I’m astonished how many of my American expat friends didn't register to vote in the last election. Reasons included “Does it really matter?” and “Too much hassle.” I think events have proved elections do matter. And unlike previous generations, who had to wait in long lines to register and in more long lines to vote, today you just boot up your laptop. Depending on the state you vote in, you may have to print and mail a form. Which seems a small price to pay for a chance to change the world.
1. Register and request an absentee ballot. Go to the Federal Voting Assistance Program or Vote from Abroad. You can also download a registration form directly from your state’s website. Some states let you complete the whole process online; others require you to mail in the form. Click here to find out if your state allows online registration.
2. Vote. You may not need to wait until 2018 to put your political opinion into action. Find out here if your state has a special election coming up. Some of the next significant ones include:
May 16 - South Carolina - CD 5 Special Republican Primary Runoff
May 25 - Montana - U.S. House Special Election
June 6 - California - CD 34 Special Election
June 20 - Georgia - CD 6 Special Election Runoff
June 20 - South Carolina - CD 5 Special Election
August 15 - Alabama - U.S. Senate Special Primary
That's just a sample, so check with your state election board to find out what races are coming up. Vote for the small stuff, too. Change begins at the grassroots; we need progressive candidates on every school board, town council, and — well, basically any group that's making decisions about our collective future.
3. Get your friends to register and vote. Remind them that if they want to complain about the government (and who doesn’t?) voting speaks louder than words. Shouting at the TV is fun, but taking a few minutes to go online and vote is a lot more satisfying. And effective.
READY TO DO MORE?
Resistance School, Session 3: How to Structure and Build Capacity for Action
Marshall Ganz explores how individuals can discover their ability to lead within teams and reviews how to achieve a successful team dynamic. The session includes a comprehensive set of instructions for how individuals across the world can launch their own teams. Stream it from the Resistance School site and watch with friends, because you are going to want to discuss it.
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American Resistance Sevilla is a non-partisan community mobilizing Americans living abroad to take peaceful action defending our lawful rights and freedoms. Learn more