Voting from abroad: Processes, problems, and participation

by Jennifer Schreyer, Chelsea Goodwin, and Yana Stoyanova

Many Americans of today are living outside of the United States because of globalization, with a large number of them even born abroad. When it comes to making a political decision, however, their vote from another country weighs as much as one from a person in New York City or anywhere else in the US. Everybody with US citizenship is eligible to vote and how exactly voting from abroad works will be explained in the following video.

This process of voting from abroad is, of course, not only possible in the United Kingdom, but all over the world. Michael Branch, 41, a teacher in Shanghai, emphasized the simplicity even in Asia: “It’s pretty amazing to get all this mail for elections from California and have it arrive in my mailbox in Shanghai. So, it’s pretty easy and organized.”

A big problem in many democracies today is that many young voters cannot identify with any of the candidates and thus do not feel the need to vote. With the young American voters born outside of the US, this issue is even worse. Although they can register through their parents’ state, they lack a personal connection and feel too detached. The broad media coverage of this year’s election, however, left many voters unable to escape the topic.

Democracy is a privilege and the right to vote should not be seen as granted. Hopefully, the new convenience of voting from abroad and the broad media coverage will increase the participation percentages in the future.

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