Learning from the US to dispel MYTHS and We Need Right to Vote in Cambodia

CEROC public logo (Courtesy of Sovann Khemara)

CEROC public logo
(Courtesy of Sovann Khemara)

Myths About Voting from Abroad

There are a number of common misconceptions about voting from abroad, which can prevent Americans abroad from exercising their right to vote. Please help us dispel these myths!

Myth #1 “I can’t vote. I don’t have a US address anymore.”

WRONG. Regardless how long you have lived outside the country, you always retain the right to vote in US Federal elections. Your legal voting address is the last place you resided prior to departing the US. (If you havenever lived in the US, many states will allow you to vote using the legal voting address of one of your American parents.  Also, depending on state law, it could be that studying or summering in the U.S. is enough to establish residence. Check with local authorities.)

Myth #2 “I don’t need to register. I did it last time.”

WRONG. The law has changed. Voters living abroad need to mail in a ballot request every Federal election year. Yes, there are some places, like California, which permit “permanent absentee” registration. But, don’t forget that our votes are administered by thousands of different local authorities across the country, each with its own understanding of the law.Better safe than sorry – send a new ballot request every election year!

Myth #3 “They don’t even count overseas ballots.”

WRONG. Absolutely 100% false. By law, every properly executed absentee ballot must be counted before a final vote count can be certified. However, if the number of outstanding ballots – overseas or otherwise – is smaller than the difference between two candidates, a winner may be called before every last vote has been tallied. Nonetheless, all outstanding ballots are counted before the election result can be certified.

Myth #4 “One vote can’t make a difference.”

WRONG. Just look at recent election results. Florida 2000: George W. Bush wins the state – and the presidency – by a margin of 537 votes.Washington 2004: Democrat Christine Gregoire becomes Governor by just 133 votes. Minnesota 2008: Al Franken is finally seated in the Senate with a 312-vote victory.

Myth #5 “If I vote, the IRS will hassle me.”

WRONG. Voting in US Federal elections does not affect the determination of tax liability or tax residence. You will not hear from the IRS because you voted in a Federal election, i.e. President, Senate, or House of Representatives. (Note: Voting in state and local elections can potentially affect state and local tax status. You should seek expert advice before voting in state or local elections.)

Myth #6 “Voting from abroad is so complicated.”

WRONG. This used to be true! Now, US citizens can complete the process of registering and requesting an absentee ballot – and spread the word to friends and colleagues! – in just two minutes flat at www.VoteFromAbroad.org.

Quebec election: Snowbird voters encounter temporary glitches

Voting from Abroad CanadaQuebec election: Snowbird voters encounter temporary glitches
Quebecers wintering abroad can mail, fax or email an application to Elections Quebec by March 19 *

Ballots sent from outside Quebec must be received by Elections Quebec by 8 p.m. April 7.

Photograph by: Ryan Remiorz , The Canadian Press

Quebec election: Snowbird voters encounter temporary glitchesEditor’s note: The original version of this corrected story had incorrect information in the subhead. Details below.

MONTREAL — Snowbirds hoping to cast their ballots in the coming provincial election from afar ran into some early challenges on Thursday, despite new rules designed to make the process easier.

With the campaign in full swing back home, many Quebecers who spend the harsh winter months in warmer climates logged on to Elections Québec’s website to begin registering to vote by mail. The process itself is fairly straightforward: Eligible voters fill out a form, which can be mailed, faxed or emailed along with two pieces of identification to Elections Quebec by March 19. The ability to email the information (with scanned copies of the documents) is a new feature put in place since the last provincial election in 2012.

(Note: To see a mobile-friendly version of our “Are you eligible to vote?” graphic, tap on the link below Related stories)

Read more…

Elections (voting from abroad) for Canadians

Op-Ed: Elections Canada

Elections (voting from abroad)

Canadians who are temporarily living or travelling outside Canada can, under certain conditions, vote by special ballot in federal elections, by-elections and referendums.

