There are 468 Congressional seats up for re-election in 2018 and the candidates’ campaigns are well underway.
The 8.5 million overseas Americans are, as we are often reminded, spread over all 50 states and all 435 Congressional districts. So, does it make a difference if Americans abroad follow the elections and vote?
The answer is Yes.
There is no better time to raise issues important to Americans abroad than during the campaign season when candidates are actively seeking the votes that will put them over the top on November 6.
This year AARO is contacting all the Congressional candidates in nine states asking them to answer three questions and to send a message to their overseas constituents.
The responses are being published as they come in on the AARO website. Click here to learn more about the project and to read the candidates' responses for each district/state.
How can I help?
If you are from one of the nine states that has already held a primary election and you do not see answers from the candidates in your state/district, please contact them and ask them to respond to the AARO email inviting them to connect with their constituents abroad. Ballotpedia has information on all the Congressional candidates for each state.
Because, as we can and should remind them, overseas votes can make the difference between winning or losing an election.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program estimates that overseas voters account for over 3% of the total vote and look at the number of seats won in the last mid-term election with less than a 2% margin: in the House, Jim Costa (CA-16), Gwen Graham (FL-2), John Delaney (MD-6), Rick Nolan (MN-8), Sean Maloney (NY-18) and Dan Newhouse (WA-4), and in the Senate, Mark Warner (VA). And those who won by less than 1%: in the House, Ami Berra (CA-7, Martha McSally (AZ-2) and Louise Slaughter (NY-25), and in the Senate: Thom Tillis (NC) and Cory Gardner (CO).
Americans abroad can make a difference in 2018. We can raise the issues important to us with the candidates before the general election in November and we can make it clear to the candidates that how we will vote in November depends on how they propose to serve ALL Americans and that includes their constituents abroad.
Americans abroad make a critical difference in every election year. Having championed overseas voting rights for years, AARO encourages all Americans abroad to register and request a ballot.