Friday, September 5, 2008

For all the Chennai Expats Out There

And really, for American expats** around the world too. If you hadn't noticed yet, it's campaign season, and at the end of the campaign is a national vote. If you're living outside America, you can still vote, but it takes a bit of planning. In Chennai there are several ways to gather information about your home state's voting procedure, I've included the most pertinent behind the cut tag.

Or if you want to talk to someone in person, there will be a voting registration assistance booth at AISC from 12-5 tomorrow (Saturday, 6 September) during the Welcome Back to School picnic.

**Expat: a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing or legal residence.

Straight from American Citizen Services (ACS) through me to you:
New Website for Overseas Voters
We encourage you to visit the newly redesigned Federal Voting Assistance Program website at, the official U.S. government website for overseas voters. The updated website features an automated Voter Registration and Ballot Delivery tool that will greatly improve the vote-by-mail process.
There are two options for overseas voters using the FVAP website:
· Visit and click "Get Started" to be directed to an online Federal Postcard Application and instructions for your state; or
· Visit and click "Use our New Automated Tool to Register/Request a Ballot" under Quick Links in the lower right-hand corner of the home page. You will be redirected to, a fully automated site that requires you to create a user account and password.

Voter Registration & Requesting an Absentee Ballot

Voters who have not yet registered to vote and requested an absentee ballot should do so now using the FVAP website. You may also pick up a hard copy of the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) from any U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
You should also complete a new Federal Postcard Application if you have moved or changed your name since the last time you voted.
Your local voting officials should mail your absentee ballot 30 to 45 days before the November 4 general election. Return your voted ballot as early as possible. Be aware of your state's ballot receipt deadline, as well as any postmarking requirements.
Emergency Ballots
The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) serves as an emergency ballot for voters who registered in time but fail to receive an official ballot from local election officials. You can access the FWAB using as well.
The Voting Assistance Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai is also always available to answer questions about absentee voting. To contact the Voting Assistance Officer, call 044-2857-4000 or send an e-mail to

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