Today I completed and sent in my absentee ballot for the 2020 Presidential election and other federal, state and county elections. In addition to the Republican and Democratic candidates, I had the option to vote for one Libertarian and three independent candidates. My State’s ballot also included options to vote for candidates for the U.S. Congress, local representatives, local and State judges and 2 changes to the State Constitution.
As a United States citizen living overseas, I am eligible to use an online voting system and may email or fax my ballot to my county election board. It was very easy and efficient.
So, I have voted!
I have lived overseas for more than 25 years and I am a little embarrassed to admit that has been a long time since I was inspired or angry or passionate or scared enough to bother to vote. One of my several excuses was that, as a political science major in university, one of the biggest lessons learned in studying the U.S. government system is that the winds of change may sway left or right over the years, but only blow hard one direction when exceptional change is necessary. Only occasionally will an issue arise that is so important as to cause more rapid or directional change. The Patriot Act legislation after 9/11 is an example. It is possible that we are in such a time now?
The United States is seen as the pillar of democracy. A country where freedom and free choice is a right – for good or bad (like wearing a mask or not) – and the rule of law prevails. Sadly, the rule of law is being weakened or broken and we must all exercise our right to vote so that, in the famous words of Abraham Lincoln, the “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”.
In writing this, I mainly want to share the pride and privilege that I felt as an American with the opportunity to vote for so many candidates and some important issues of the day. An opportunity, a right, that still so few on this earth have.
If you have any U.S. immigration questions, contact us to speak with a U.S. immigration lawyer at one of our offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila or Taipei.