2006 U.S. Elections Notice

I received this today from the American Consulate in Panama City today:

2006 U.S. Elections Notice
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Registration, Absentee Ballot Request Deadlines Approaching

U.S. citizens who plan to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections on November 7, 2006 are urged to submit their voter registration and/or absentee ballot requests without delay. Use the Federal Post Card Application, available on-line from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website at http://www.fvap.gov.

Each state has its own regulations and deadlines for registering and requesting absentee ballots. Your state may require receipt of your request as early as 30 days before the election. Check the FVAP website for guidance.

Many states now allow overseas voters to fax in their registration and absentee ballot requests. Some states will fax out blank ballots to overseas voters, and a smaller number of states allow overseas voters to fax back the voted ballot. A few states allow the use of e-mail. See your state’s rules for use of fax or e-mail at http://www.fvap.gov/ivas/fvap_state_menu.html.

Some states will begin mailing out absentee ballots to overseas voters by the third week in September. Voters should pay careful attention to their state’s ballot receipt deadlines, and must comply with any post-marking, witnessing or notarization requirements. Overseas voters who are required to mail in their voted ballot should plan to allow up to three weeks for delivery via U.S. diplomatic pouch or international mail. Some express mail companies may offer special rates or services for U.S. overseas voters.

Voters who fail to receive a ballot from their local election officials may be eligible to use a federal emergency write-in ballot. The federal write-in absentee ballot, or FWAB, is available on-line from the FVAP website. However, most states will allow you to use it only if your initial ballot request reaches local officials by October 7, 2006 (30 days before the election).

For additional resources about absentee voting, including links to non-partisan sources of information, see the U.S. Department of State website at http://www.travel.state.gov/law/info/info_2964.html

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