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Do you have questions about how to register for the 2020 elections? Would you like to get an early jump on receiving your ballot? What if you have never lived in the US? Or perhaps, you wonder if your absentee vote makes a difference in an election’s outcome?

An estimated 9 million Americans live abroad, and Switzerland is home to about 20,000. Few Americans exercise their right to vote while living outside of the US, but there are good reasons to make the effort. As the 2020 primaries are right around the corner, it’s a good idea to register as soon as possible. In fact, a good rule of thumb is to add voter registration to your annual New Year to-do list, as most states require you to register and request your ballot every year you intend to vote.

Will your vote make a difference?

Absentee votes have decided the outcome in several recent races for federal/gubernatorial office, including Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina (2016), Senator Maggie Hasson of New Hampshire (2016), and Ohio Rep. Troy Balderson (2018).

And, as always, your vote is your voice. If Americans abroad choose not to vote, then issues that directly affect them are not addressed by lawmakers. Double taxation is a perennial issue that many Americans would like to see modified, for example.

Some citizens born abroad may be able to register

Most Americans over the age of 18 are eligible to vote in US federal elections, including primaries and midterms. But most don’t realise that all 50 states allow overseas voters to vote in state and local elections, so long as they have ticked “intend to return” as their voter type on the registration form (the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)). Moreover, even if you check “return is uncertain,” on the FPCA, 31 states still allow overseas voters to vote at the state and local level.

Likewise, ten states don’t allow Americans born abroad to vote in the state where their parent or spouse has resided. As you can see, things get tricky in some cases!

All are welcome to this information session

What is the best way to get the most accurate information regarding your vote? Mark your calendars for Thursday, February 6, 2020, for a free Absentee Voting Information Meeting at the American International Women’s Club (AIWC). Together with American Citizens Abroad, the American International Club of Geneva, Democrats Abroad and Republicans Overseas, the AIWC will host a representative from American Citizen Services, US Embassy, Bern, to answer your voting-related questions.

Further details are below. All are welcome. 

Absentee Voting Information Session
RSVP by Monday, 3 February 2020:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
022 736 01 20 (Monday to Thursday open 9h-16h)

Thursday, 6 February 2020
Session 1: 17h-18h30
Session 2: 19h-20h30

AIWC Clubrooms
11, route de Chêne, 4th floor
1207 Genève
Across from the new Genève-Eaux-Vives-Gare CEVA station as well as many other TPG buses and tram (stop Genève-Eaux-Vives-Gare).

VoteAIWC copy