On Tuesday, November 2, 2010, the US 2010 midterm elections will be held. The midterm elections are important because eligible voters can choose who will be in the U.S. Congress over the next two years, and one-third of the Senate.
Get information from candidates’ websites, state sites or other sites, like
Project Votesmart at http://www.votesmart.org/election_current.php; OpenSecret http://www.opensecrets.org/races; and Greenpapers http://www.thegreenpapers.com.
If you have never voted or registered, now is the time to do so. Register and request an absentee ballot in five minutes with a single, short, simple form called the FPCA. In order to vote, registered voters must request an absentee ballot. Developed by the federal government for overseas citizens and military personnel to facilitate voting, FPCA has the advantage of letting you vote with the emergency FWAB, the federal write-in absentee ballot, which Americans overseas can use if their regular state ballot does not arrive on time.
How and where? Here are some options in Florence. From September 6 through September 25, go to the Paperback Exchange Bookstore, via delle Oche 4r (tel. 055/293460), and fill in the form at the Voter Registration Volunteer Help Desk, which provides FPCA forms and assistance in filling them out from 2 to 6pm, Monday through Thursday. The U.S. Consulate, 38 Lungarno Vespucci, (tel. 055/266951) provides forms and assistance in filling them out, Monday to Friday, form 2 to 4pm (but please call first before stopping in).
Finally, with a computer and printer, complete the form online, download it in pdf format, print and mail it immediately. Three nonpartisan websites guide you through the process:
http://www.votefromabroad.org, run by Democrats Abroad; the U.S.government’s http://www.fvap.gov/ocit.html; and the Overseas Vote Foundation’s https://www.overseasvotefoundation.org.
These websites will provide the address of your local electoral office.
For voting information and to connect voters to their electoral officials, the U.S. Federal Voting Assistance Program also provides worldwide toll-free phone service to its Washington, D.C. office. From Italy (use a land line), call 800/784460; office hours in D.C. are 9am to 5pm EDT/EST (3pm-11pm CET).
Most important of all: register, request your ballot and vote!