You may vote by special mail-in ballot if you are a Canadian citizen 18 years of age or older on polling day and if you:

  • usually live in Canada, but are away from your electoral district during the electoral period, or
  • have been living outside Canada for less than five consecutive years (or longer if you meet certain employment-based criteria for exemption from the five-year limit) and meet certain other criteria.

Living abroad

If you are living abroad, you may apply to be added to Elections Canada’s International Register of Electors at any time. You must submit a completed Application for registration and special ballot for Canadian citizens residing outside Canada and provide copies of supporting documents that prove your identity. This form is available at any Canadian government office abroad, on the Elections Canada website or by calling Elections Canada at 613-993-2975. Completed applications and copies of supporting documents should be mailed or faxed to Elections Canada in Ottawa. Once your completed application has been approved, your name is added to the International Register of Electors. A special voting ballot is mailed to you when an election is called.

Read more…


Op-Ed: The Phnom Penh Post Khmer Language

មាស សុខជា


លោក​ សម រង្ស៊ី ធ្វើ​សន្និសីទ​កា​សែត​នៅ​ព្រលាន​យន្ត​ហោះ​អន្តរ​ជាតិ​ភ្នំ​ពេញ​ម្សិល​មិញ​​។ រូបថត ម៉ៃ វីរៈ

ភ្នំពេញៈ ថ្នាក់​ដឹក​នាំ​គណបក្ស​ប្រឆាំង​កំពុង​រង់​ចាំ​ចម្លើយ​ពី​ថ្នាក់​ដឹក​នាំ​គណបក្ស​កាន់​អំណាច ក្នុង​ការ​ជួប​ចរចា​រវាង​ថ្នាក់​ដឹក​នាំ​កំពូល​ដើម្បី​ធ្វើ​ការ​ពិភាក្សា​ទៅ​លើ​ការ​កែ​ទម្រង់​ប្រព័ន្ធ​បោះឆ្នោត​ដែល​ការ​ចរចា​ថ្នាក់​ក្រុម​បច្ចេកទេស​មិន​អាច​ដោះស្រាយ​បាន ដោយ​ធ្វើ​ការ​ព្រមាន​ថា ប្រសិន​បើ​កិច្ច​ប្រជុំ​ថ្នាក់​កំពូល មិន​ទទួល​បាន​ជោគជ័យ​ទេ​នោះ​បាតុកម្ម​ជា​ថ្មី​នឹង​ត្រូវ​ធ្វើ​ឡើង​ដោយ​ចៀស​មិន​រួច។

លោក សម រង្ស៊ី ប្រធាន និង​លោក កឹម សុខា អនុ​ប្រធាន​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ​បាន​ថ្លែង​កាល​ពី​ម្សិលមិញ​ថា បន្ទាប់​ពី​កិច្ច​ប្រជុំ​ក្រុម​ការងារ​បច្ចេកទេស​របស់​គណបក្ស​ទាំង​ពីរ​ត្រូវ​បាន​ផ្អាក គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ​កំពុង​រង់ចាំ​ការ​ឆ្លើយ​តប​ពី​ថ្នាក់​ដឹក​នាំ​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​ចំពោះ​កិច្ច​ប្រជុំ​ថ្នាក់​កំពូល។

លោក កឹម សុខា បញ្ជាក់​ថា៖ «ប្រសិន​បើ​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​យល់​ថា កំណែ​ទម្រង់​គណៈកម្មាធិការ​ជាតិ​រៀបចំ​ការ​បោះឆ្នោត (គ.ជ.ប) ពិត​ជា​មាន​សារៈ​សំខាន់ ចង់​បាន គ.ជ.ប ឯករាជ្យ​ពិត​ប្រាកដ​ចង់​ដោះស្រាយ​បញ្ហា​សូម​កុំ​ពន្យារ​ពេល គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​ត្រូវ​ឆ្លើយ​តប​ចំពោះ​អ្វី​ដែល​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ​បាន​លើក​ឡើង ដើម្បី​ឲ្យ​មាន​កិច្ច​ប្រជុំ​ថ្នាក់​កំពូល។ ដូច្នេះ​យើង​កំពុង​រង់ចាំ»។

