Washington Update Bulletin - Register to Vote - January 2012

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    Lucy Stensland Laederich
    FAWCO US Liaison
    Washington Update Bulletin
     FAWCO is an original organizer of the annual Overseas Americans Week
    in Washington

    January 3, 2012

    FAWCO Washington Update

    Hello and Happy New Year!

    On the very threshold of the Iowa caucuses, I wanted 1) to wish you all a very happy and most exciting 2012... major change is on the horizon (presidential elections affecting 53% of the world's population and over 50% of global GDP, for starters) and we have to hope it will be good, and 2) to ask you all to encourage all those around you to REGISTER to vote and REQUEST ballots NOW!  Due to differing interpretations of the MOVE Act legislative language, there are some districts which will require voters to register for every election in the year (primary, general, run-off...) and our members are going to have to be sure they are ready!
    Please send them to the article on the FAWCO home page and
    urge them to request their ballot now, using the wonderfully easy FAWCO-OVF button on the lefthand side of that same page.  That website will:
    • help them register to vote and request their ballot using the most advanced secure technology
    • provide them with state-specific information about eligibility and deadlines
    • let them request an emergency Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot if their own ballot arrives late (the FVAP actually recommends requesting this from the outset, just in case)
    • give contact information for their local election official

    In addition, while instantly erasing all personal information when the registration process is completed, the FAWCO-OVF site keeps general statistics on numbers registering, countries of residence, and voting state.  This information is extremely helpful when I and others go to Washington - we are always asked "well yes, but how many voters are we talking about...?"   

    We are highly privileged to benefit from this service thanks to our partner, Overseas Vote Foundation - requesting your ballot has never been easier!   

    Forgive me for sharing a personal story: when I was 2 years old in New York City, my not-yet naturalized Swedish father, my American mother Carol, my 2 Swedish siblings recently-arrived from Stockholm and I got dressed up and went to the polling place.  My brother asked why we had to get dressed up.  My father answered, "We have to accompany Carol.  She is voting for 5 people."


    I truly believe the right to vote is our most precious - FAWCO was  active in the fight to win the vote for overseas Americans in 1975 - I hope you share my delight in the fact that today, thanks to FAWCO and OVF, we can make it easy for so many! 

    Very best wishes for many personal successes and happinesses for you all in 2012...



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