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Author Topic: Voting: registration and absentee issues  (Read 5005 times)

varrin

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Voting: registration and absentee issues
« on: May 19, 2003, 12:53:38 pm »

After a lengthy absence (vacation and more), I provide this rough draft of information.

I began to research information regarding registration requirements and absentee voting issues based on my potential desire to relocate overseas.  I have also seen discussed on these forums the idea of part time residency.  Because others may be interested, I figured I'd provide my findings here, in case they haven't already been provided.

First off, pretty much all the states require residency in order to vote there.  They each have rules regarding residency, but generally speaking, they require some sort of proof of residency and you must provide a physical address, not a P.O. Box or other type of mailbox address.  The list below provides links to some voting information as well as a few peices of information about absentee voting while overseas (if I could find that information).  If anyone else has an interest in picking this up where I've left off, please contact me as I have a little more information than I've posted here.

NH:  http://www.state.nh.us/sos/vote.htm

Residency time requirement:  None
Residency qualifications: No domicile required, no intent to return required.
Overseas absentee voting:  Allowed - federal elections only

MT: http://sos.state.mt.us/css/ELB/Register.asp

Residency time requirement:  30 days

AK:   http://www.gov.state.ak.us/ltgov/elections/regapp.htm

AK has more complicated registration and voting requirements probably due to the fact that they have many non-full-time residents.

Overseas absentee voting:  2 ballots, unclear about local elections.

WY:  http://soswy.state.wy.us/election/vote.htm

Residency time requirement:  none - same day registration allowed
Residency qualifications:  intent to return, several restrictions
Overseas absentee voting: Allowed for local and federal elections

VT:  http://vermont-elections.org/elections1/voterinfo.html

ME:  http://www.state.me.us/sos/cec/elec/resident.htm

Overseas absentee voting:  Allowed - federal postcard (may be federal elections only)

DE:  

Overseas absentee voting: federal postcard


ND:  http://www.state.nd.us/sec/votinginND.htm

Residency time requirment - 30 days - *no voter registration*

North Dakota does not register voters.  It's unclear how their absentee system works for overseas residents.

SD:  http://www.state.sd.us/sos/votereg.htm

Residency time requirement: unclear - 15 day prior registration

ID:  http://www.idsos.state.id.us/elect/voterreg/vtr_reg.htm

Residency time requirement: 30 days - same day registration
Residency qualifications: intent to return, other restrictions apply

---

It is my perception that the front runners are NH, ID, and WY.  For those three I'll make a few additional comments.

NH: Has a liberal system for establishing residency.  There's no time requirment, nor is intent to return required by law.  However, you cannot absentee vote from overseas in local elections.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give this a 7 (-5 for no local elections, +2 for residency qualifications).

ID:  Requires residency for 30 days, but offers same day registration.  They have more strict residency qualifications.  I was unable to determine if voting in local elections is allowed while overseas but based on the other requirements I'd suspect so.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give this a 7 (-2 for residency qualifications, -1 for unknown local elections status).

WY:  Has some restrictions for establishing residency (i.e. intent to return), however does not have a time requirement.  They offer same day registration (as far as I can tell), and allow overseas voters to vote in local elections.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give this a 9 (-2 for residency qualifications, +1 for local elections allowed).

Those are just 'made-up' numbers but they reflect an overal picture of the ability to move to that state, then nearly immediately relocate overseas and vote from there.

Hope this information is helpful to someone else there.

V-

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BobW

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Re:Voting: registration and absentee issues
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2003, 01:19:58 pm »

Hi Varrin,

I just returned from overseas.  

With the info above, make sure it all synchromeshes.  Thus, make sure voting card matches federal tax return address, driver's license address, main home (w/ exceptions) and credit cards (sometimes).

It's getting more and more stricter.

BobW
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jgmaynard

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Re:Voting: registration and absentee issues
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2003, 02:16:14 pm »

The same rules (or lack thereof) apply for local elections in NH.... PLUS you can register on the same day at the polls... AND there's no time limit for running for local office....

You only need a letter with your address on it....

We get our 5 points back? lol....

JM
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varrin

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Re:Voting: registration and absentee issues
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2003, 07:25:57 pm »

The same rules (or lack thereof) apply for local elections in NH.... PLUS you can register on the same day at the polls... AND there's no time limit for running for local office....

According to the SOS website:

"OVERSEAS CITIZENS
Any person who is domiciled in Canada or Mexico or in any other country outside the continental United States has the right to register and vote absentee in any federal election (President, United States Senator, United States Representative) in the town or city in New Hampshire in which they had their domicile immediately prior to their departure from the United States, even though the person no longer maintans a domicile in said city or town and even though their intent to return is uncertain."

This doesn't say that voting in local elections are allowed.  Can you point me to the text that supports your claim?  I don't doubt you, I'm just wanting to make sure that's actually the case.

Also, regarding Bob's comments, in my case, my federal tax return address would *not* be the one in whatever state I'm considering using (the FSP target, once it's chosen), but rather my overseas address, since I'd claim the foreign earned income exclusion.  Main home would not exist, but drivers license would be in the chosen state.  Everything else would be overseas.  This is still legal, but does affect voting, hence this 'report'.

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Re:Voting: registration and absentee issues
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2003, 09:20:58 pm »

Actually I don't think same-day registration is a very good idea because of the potential for vote fraud. Oregon got away from it after the Rajneeshees bused homeless people out to Antelope, Oregon to throw the elections there.

I also don't think it's such a great idea to make voting as easy as falling off a log. The kinds of votes you harvest by going easier (such as Oregon's vote by mail system) are likely to be more ill-informed votes, the people who don't care as much. I like to see a little effort in the voting process, to make people value it more. If that means vote totals are lower, oh well.

My ideal would be a 30-day residence requirement, 30-day registration prior to being allowed to vote, and NO vote by mail. Not sure about how to handle absentees, I'd have to think about that for a while.
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Hank

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Re:Voting: registration and absentee issues
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2003, 08:08:59 pm »

Same day voter registration is fine, as long as they can only vote in national elections.  Or state elections if they've been in the state thirty days. Or local elections if they've been in that community for thirty days.

Sometimes people don't make up their mind to vote until that morning. Even though they've lived in that town for years.
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