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Old 03-11-2019, 12:59   #31
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Re: Voting in Elections? USA

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post

Nearly everyone I know stateside does not vote.

Time for some new friends?
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Old 03-11-2019, 16:59   #32
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Re: Voting in Elections? USA

We plan to return to the USA, our kids live here, we still own property here and we care about the elections. We plan to stay involved. It's my understanding that absentee ballots are only counted in a close election. We'd like ours to count and we'd return before the election to do that if we could, legally. I'll check with the local voting authorities here, that is a good idea - I should have thought of that. Thank you all who responded.
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Old 03-11-2019, 19:17   #33
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Re: Voting in Elections? USA

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If you prefer to live your life in other countries, why would you want to vote in elections in a country that you don't want to live in?
Well, first off, as a citizen, I believe it is my duty to vote. If I had dual citizenship, I'd be voting both places. There are heaps of reasons to live abroad that do not include the "don't want to live in" concept: for example, military service, working for the US Gov't abroad in any capacity, working for a business in a foreign country, working for the UN, to name a few.

How we manage it is that we register in the State of our legal address (the passport one), and request absentee ballots. The local consulate or embassy can help you, and I bet something similar is available throughout the western world. Also, the political party of your choice will help.

Furthermore, failure to vote equals (in my thinking at least) a vote for everything I disagree with. How silly it would be of me to not vote! As Wotname suggested, as long as you pay taxes in your country of origin, you may want to have some input.

Ann
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Old 03-11-2019, 21:21   #34
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Re: Voting in Elections? USA

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Originally Posted by cherylchecheryl View Post
But voting for how a country is governed and not living there is a bit like not eating your own cooking. You won't be living under the policies that you vote for to see implemented. Those policies may sound wonderful on paper, but may not be so great in reality.

Further, if you are traveling, with 30 day ocean passages and living in far-off places, are you really an informed voter? You will have limited access to news and will be totally dependent on media for forming your opinions. The news media has increasingly become less objective and more opinion based. How much news coverage will you even have access to when you are in some far-off place?

If you prefer to live your life in other countries, why would you want to vote in elections in a country that you don't want to live in?

Anyone who cares enough to go to this much trouble and concern is probably more informed than most. The internet connects us all. Few read news print any more and news magazines are terrible refs, (my opinion). We do have our investments and other personal reasons to care, perhaps property. We also would like some say in what type of place we come home to some day.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:03   #35
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Re: Voting in Elections? USA

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Where you vote as an American citizen does not necessarily have to do with **either** your de facto nor legal domicile residency. It is easy for most to choose the latter, e.g. to coincide with your letterbox service, before heading overseas.

My point is that is as it should be, and most certainly so at the national/federal level.

I have lived as an expat over 80% my adult life, and both never failed to vote and observed / discussed many of my compatriots doing the same. Of course most USians living abroad are military.

Nearly everyone I know stateside does not vote.

And I do very strongly believe it should be mandatory and is a citizen's duty, just as much as paying your fair share of taxes.
It's easy to manipulate the system to choose your legal residency...because most areas don't check if it's legit, out of fear of claims that you are suppressing the vote even though it has nothing to do with that.

Again, there is no such thing as a nationally elected position in the federal govt. There are state and local level elections for state representatives to federal positions.

Most American expats (USins????) are not military and if that is your primary connection to expats, is likely giving you a very distorted sample. Military personnel tend to be more patriotic and consider government service...including voting... extremely important and it's often reinforced by commanders (on average...always exceptions). Once you get away from military expats (they aren't really expats in the normal sense of the word anyway), it's likely much more close to the average non-expat. If anything, my experience is most are more disconnected from local politics and it's a hassle to vote, so often don't bother.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:23   #36
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Re: Voting in Elections? USA

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Originally Posted by reynoldsa View Post
It's my understanding that absentee ballots are only counted in a close election.
Your understanding is wrong.

All votes are counted. What may be confusing you is the machine votes are often reported fairly quickly (usually within a couple hours of the polls closing). This is what you see on election night when the news calls races shortly after the polls close. Often, the gap is wide enough that the winner is a certainty (ie: there is a 1000 vote spread and only 100 absentee ballots...no mathematical way to change the outcome)...

But they always do count them all for the official tally...but that can take a while. You only hear about this if it's so close that absentee ballots can change the outcome.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:10   #37
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Re: Voting in Elections? USA

Choosing your legal residence (domicile) location for a nomadic lifestyle, while you are travelling or living overseas has nothing to do with "manipulating the system".

Many jurisdictions in fact have an established legal process involving affidavits, county clerk, a judge etc, all aboveboard and "legit", everyone fully acknowledging the situation.

The only difficulties comes with wealthy taxpayers, when the previous location is a higher-tax jurisdiction and has reason to think the "move" of legal domicile is a tax dodge. In fact, the courts may legally determine an individual is domiciled within two or more states at the same time for tax purposes.

Ordinary people just looking for a convenient address and jurisdiction including for voting purposes have no such trouble and are well within the legal rights of every USian.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:02   #38
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Re: Voting in Elections? USA

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We plan to live aboard in the Med starting June 2020. We will return to the USA (avoiding Schengen) right before the 2020 election. We are renting our home, so we do not have a residence in Iowa, although we own the property. Please share how you retain voting rights when you're not actually living on the property you own. thank you
To the OP. Since the thread has wandered a bit -

You own the home (rented out) in Iowa. You are no doubt registered there for voting. You can check with your local board there but you should have no trouble voting in person or absentee there. The board’s confusion if any will be that there are renters there also claiming the address for registration and voting.

If you have retained an entity like St Brenden Isle for mail handling then you might be able to register there although there is no point if you own real property in Iowa.

I could get into the contorted issues with our own registration with frequent changes for the mail handling over three states, no home, partial ownership of a Michigan property. This matters for registration, National healthcare, taxes etc. the rules were not made for nomads. This is clearly evident by the way Shengen screwed Europe up totally for non-EU cruisers.
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Old 12-11-2019, 20:20   #39
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Re: Voting in Elections? USA

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Hey dude don't sweat, anyone can vote in our elections, even dead people. No residence, no ID, no nothing, just show up.
Sad, but so true!
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Old 13-11-2019, 04:18   #40
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Re: Voting in Elections? USA

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Originally Posted by magentawave View Post
Sad, but so true!
Low voter turn out is a far, far greater problem. Voting irregularities are minuscule.
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