By Finder blogger: Andrea McKenna
I won a beauty pageant when I was 18 because I said that voting was the most important thing I could do for my country. It was the winning answer in the question-and-answer round and I was thus crowned the 1989 Miss Connecticut Homecoming Queen.
The contest was part of a Disney-owned pageant called America’s Homecoming Queen. I didn’t win that title but I was OK with that. By the time I got to the final they weren’t so concerned with the intelligent answers about what you can do for your country, but rather how you looked (Imagine that!).
I’m not much into beauty pageants anymore, especially those formerly owned by current Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, but I do think that whichever country you are from, voting in your political representatives is an important privilege.
Election day is here!
On November 8, the United States will vote for a new President, as well as Congressional and local and state positions. To get you psyched up, here’s a quote from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States from 1933 to 1945 (He’s the one who pulled America out of The Great Depression and through World War II!):
“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
That quote appears on the webpage for Vote.org, a U.S.-based website dedicated to helping American people find out if and where they can vote and can even allow you to order an absentee ballot.
The site lists absentee ballot rules by state, so you can look up rules according to where you are registered (usually your last U.S. residence).
Another site is VoteFromAbroad.org, which also allows expats to order a ballot.
Your ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 8, Election Day, for it to count. So you still have time!
Voting as an expat
As expats, we should all know how to order our ballots so we can make our votes count in our home country. You can start by checking your country’s embassy website.
In Singapore, it is compulsory for all citizens to vote in Presidential elections. I like that compulsory idea because it seems we should all make it a priority to take part in who directs the future of our nation.
I hope all of the Americans out there are all set to make your voice heard. As far as all expats go, even though we are far away, we still matter. Home is still home. Let’s make sure we stay a part of it by voting.
About Andrea McKenna
Andrea McKenna Brankin is journalist and author from the United States who lives a full life with bipolar disorder. Her book, Bipolar Phoenix, is awaiting a publishing contract. She is also currently a volunteer at the DaySpring Residential Treatment Centre for teen girls in Singapore, providing befriending-family support, therapeutic writing and rugby coaching.