Some rules make more sense than others while some make no sense at all, like rules on voting for Americans living abroad. The rule for Americans living abroad is that they may only vote where they last lived, or where their parents last lived, or where their parent’s parents last lived, or something odd like that, assuming that they once lived in the States or know where their parents, grand parents or great grand parents lived. Never mind their possible plans of returning, the place where they may feel attached or the area where they actually have a voting interest. Americans abroad must vote where they may have no interest in voting, they are told. Boy, that sure encourages one to vote!
You must vote in the state/county where you last established residence (domicile) in the U.S., and typically, where you developed a real connection.
Under traditional rules and state law, a person living overseas is permitted to register and vote only in the place that constitutes his/her previous residence/domicile. This is the last real home you had in the US and is referred to by election officials as your voting residence address. That defines the state and the jurisdiction.
Overseas Vote Foundation
Since moving abroad, I’ve “moved” five times without moving. The first time, I “moved” to “live” with a parent, voting from a different State. I “moved” because I was frustrated. I had lost my job, my house, my bank account and some friends. I lost all feelings, ties and connections to the State, so I “moved” back to where I was always welcomed at home, with a parent. Then, the parent passed away, so I “moved” to another parent. Yet, then my resident State informed me that I was an invalid resident and so I “moved” again to another State. Today I “moved” again within the same swing-state, without moving physically or setting foot in the United States. All the while, I’ve had one and only one domicile, in Switzerland, unmoved. I moved without moving, changing my domicile without changing it, being a resident non-resident.
What could possibly be wrong with moving without moving to vote where one has an interest in voting? Maybe many US politicians only think of taxes when they think of Americans living abroad. They are addicted to taxing those who have no representation, while being unwilling to hear their situation.
Rules that make no sense do have their benefits, though. Today, democrats mailed a swing-state voter call in Switzerland. Believing that since I vote from where they don’t know that I vote, I might call voters in the State where I am registered to vote since it is a swing-state. I’m sure glad that they think that I vote where I don’t vote because otherwise, they’d be calling me to request that I vote for whom I may not vote and I’d have to bother them with the impossible task of convincing me to vote for their choice.
Democrats Abroad Switzerland (DACH) has identified swing-state voters from our membership database.
From across Switzerland, we are looking for dedicated and motivated volunteers to call these swing-state voters, urge them to register, and cast their ballot for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Each volunteer will be provided with a list of no more than 20 fellow DACH members who vote in swing states.
Specifically, we are looking for volunteers willing to use their own calling plan to make calls to Swiss landlines and mobile phones.
Besides your list of 20 names, you will be provided with a Script, Volunteer Guidelines, reference information and a contact volunteer who will guide your participation.
The telephone campaign spans two weeks only: 15-30 September 2012.
My phone won’t ring, and I like it that way. Moving without moving has many advantages, especially when it provides one with good reasons to vote for some candidate of interest in a swing-state.
My vote won’t make a difference, though, since I tend to vote for those who have almost no chance of being elected, meaning that my vote is only symbolic no matter where it is cast. So, moving or not, legal or illegal, with or without voting, makes no visible difference and is nothing that a politician needs to be bothered with.