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Obama campaign targeting US voters in China

By in News on

With the US presidential election coming up on November 4, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign has appointed field directors to reach out to mobilize American voters living overseas. This is the biggest push any American presidential candidate has made to court the overseas American vote.

GoKunming has been contacted by Ada Shen, Director of the China Country Committee for Team Obama. Shen has provided the following information for US citizens living in Kunming or Yunnan who would still like to register for November's election but aren't sure how to do so:

It is vital that Americans in China to know that if they want to vote in November, they need to register NOW - or very, very soon. Ideally by September 20th. State deadlines for registering/requesting to vote absentee range from late September to early October, but we in China can anticipate delays in international mail, as well as local voting officials who may be overwhelmed as crunch-time hits - so we are encouraging people to get their requests in ASAP.

As there is no US consulate in Kunming, the best option from home or work is Votefromabroad.org. It just takes a couple minutes. It is a web wizard that asks questions, and then generates the correct, filled-out online FPCA as a PDF file which you can save and email to yourself.

You will need to print, sign and date - don't forget the date, requests get rejected because they aren't dated! - and then mail the request in to the address shown on your application. Some counties let you fax it in, but you will still need to mail in the signed original.

Be sure to get the mailing envelope date-stamped - this is very important. We are not advising the use of international express mail at this time, because of concerns that not every local office of electors will recognize their date-stamps as valid, and your application can be rejected for this reason.

If you don't receive your ballot by early October, you can fill out the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB), included on pages 5-9 of the application request form, and mail that in. DO NOT mail this together with your registration application. This will result in both being tossed in the trash.

For more information, people can email me at USvoteChina(at)gmail.com. I can put people in touch with voter assistance from the campaign as well as from Democrats Abroad. We want to make sure that every vote counts.

For readers looking for more details on the two major candidates' views of China, recently released position papers published on the American Chamber of Commerce in China's website by both Obama and Republican presidential candidate John McCain offer some insight on how an Obama or McCain administration would engage China.

Editor's note: GoKunming does not officially support either US presidential candidate.

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