5 Ways You Can Still Help Barack Obama — Even from Overseas

November 4, 2008

in Cheap Activities, Information, USA, Web Tips

We are 24 hours away from this election being over — but we still have not won this thing yet! 

If you are an overseas American who cast your vote weeks ago, you may feel somewhat disconnected from what is going on tomorrow in the U.S.  There are nevertheless a number of ways we can still be involved. 

Here’s a list of 5 easy ideas for readers anywhere on the globe:

If you live in the U.S. or overseas:

1) Have your overseas American friends sent in their ballots?

  • Call up, email or otherwise check up with 5 American friends living overseas and make sure they have received and returned their absentee ballots. If they have not, use the information below to help them cast a vote if there’s still time!

2) Will your American friends and relatives be headed to the polls today?

  • Call up, email or otherwise check in with 5 American friends or family members living in the U.S. and encourage them to head to the polls today. Take a couple minutes to tell them why you support Barack Obama and why we’re counting on their vote.

3) Will other Americans — those in key swing states — be headed to the polls today?

  • The campaign has set up an online tool called Neighbor to Neighbor, which allows you to make calls to registered voters in crucial areas, providing them with information about their polling locations and encouraging them to vote for Barack Obama. You can pick the state you’d like to call here. You can find answers to commonly-asked questions here. (Don’t forget to calculate the time difference.)
  • If you do not have a way to make cheap or free phone calls from your land line to the U.S., try using your computer to make calls. You can get 5 free hours of calling from Internet Calls; another inexpensive option is to create and use a Skype account — calls to the U.S. are just 2 cents/minute.
  • If you do have a telephone flatrate, consider inviting friends over today or tonight to make these calls from your home. Polls do not begin closing in the U.S. until midnight CET, so there is plenty of time to make calls after work!

For overseas voters:

4) Have you sent in your ballot?

  • If you have not, you may still FAX in your ballot before polls close on Nov 4th to the following states: AK, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, HI, ID (emergency only), IN, KS, LA, ME (emergency only), MO (Federal employees and military only), MT (by county!), NV, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OK (emergency only), RI, SC, TX (military only), UT, VT, VI, and WV.
  • You may FAX your ballot by Nov 3rd to MS.
  • You may EMAIL back your ballot to IN, NJ, NM, ND, SC, and WV (by county!).
  • You may POSTMARK your ballot by the 3rd to: AL (received by 4 Nov), IL (rec’d 18 Nov), IA (rec’d 10 Nov), NY (rec’d 11 Nov), ND, PA (rec’d 11 Nov), and UT (rec’d 18 Nov).
  • You may POSTMARK your ballot by the 4th to: AK (received by 19 Nov), AR (rec’d 14 Nov) DC (rec’d 14 Nov), GA (rec’d 7 Nov), IN (rec’d 14 Nov), MD (rec’d 14 Nov), MA (rec’d 14 Nov), OH (rec’d 14 Nov), TX (rec’d 10 Nov), VI (rec’d 14 Nov), WA (rec’d 25 Nov), and WV (rec’d 10 Nov).
  • If you live in one of the above states, never received your ballot and have not yet done so, please send in a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot. You can download the forms and instructions for your state at FVAP.
  • If you have sent in your ballot, give your county elections office a call to make sure it’s arrived. You can look up the phone number of your county’s office here. If there are any issues, you may still have time to fax, email or post a replacement.

5) Are there other ways to assist Democrats and Obama supporters in your area?

  • If you live near a major city, it is likely that a Democrats Abroad chapter or Americans Abroad for Obama group will be sponsoring an Election Watch party. You can find a big list of events here. You can also track down events using myBO; search for your area on this page. Volunteers may still be needed for these events! Contact the event’s organizer and let them know you’re willing to help. (If you are turned away because they have plenty of volunteers, then they will have plenty of volunteers to feed! Show your support and bake or take snacks and other goodies for those staffing the event.)

Each and every one of us can still have an impact on this election — please take a couple hours over the next day to ensure that a brighter day in American politics dawns on Nov. 5th!

yes we can!

{ 1 trackback }

No-Budget Travel Failures « Less Than a Shoestring
12.01.08 at 3:01 pm

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 disappointed 11.04.08 at 9:28 pm

I think it’s too bad that an otherwise really helpful, informative travel blog would post something like this, polarizing me from what else you have to say. Nothing is fully black and white; there are two sides. You don’t even acknowledge the importance of voting, of being an American irrespective of political affiliation.

I am unsubscribing from your site now.

2 American 11.10.08 at 5:10 pm

To disappointed-
This blog is written by a person, not a nonpartisan robot. The blog owner is free to express his or her views, and it is his/her blog.

3 poetloverrebelspy 11.13.08 at 5:42 pm

Disappointed was apparently too disappointed to leave a valid email address, so it is unlikely that s/he will ever read what I respond.

Nevertheless, Disappointed, I encourage you to reread the post and delete “Barack Obama” wherever it appears. I believe you will then find exactly the neutral, non-”polarizing” post you were looking for, which “acknowledge[s] the importance of voting, of being an American”.

For what it’s worth, there isn’t a way to write this outreach post neutrally. Only one campaign aided overseas voters, helping them register to vote, request their absentee ballots and cast emergency ballots when theirs hadn’t arrived in time. Only one campaign set up a webpage to allow anyone to call registered voters in the U.S. and remind them how to get to their polling place. Is it any wonder why voters across the planet — overseas, 90% of us supported the winning candidate — and across the country turned out in record numbers for one candidate? Is it any wonder that overseas, it was Democrats Abroad who were organizing open celebrations?

If I were a Republican Abroad, I would certainly be outraged at the way my party continually ignored and disenfranchised me. If you are a Republican reader, I encourage you to contact your party and encourage them to do more for overseas Americans.

Over the past 3 months, I worked tirelessly to ensure thousands of Americans in Europe registered and cast their ballots in this election, Disappointed. What did you do?

To my fellow American, you had it almost right — I am, in fact, a blogging robot, but a *partisan* one :)

4 MadridMan 11.14.08 at 9:25 pm

I was surprised to see absolutely no activity in Madrid, Spain by the Republican Party during the primaries and the election itself. It was as if they didn’t exist – or maybe they don’t!!

But after the Presidential Election I saw a news blip on TV about how the (few dozen) Republicans did gather at Madrid’s Hard Rock Café.

The Democrats Abroad organization is apparently HUGE and very active here in Madrid – and throughout Europe – and had hundreds and hundreds of people at their election gathering at El Circulo de Bellas Artes.

It is a shame that the first commenter, “disappointed”, was disappointed that the blogger in question shared his/her opinion. Whether about travel or politics, bloggers should feel free to express themselves.

Saludos, MadridMan

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