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Overseas Voters Must Register Each Year: Miranda’s Story

Pam Gould, Miranda Nadel and Mike

By Barbara Erickson

February is Get Out the Vote Month this year in San Miguel. You can find volunteers to help you fill out your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register and request your ballot on Mondays at Starbucks, Tuesdays at the Biblioteca Pública, and Wednesdays and Thursdays at La Luciérnaga, in each location from 10am to 2pm. These volunteers are also available all day on Saturdays at the TOSMA organic market.

By far the biggest response our volunteers hear when they ask people if they have registered to vote is “I am already registered.” However, if you live in Mexico, and vote from abroad, not absentee, then states require that you submit a new FPCA application each year. This brings us to Miranda’s story.

Miranda said the same thing to me. “I’m registered in Miami Dade County, and I always get my ballot.” I suggested to Miranda that, due to the recent pressure on states to clean up the voter rolls, she might want to call the registrar of voters in Miami Dade and just check to see what they showed as her voting status. Being a person who does it the right way, she did just that.

Guess what? The registrar said, “Yes, you are registered.” All good, yes? Well, that was two weeks ago, and yesterday Miranda received the e-mail reproduced below. The e-mail says it all: overseas voters must register every year!

Miranda was lucky. Her registrar was kind enough to respond to her so she could be registered and receive her ballot. I’m not sure all registrars would be so helpful.

Make certain you are a registered voter. Go online to fill out your Federal Post Card Application at or, or visit a volunteer table for help.

Miranda’s e-mail reprinted with her permission:

From: VoteByMail (Elections)

Date: Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 1:05pm

Subject: 108999112, Nadel, Miranda

Dear Elector,

While reviewing your registration records, we found no recent Federal Post Card Application. Attached for your convenience is a blank Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to bring your voter registration records up-to-date and to request vote-by-mail ballots. It is recommended that Military and Overseas citizens submit a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to their state of legal residence in January of each year and again each time there is a change that might affect their registration status. The FPCA acts as both a registration and vote-by-mail ballot request form. You may submit a completed FPCA by email or by fax to 305-499-8401, or mail to: Miami-Dade County Elections Vote-by-Mail Section PO BOX 521250

MIAMI FL 33152-1250.

For more information, or to track the status of your vote-by-mail ballot, you may visit our website at Thank you for letting us be of service to you. Don’t forget to register! or



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