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#517503 - 09/14/16 12:38 AM US Cits
Katie Valk Offline


Embassy of the United States of America
Belmopan

Message For U.S. Citizens
Information for Travelers and Residents
U.S. Embassy Belmopan, Belize
Absentee Voting Week is September 26-October 3

Be an Active Voter by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2016 U.S. elections and participating in Absentee Voting Week!

In many states, the voter registration deadline for the November 2016 elections is October 10. For some voters this might mean their paper voter registration and absentee ballot request must reach their local election officials by October 10. In order to vote in the November 2016 elections, all overseas U.S. citizens need to have completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)in 2016. Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, you must complete an FPCA each year to ensure you are able to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.

If you have already completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)in 2016 and requested electronic delivery of your ballot, you will be receiving your blank ballot or instructions for how to access your ballot soon if you have not already received it. If you are not sure about the status of your absentee ballot request you should contact your local election officials in the United States or check the status of your registration via your state’s voter registration verification website.

You can get voting assistance from the embassy or drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, during the following hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday at the security booth on Vanda Street, Belmopan City, Belize to be returned to the United States via diplomatic pouch.

HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT OVERSEAS VOTING

Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues that now is the time to start thinking about overseas voting. Consider posting to your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or other social media account that you are an active voter and will be dropping off or mailing your Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot. Use #ProudOverseasVoter to help get the word out about voting.

If you have never voted while overseas before, it’s not too late. The process is easy ¬-- just follow these steps:

1. Complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)

Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted absentee in past elections, complete an FPCA to receive your ballot this fall. It allows you to register to vote and request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (presidential and state primaries, run-off, special, and the November general elections) during the course of the year in which you submit the FPCA. Local election officials in all U.S. states and territories accept the FPCA.

The online voting assistant available at FVAP.gov is an easy way to complete the FPCA. It will ask you questions specific to your state and tell you if electronic ballot delivery is possible. No matter which state you vote in, we encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). Be sure to include your email address to take advantage of electronic delivery. The online voting assistant will generate a printable FPCA, which you can then print and sign.

2. Submit the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)

FPCA’s and absentee ballots can be dropped off at the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the security booth on Vanda Street, Belmopan City, Belize to be returned to the United States via diplomatic pouch.

If it’s more convenient for you, you can have a friend or family member drop off your FPCA at the embassy, on your behalf or you can send your FPCA or ballot directly to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.

3. Receive Your Ballot

After submitting your FPCA, most states allow you to confirm online your registration and ballot delivery selection. States are now required to send out ballots 45 days before an election (on or around September 24) for federal office (President, U.S. Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives) to any overseas U.S. citizen who has completed an FPCA.

4. Return Your Ballot

As with the FPCA, you can return your voted ballot to your local election officials free of charge via the nearest embassy or mail it directly at your own expense.

Your Vote Counts

Many U.S. elections within the past ten years have been decided by a margin of victory of less than 0.1%. All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline (differs by state).
Be an educated voter. Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, and search the Internet to locate articles and information.

To receive information by email about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP's Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebookand Twitter.
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. Embassy Belmopan’s Voting Assistance Officer at 501-822-4011 or at VoteBelmopan@state.gov.
_________________________
Belize based travel specialist
www.belize-trips.com
info@belize-trips.com

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#517520 - 09/14/16 04:27 PM Re: US Cits [Re: Katie Valk]
ScubaLdy Offline
Thanks Katie.

If I read your post correctly these are instructions for people who still live in the states and are registered to vote in their city/county/state of residence.

QUESTION: I am a resident of Belize and have never voted absentee. How do I do that?
_________________________
Harriette
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

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#517521 - 09/14/16 05:33 PM Re: US Cits [Re: Katie Valk]
Diane Campbell Offline
Good question Harriette!

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#517528 - 09/14/16 10:03 PM Re: US Cits [Re: ScubaLdy]
ragman Offline
Harriett, I think you are retired from a State job. If you file US Income taxes you have to claim a State and address, I believe. That would be the State you can vote in. If you don't file income taxes and/or are not registered to vote in one of the States then I don't believe you can vote. You would have to claim residence in one of the States. It is a very good question and to be honest I don't know for sure but votes are tallied by State for the Presidential election. I doubt you are voting for the same person I intend to vote for so why don't you just forget it. smirk San Pedro problems are a lot simpler anyway.

Do you have a US Driver's license? That could help you get registered by mail or phone I would think. Please don't answer any of these questions on line, that is your business.
_________________________
Jim
Somewhere on a beach in Belize

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#517529 - 09/14/16 11:25 PM Re: US Cits [Re: Katie Valk]
ScubaLdy Offline
Hi Jim
I'll not vote if you don't! Lol
No I am not allowed to have a driver's license as I am not a resident. I am supposed to be able to vote only in a presidential elections. Up until now I felt no need to.

I am one of those people who pays taxes with no representation. This galls me greatly as I obviously have no deductions and pay the high price because my retirement comes from the US.

NO I was not a state employee - I barely managed to survive in a County government job. But the medical services is very much into taking care of the poor - therefore quite liberal.

