INFORMATION ABOUT GREEN ELECTORAL WORK AND CANDIDATES
(Prepared by the Electoral Working Group of the U.S. Greens Abroad)
ELECTORAL WORK BY U.S. GREENS
There are an estimated 7,000,000 Americans living overseas. Let's send a message to American politicians and to the billions of people we share the world with that the Americans abroad are paying attention to what is going on in the U.S. and the world at-large. Get involved in the decision-making process and let your voice be heard. Vote!
Up-to-date information about specific Green candidates and campaigns can be obtained through the following websites: <http://www.greens.org/elections/>. For American citizens living abroad who do not have access to the Internet, the U.S. Greens Abroad can provide printed information about Green candidates and campaigns in your state.
The League of Conservation Voters <http://www.voteenvironment.org>, which is unaffiliated with the Green Party, helps U.S. voters cast green votes by providing non-partisan analyses of candidates' voting records at state and federal levels (state legislators, governors, U.S. representatives, and senators).
REGISTERING TO VOTE
The next General Election is Tuesday, November 2, 2004. U.S. citizens living abroad must submit an application (FPCA card) for obtaining absentee ballots by September 30, 2004.
The U.S. Greens Abroad can provide information about registering to vote and send you a voter registration card. We need the following information from you: (1) the name of the state and county you last voted in; (2) your current regular postal mailing address--not an e-mail address.) Contact Richard Evanoff, 1933-8 Hazama-cho, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 193-0941. E-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. You can also register directly online at <www.TellAnAmericanToVote.com>.
The following information is compiled from the brochure, How To Do It! Vote Absentee, available at American embassies and consulates. More specific information, including state-by-state voting rules can be found in the Voting Assistance Guide, also available at American embassies and consulates. The U.S. Greens Abroad retains a copy of the Voting Assistance Guide and will be happy to give out information about the voting rules and possible tax obligations of specific states upon request.
The right to vote be exercised by all U.S. citizens in every corner of the world. The actual procedures to vote absentee vary from state to state. Basically all U.S. citizens 18 years or older who are or will be residing outside the U.S. during an election period are eligible to vote absentee in any Federal Election. A Federal Election is any general, special, or primary election held solely or in part for the purpose of selecting, nominating or electing any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential Elector, Member of the U.S. Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, the Resident Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and Delegates from the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
Absentee Ballots can be applied for by filling out and mailing a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), available at embassies and consulates (also directly from the U.S. Greens Abroad). Some states allow voters to simultaneously register to vote and request absentee ballots; other states may require individuals to submit two forms, one to register and one to request absentee ballots; and still others may require individuals to first send an FPCA to request separate registration forms. You can find out this information by consulting the Voting Assistance Guide or by asking the U.S. Greens Abroad.
For voting purposes, your legal state of residence is the state where you last resided immediately prior to your departure from the U.S., regardless of whether you actually maintain a residence there or intend to return. When completing the residence section of the FPCA, be sure to enter your entire mailing address of that last residence, including street or rural route and number. This information is necessary to place you in the proper voting district or ward.
The FPCA should be sent to the county clerk or registrar of the county (in some cases the city) where you last resided. The address of the county clerk or registrar can be found in the Voting Assistance Guide, at the website <www.fvap.ncr.gov>, or by asking the U.S. Greens Abroad. You cannot register to vote at a U.S. embassy or consulate. In most states an FPCA requesting absentee ballots must be sent for each election.
Requests for absentee ballots should be sent at least thirty days prior to an election. If you are applying for both registration and an absentee ballot, the FPCA may need to be to mailed earlier since different states have different deadlines for when registration must be completed. Consult the Voting Assistance Guide or ask the U.S. Greens Abroad for details. In some states it may be necessary for you to have your FPCA or ballot notarized, which can also be done at embassies and consulates. Generally, ballots must be received by your local election board by the election date.
If you do not receive an absentee ballot by ten days before the election you can ask the U.S. Embassy to send you a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) that you can use instead. This ballot is only valid, however, if you actually requested a ballot from your local election board in your home state.
Exercising your right to vote in Federal Elections only does not affect the determination of residence or domicile for purposes of any tax imposed under federal, state, or local law. Voting in a Federal Election only may not be used as the sole basis to determine residency for the purpose of imposing state and local taxes. If a person claims a particular state as his/her residence and has other ties with that state in addition to voting, then that person may be liable for state and local taxation, depending upon that particular state law. Consult the Voting Assistance Guide for information on probable tax obligations.
REGISTERING AND VOTING GREEN
You do not need to be a member of the U.S. Greens Abroad or any other Green organizations to register and vote Green. It is possible to register as a Green in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. You can register as a Green in every other state (except Kansas) as well, but you will officially be considered an Independent. To register as a Green write "Green" in the space on any voting registration materials which ask for your party affiliation. By registering as a Green you help the Green Party of your state achieve or maintain its party status. In some states, however, when you register as a Green you are not permitted to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primaries or caucuses, although you are still permitted to vote on any issues that are on the ballot.
Donations to candidates should be made directly to the candidates, not to the U.S. Greens Abroad. (The only exception are fund-raising campaigns specifically organized and announced by the USGA.) Donors must be U.S. citizens. Individual donations to specific candidates are limited to $2,000 per calendar year. Donations to a political party are limited to $25,000 per calendar year. Persons who donate more than $200 in one calendar year are required by federal law to report their name, mailing address, occupation, and name of employer to the campaign or organization they are donating to.
HOW TO CONTACT THE FEDERAL VOTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Note: This election information is current as of September 2003. Contact your Voting Assistance Officer or check the FVAP Website at <www.fvap.gov> for updates.
FVAP TOLL FREE TELEPHONE NUMBERS FROM OVERSEAS
AMERICAN SAMOA: 633-2872, then dial 800-323-8180
CAYMAN ISLANDS: 1-877-8333886
COLOMBIA: 01 980-915-4710
COSTA RICA: 0800-0120204
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: 1-8001561554
HONG KONG: 800-908809
MARSHALL ISLANDS: 1-877-8333886
NETHERLANDS ANTILLES: 001-877-8333886
NEW ZEALAND: 0800-441388
PHILIPPINES: 105-11, then dial 800-323-8180
PUERTO RICO: 1-800-438-8683
SOUTH AFRICA: 080-09-97300
ST LUCIA: 1-877-8333886
ST KITTS & NEVIS: 1-877-8333886
ST VINCENT: 1-877-8333886
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: 1-800-934-7340
TURKEY: 008 00151 1163
UNITED KINGDOM: 08-001698035
UNITED STATES: 1-800-438-8683
VENEZUELA: 0800 100 3602
VIRGIN ISLANDS: 1-800-438-8683
FEDERAL VOTING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, Department of Defense, Washington Headquarters Services, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1155. Phone: (703) 588-1584. DSN 425-1584. Fax: (703) 588-0108. DSN 425-0108.
VOTING INFORMATION CENTER: (703) 588-1343. DSN 425-1343. TOLL
FREE: 1-800-438-VOTE (8683). Visit our website for international
toll-free phone and fax numbers. Website: <www.fvap.gov>.