If you registered to vote in 2008, you MUST register again in order to receive your absentee ballot!

In previous years, registering to vote in US federal elections was something that many states only required you to do once.  After registering once, you  received an absentee ballot in the mail for each federal election in which you were eligible to vote.  This is no longer in effect!

Now, according to a new law, American citizens residing abroad who wish to vote in the 2012 presidential elections are required to register again in order to receive an absentee ballot.    Some cite the State of California as an exception, because you can now register and receive ‘permanent absentee status.’  However, if you did not register and receive that status during the previous elections, you will not receive a ballot in 2012, even if you voted.

So, all Americans – Californians alike – need to re-register in order to vote absentee in the 2012 elections.  You can do it in less than two minutes at ivoteisrael.com. Questions? Email us at shira@ivoteisrael.com.

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Do they even count absentee ballots?

Yes, they do.  Every single one.

In fact, according to US federal law, a final vote count cannot be issued until every last absentee ballot has been counted.  In some cases, where the difference between two candidates is larger than the number of absentee ballots received, a winner is announced before all of the absentee ballots are counted, but no state’s electoral votes are considered officially one way or the other until each absentee ballot is counted.

Still skeptical about whether or not your vote counts?  Check out our short video about absentee voting here.  Ready to register already?  Click here and register to vote in 2 minutes or less.

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Recent elections decided by a margin of victory of less than 0.1%

Below are some examples of recent elections decided by a margin of victory of less than 0.1%

An estimated 300,000 US citizens currently reside in Israel. Of these, a substantial number are eligible to vote in key swing states, such as Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. By mobilizing this never-before targeted micro-group we can be a decisive factor in the 2012 elections, ensuring a Congress and White House who will stand by Israel.

Beyond the direct electoral significance, mobilizing and energizing American voters in Israel will play a key role in influencing the votes of friends, family, and supporters of Israel back in the US; voters whose vote would otherwise be driven by domestic concerns rather than concern for Israel.

Electoral Cycle State Election Margin of Votes between winner and loser
2012 Iowa Republican Caucuses 34
2008 Alaska House of Representatives 1
2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate 312
2005 Virginia Attorney General 323
2004 Montana House of Representatives 2
2004 Washington Gubernatorial 133
2000 New Mexico U.S. Presidential 366
2000 Florida U.S. Presidential 537

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I want to vote in the US Presidential Elections from Israel: do I have to worry about the IRS?

The answer is a definitive no.

Voting in a federal election does not impact your residency status or your tax liability status.  Not only that, but the IRS does not routinely use voter registration records in order to locate people who reside abroad.

Voting in local or municipal elections may affect your residency status, depending on local laws, which could in turn affect your tax liability status.  You should check with an official in your region to be sure.  However, to reiterate, your status will NOT be affected if you vote in federal elections, such as the upcoming 2012 Presidential Elections, and registering to vote will not cause the IRS to contact you.

You can view the laws surrounding this issue in PDF form here.

“The exercise of any right under this subchapter shall not affect, for purposes of any Federal, State, or local tax, the residence or domicile of a person exercising such right”

On that note, consider taking 2 or 3 minutes of your time and register to vote from the comfort of your home in Israel at iVoteIsrael.com.  Our site makes it simple, and we have staff who are ready and willing to assist you, should you have any questions or concerns!

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AJC: Jewish Opinion Favors Obama, but Numbers Are Slipping

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) recently conducted a survey designed to give insight regarding American Jewish opinion in light of the upcoming Presidential elections.

According to the survey, 61 percent of Jews claim that they would vote for Obama if the election were held today and Romney were the Republican candidate (28 percent would vote for Romney, 11 percent are undecided).  The results indicate that support for Obama is lower among Jews who cite national security and U.S.-Israel relations among their top three priority issues in deciding their vote in the election.

Among those Jews who are focused on national security concerns or U.S.-Israel relations, only 42 percent would vote for Obama in an election against Romney. Of those who cite national security as a priority, 44 percent would vote for Romney; of those who cite U.S.-Israel relations, 45 percent would vote for Romney.

58 percent of American Jews approve of the way President Obama is handling the U.S.-Israel relationship. Support for Prime Minister Netanyahu is even higher on this issue, with 70 percent of American Jews saying they have a favorable opinion of the way his government is handling the U.S.-Israel relationship.

The Iranian nuclear program concerns the vast majority of American Jews: 89 percent are very (56 percent) or somewhat (33 percent) concerned about it. Only 11 percent say they are not too concerned or not concerned at all.  Sixty-two percent of American Jews approve of the way President Obama is handling this issue, and 60 percent say the Democratic Party is more likely than the Republican Party to make the right decisions in dealing with the Iranian nuclear program.

Over half (56 percent) of American Jews believe it is unlikely that a combination of diplomacy and sanctions can stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of American Jews say that, if diplomacy and sanctions fail, they would support the U.S. taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. Three-quarters (75 percent) would support Israel taking such action if diplomacy and sanctions fail.

Visit AJC’s site to view the complete survey results.

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