So I need to know how to get an absentee ballot.
_________________________
Harriette
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

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#517533 - 09/14/16 11:50 PM Re: US Cits [Re: Katie Valk]
Diane Campbell Offline
Hi jim
A US citizen is not required to maintain a stateside address in order to vote in the national elections, and filing a proper tax return and absolutely does not require a US address.
Those without a stateside address are tallied with the "APO"/ military offshore group when voting in national elections...... As a result for many people this means "why bother" ... but for today every vote seems to be a moral obligation.


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#517540 - 09/15/16 11:08 AM Re: US Cits [Re: Diane Campbell]
ragman Offline
I had a little more time this morning so I looked it up. Also remember a few years ago there was a problem with one of the States not counting military ballots because those votes where going to the democrat who was running. It was in all the papers about disenfranchising the military votes and was quite a stink.

The last State you lived in before leaving the country becomes your State of Residence. You must follow that States rules for registering to vote. As far as I know and I'm pretty certain of this, votes are collected by the State of Residence when you are in the Military. It was for me when I was in the Military and I'm quite certain that is still the case. When you look it up at government sites it gets a little hard to understand but their are groups who explain the process. http://www.expatinfodesk.com/blog/2012/0...s-while-abroad/ This article is dated 2012 so it may have changed and of course each State might do it differently.
Quote:
Who is entitled to vote?

Expatriates who are U.S. citizens and are over the age of 18 are eligible to vote absentee in both the primary and general elections. Each state does exercise different voting requirements and processes. Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Voting Assistance Guide or the Overseas Vote Foundation website for further information. For voting purposes, your state of legal residence is the state where you lived before you relocated overseas, even if you no longer have a postal address in that state. If you have never lived in the U.S. some states still allow you to vote providing you have a parent who would be eligible. For further information, contact your local election officials.


https://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/VAO/Voting%20Residence_Overseas%20Citizens.pdf
Quote:
Voting Residence: Overseas U.S. Citizens
Why do I need a voting residence?
Your election official needs your exact voting residence address in order to determine your voting precinct—and for which offices and candidates you are eligible to vote. Even if you are only voting for federal offices, the local election official still needs to identify your voting residence to send you the appropriate absentee ballot for that voting precinct.
What is my voting residence?
Your voting residence is the State in which you last resided immediately prior to your departure from the United States. This residence remains valid even if:
 You no longer own property or have other ties to that State.
 Your intent to return to that State is uncertain.
 Your previous address is no longer a recognized residential address.

https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote
Quote:
If you need to register to vote, visit Vote.USA.gov. Depending on your state’s voter registration rules, the site can help you:
•Register online. This is available for 31 states plus the District of Columbia.
•Download the National Mail Voter Registration Form (PDF, Download Adobe Reader). You can fill it out onscreen and print the completed form, or print the blank form and fill it out by hand. Remember to sign the form before mailing it to the location listed for your state.
•Find guidance for states and territories with different registration procedures.
Quote:
Tuesday 21st August 2012
Voting in the 2012 elections from overseas
The next United States presidential election will be held on November the 6th2012. The majority of Americans who reside abroad are allowed to vote in the federal elections through an absentee vote. However, this does vary according to the laws and regulations of their state of residence.

Unfortunately, in the last presidential election of 2008, only 1.2 million ballots were sent overseas and one quarter to one third of these ballots were not returned. As such, an estimated 5.7 million U.S. citizens abroad failed to exercise their right to vote. While there are a number of administrative and regulatory challenges that may confuse American expats and deter them from engaging in the absentee voting process, it is important that you do exercise your right to vote. Our guide to voting in the U.S. elections from overseas provides all the information you need to do so.


Who is entitled to vote?

Expatriates who are U.S. citizens and are over the age of 18 are eligible to vote absentee in both the primary and general elections. Each state does exercise different voting requirements and processes. Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Voting Assistance Guide or the Overseas Vote Foundation website for further information. For voting purposes, your state of legal residence is the state where you lived before you relocated overseas, even if you no longer have a postal address in that state. If you have never lived in the U.S. some states still allow you to vote providing you have a parent who would be eligible. For further information, contact your local election officials.
_________________________
Jim
Somewhere on a beach in Belize

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#517548 - 09/15/16 01:00 PM Re: US Cits [Re: Katie Valk]
Diane Campbell Offline
Looks like you could get yourself stuck with state income tax if you choose unwisely.
Looks like a trap.

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#517550 - 09/15/16 01:26 PM Re: US Cits [Re: Katie Valk]
Chica Blanca Offline
Harriett you can register in the state of CA to vote for both local and national elections. It was quite easy to register to vote in Contra Costa County online (Remember I am from neighboring Crockett to your Martinez). You go through their process and print out the registration forum to mail. Then the ballot is both emailed and sent via postal service. Fill out and return.

Contra Costa County vote registration
_________________________
Coleen

Beach bum, butterfly stalker, native plant enthusiast.

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#517552 - 09/15/16 02:41 PM Re: US Cits [Re: Katie Valk]
ScubaLdy Offline
Diane it is like a trap. When my hip was so bad I could hardly walk my doctor filled out a form for a disability placard. DMV wouldn't honor it because I was no longe HDr a resident. I had learned the hard way about that.
When my California drivers license expired I renewed it using my son's address. I then got a bill for years of back state taxes. It took a lot of work to get that taken care of.
Thanks for all the info I'll get to work.
_________________________
Harriette
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

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