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Blogtober Challenge: Day 12

American expats, are you planning to vote in the upcoming election? I don’t know about you, but I’m keen to exercise my civic right from the other side of the world. My Twitter and Instagram feeds are clogged with the descent into chaos that has been our political discourse, and each cringe-worthy day is challenging to process.

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A large part of me is relieved to be watching from outside the country; the daily aggravation I was feeling before moving to Thailand was sure to be detrimental to my well-being over the long term. The headlines do still spark outrage, but my distance is essential protection from the spirit-crushing injustice and arrogant incompetence.

This is the first election where I would find myself in a position to vote via absentee ballot. An email from a friend one morning urging a group of us to volunteer in the days leading up to the election and make sure we’re registered got me thinking about how I would vote from Thailand. A quick Google search led me to Overseas Vote, an initiative of US Vote. On this site, you can find out everything you need to know about registering to vote absentee ballot from wherever you currently live, your home state’s requirements and about candidates running in your district. They made it easy for me to fill out and download a form and mail it in for an email ballot from the county where I’m registered.

While I may not be registered to vote in a hotly contested battleground for state legislature seats or Congress, it’s so important to make it clear how we feel about this administration’s policies and our representatives’ work (or lack thereof) on our behalf in Washington. Not sure if you’re registered to vote in a state with a critical battle raging? Check to see if and where you are registered here and the deadlines for registering here or here (that info isn’t too tricky to find, especially as deadlines approach). No matter what state you vote in, your vote matters. Though if you are registered to vote in say Texas or Colorado, for example, your votes really matter in these Senate and state legislature races.

But don’t vote because I said so, vote because Michelle, and all the celebs, said so.

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What’s your perspective?