience to Australians. With this election season heating up, I am having to first explain the GOP position, why they are saying what they are saying, and then pivot to the Democratic opinion and explain why not everyone is insane like the GOP.
But Damn, it is getting hard!
First it was Health Care, then it was Birth Control, then it was Taxes, Gun Control, Helping the Poor, Back to Health Care, then explaining why our elections run for years, then what they hell was Clint Eastwood doing on stage, and now the Romney gaffe--omatic machine for the last two weeks. It tiring, and honestly, I can't comprehend what the GOP is doing. I have stopped trying to explain the GOP's position, and just tell the people who ask how many people are trying to stop that level of crazy from taking over our country.
My Australian friends are completely gobsmacked that 1) Romney is the Nominee, and 2) he is a serious contender for actually winning. I had one Australian friend say "I really hope you vote, because the World can't handle 4 years of Romney, It would be worse than Bush."
I educate, I try to show people that Americans are not uniform, and that many many Americans are not duped by the Billion Dollar Edsel that is the Romney Campaign.
So of course I am voting. There was never any doubt.
With 7 weeks left to go, we need to still keep it up. I am talking to my american friends in Australia to make sure they vote Absentee. I am voting in the critical state of Virginia. Being an Ex-Pat does not mean you give up your right to vote. Do not let anyone convince yourself otherwise.
If you know Ex-Pats, Give them this information. There are millions of Ex-Pats across the globe, and we have the same rights to vote. In most cases, your last Residence is where you will vote. For me, that was Virginia.
I filled out my form here: at http://www.fvap.gov/ and filled out my Information. Then I printed and faxed my form in (they have Toll Free Fax numbers for many countries) and this morning received an email from the Country Voting Board. It took about a week turnaround... Each state has their own process, and time is starting to run out for us Ex-Pats. I will be mailing my Ballot in early next week via FedEx so that it is there in time. Don't delay, and make your voice be heard.
Also, more information from the State Department on overseas Voting.
Lastly, if you do not get your Ballot within 30 days of the Election, you can fill out an Emergency Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot. Please don't let yourself or an Ex-Pat you know disenfranchise themselves by not voting.
Thanks everyone, and I hope you have a great day.