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Author Topic: Voting in the Peace Corps  (Read 3407 times)

Offline amanda_pearl

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Voting in the Peace Corps
« on: August 04, 2015, 11:28:54 AM »
I'm an applicant, and it has occurred to me that I may end up serving during the upcoming presidential election. I've done some googling, and it appears that absentee ballot request forms and write-in ballots should be available in country, but I've read some horror stories about sending mail to the states. Are there and PCVs or recent RPCVs here who have attempted to vote (successfully or unsuccessfully) while serving?

Offline koji

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Re: Voting in the Peace Corps
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 12:25:42 AM »
My state (Arizona) send out empty voter forms via email, so it got to me quickly, and I had to vote about 20 days early to make sure it got back to the US in time. They also had electronic tracking to let me know that my vote was received.

All US embassies offer blank voting forms for federal elections, and if you are concerned about mail speed or the safety of your mail, you can send it through the diplomatic pouch at the embassy (just drop it off with the correct postage). If it is a concern for many volunteers in your country, the peace corps may collect your votes to send them through diplomatic pouch (ours did not).

Also, many states allow you to return your voter forms by email or fax, so check that out and make sure to register as an absentee voter before you leave the US. Finally, I believe the rule is that if you want a ballot mailed to you, you need to confirm your absentee status every january, either electronically or through the mail.

Offline shawn

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Re: Voting in the Peace Corps
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2015, 07:34:57 PM »
What Koji said. I was able to vote in the 2012 and 2014 election. For the federal election my Post let us turn ballots in and sent them back via diplo pouch through the embassy.

Depending on when you depart and how long you're abroad prior to the election, the hardest part may be staying up to date on the issues at the candidates and not the mail (for once).

PCVL - Rwanda 2010-2013
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Offline Tom Z

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Re: Voting in the Peace Corps
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2016, 06:50:48 AM »
It's worth checking before you go with your town or city authorities.  In Wisconsin, Peace Corps volunteers fall under the same rules as military personnel serving overseas.  We are entitled to receive all absentee ballots without the need to request a ballot for each election for the entire period of our service. 
I'd also suggest that you bring US stamps with you.  Our office in Panama also permits us to send the absentee forms to Washington, but the stamps are necessary to mail them from DC to your HOR.