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Louisiana Democratic Party Encourages Louisianians Living or Serving Overseas to Exercise Their Right to Vote

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson today encouraged Louisianians who are living overseas, as well as service members and their families who are stationed overseas, to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming Nov. 4 election and request an absentee ballot at www.VoteFromAbroad.org.

“There are millions of American citizens who live and work overseas, including many men and women in uniform, and for far too long they have faced too many obstacles in exercising their right to vote,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson. “However, we have done much in the past few years to streamline the process for overseas and military voters. We encourage all Louisianians who are living or serving abroad to register and request their absentee ballots now, in order to ensure they are counted on Election Day.”

A U.S. citizen living overseas who lived in Louisiana immediately before moving abroad can claim residency for absentee voter registration as long as the voter does not maintain a domicile in another state and is not registered to vote in another state. In order to vote from abroad, U.S. voters must register or request a ballot every year.

The deadline to register before the Nov. 4 election is Oct. 6, and the deadline to request an absentee ballot is the day before the election. However, when servicemen and women are stationed in remote locations, mail service can delay the receipt and return of ballots.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) suggests that overseas and military voters register and request an absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application by Aug. 1. Louisiana allows voters to receive their blank ballot via mail, email or fax. Military and civilian overseas voters from Louisiana can complete the Federal Post Card Application using VoteFromAbroad.org. Alternatively, the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website offers its own online application:

http://www.sos.la.gov/ElectionsAndVoting/Pages/LAFPCAOnline.aspx

The Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act requires election officials to send absentee ballots to overseas and military voters starting 45 days before Election Day. FVAP recommends that voters who are overseas or on a deployed naval vessel return their voted ballots by Oct. 7. FVAP suggests that stateside service members and their family members return their voted ballots by Oct. 28.

If overseas or military voters are duly registered and have not received their requested ballot by Oct. 4, they can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot as a backup in order to vote in federal elections. The VoteFromAbroad.org tool also helps voters properly complete the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot.

Questions about voting from abroad can be directed to: help@VoteFromAbroad.org.

Since the 1990s, Louisiana has used instant runoff voting for overseas and military voters, which allows them to order their federal candidate preferences in the event a runoff election is needed.

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