លោក កឹម សុខា បាន​រិះគន់​ថា កិច្ច​ប្រជុំ​រវាង​ក្រុម​បច្ចេកទេស​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន និង​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ​គឺ​គ្មាន​ប្រយោជន៍​ទេ ព្រោះ​ថា ក្រុម​ការងារ​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន មិន​អាច​សម្រេច​អ្វី​ដែល​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ​បាន​លើក​ឡើង​ទេ ដូច្នេះ គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន តែង​តែ​ពន្យារ​ពេល​ធ្វើ​ឲ្យ​ខាត​បង់​ពេល​វេលា។

លោក​បន្ថែម​ថា៖ «ជា​ធម្មតា ពេល​យើង​ទាមទារ​តាម​ការ​ចរចា​មិន​អាច​ទៅ​រួច យើង​ធ្វើ​បាតុកម្ម»។

Read more…

Rainsy Returns From Abroad, Threatens Demonstrations—Again

Op-Ed: The Cambodia Daily
Rainsy Returns From Abroad, Threatens Demonstrations—Again
BY  AND  | MARCH 26, 2014


Opposition leader Sam Rainsy returned from a trip to Australia on Tuesday and threatened the resumption of mass demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen if the ruling CPP continues to refuse opposition demands to reform the National Election Committee (NEC).

Arriving at CNRP headquarters in Phnom Penh’s Chak Angre Leu commune after a weeklong trip to Australia and New Zealand, Mr. Rainsy told supporters that the opposition was now considering its options after the apparent breakdown of the bipartisan National Electoral Commission.

“Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, we will have good news, and the news will follow the willingness of the people,” Mr. Rainsy said.

“We follow the will of the people, and if they want to do demonstrations, we will do demonstrations again—bigger and bigger,” he told about 100 supporters. “I am waiting to listen to you.”

On Monday, CPP and CNRP representatives refused to even appear alongside each other after the fourth meeting of their electoral commission, which has been marred by discord since its creation late last month.

CPP delegates have said they will not consider an opposition proposal to require two-thirds of the National Assembly to agree on appointees to the NEC, which is currently controlled by the ruling party.

The opposition in turn suggested that the issue should be discussed in direct talks between Mr. Rainsy and Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Read more…

An exercise in futility?

CNRP members attend a meeting to discuss National Election Committee reform at the Senate in Phnom Penh

CNRP members attend a meeting to discuss National Election Committee reform at the Senate in Phnom Penh on Monday. Heng Chivoan

An exercise in futility?

Wed, 26 March 2014

In mid-February, as the ruling and opposition parties declared they would restart formal talks focusing on election reform in a bid to finally end months of political deadlock, observers predicted that little would be achieved.

It had been roughly six weeks since a violent crackdown on protesting opposition supporters and striking workers put a swift end to burgeoning anti-government protests and seemingly put the ruling party back in the driver’s seat.

“I appreciate that they will start [formal] negotiations, but, for me, they will be useless. This time, the CPP has great power and the CNRP has very little power at the negotiating table,” political analyst Kem Ley told the Post at the time.

On Monday, following the fourth meeting of a bipartisan election reform committee that was formed as a result of those talks, Ley’s comments appeared prescient.

Frustrated after weeks of flip-flopping from the Cambodian People’s Party on the opposition’s key demand of National Election Committee reform, the Cambodia National Rescue Party threw in the towel, halting lower-level talks and demanding a meeting between top party leaders.

“If the [CPP] understands that NEC reform is an important priority, wants to have a real, independent NEC and wants to actually solve problems rather than [simply] delay, [they] should respond to what the [CNRP] has requested,” deputy CNRP leader Kem Sokha said yesterday, warning that his party would lead more demonstrations if its demands are not met.

Read more…