This from ACA today, changes to voter registration cause anger and frustration

ACA: “Thanks to Brian Knowlton (NYT) for his perceptive article regarding anger and frustration over the revised federal registration and ballot request form. NOTE that one can still use the previous (2005) version, with less invasive language. DO NOT LET this deter you from voting this year!!”

Change to Ballot Request Form Angers U.S. Expats

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22 thoughts on “This from ACA today, changes to voter registration cause anger and frustration

  1. @ bubblebustin
    My husband has started doing the backwards moonwalk into the all-Canadian freedom theatre (get CND citizenship then renounce USA citizenship). I don’t think he will be drawing attention to his USness by voting. 🙂

  2. @Em: Once your husband has his Canadian citizenship, he can relinquish, rather than renounce US citizenship. It’s easier and cheaper than renouncing. Plus, the US is less hostile to relinquishers than they are to renunciant–which may help if your husband needs to travel to US to visit or care for family there.

  3. “In a year when polls show the presidential contest could be extremely close and where absentee ballots could make a difference, the matter has drawn attention in Congress…………

    The language has the potential to carry real impact in close elections.”………………
    But, we’re still not a group identified as important in the 2012 elections apparently. And, if it turns out that we could be? What would we choose? Democrats, Republicans, or registering and no voting at all?

    ‘the matter has drawn attention in Congress……’ whose attention do we have?

    I want to thank Carolyn Maloney for all that she has done. And the bipartisan representatives who have helped the ACA.

  4. I can’t speak for my husband but, at this point, I think he relishes the thought of renouncing and I’m not really clear what his grounds would be for relinquishing. His elderly mother is seriously ill and he’s in the USA right now arranging hospice care for her. She is his only link to the USA. I think he’s pretty fed up with the idea that his birth nation thinks it can enslave him with forms and threats forever.

  5. @Em: His grounds for relinquishing–if he chooses to do that–is that he committed an expatriating act with the intention of giving up US citizenship by becoming a Canadian citizen. That is what Petros did after he became a Canadian citizen last year.

  6. @ Blaze
    Oh I get it. I thought he had to join the CND army (not going to happen — too old) or swear an oath of allegiance to something other than the USA (he would swear if he had to). Thanks for clearing that up.

  7. @Em, Blaze Actually, I relinquished by becoming a Canadian. I merely informed the Consulate that I had become a Canadian with the intent of relinquishing my US citizenship. I’ve never even for one second been a dual citizen. Despite this, I’ve been portrayed as a dual citizen by Pete the Planner, Atossa Abrahamian and Barrie McKenna. But that’s ok. These fine distinctions don’t always come through the first time for folks.

    The point being Em, when you become Canadian with intent of relinquishing, you can avoid $450 and the Reed Amendment restrictions. Not only so, but you can still buy guns and transport hazardous goods in the United States.

  8. @Em: Your husband will swear an oath of allegiance to Canada when he becomes a Canadian citizen. That is an expatriating act. He then tells the Consulate that he did so with the intent of relinquishing. As Petros said, he relinquished when he became a Canadian.

  9. @ Petros & Blaze
    Thanks to both of you. I like anything that’s free — in both senses of the word. 🙂

  10. @ Petros
    Here is my statement at my renunciation ceremony at the US consulate in Toronto on April 7, 2011:
    I have lived in Canada most of my adult life. I have married a Canadian. After so many years in Canada it became clear that I have a great attachment to Canada, to my Canadian friends, to my Canadian wife and her family, and to my church community in Canada. I felt that it was therefore necessary to become a Canadian citizen so that I may become a full member of this great and wonderful country and its people. Therefore, I applied for Canadian citizenship in 2010, and I also had, even at that time, the intention of relinquishing my US citizenship. For in taking my pledge to the Queen of Canada, Elizabeth II, on February 28, 2011, I realized that it would be absurd for me to be of divided loyalty. My duty to the Queen and to the Dominion of Canada precludes me from maintaining citizenship in the United States of America, since when one country calls me to serve, dual citizenship could potentially create a conflict of interest. To avoid all such conflicts, I have decided with my full volition and all my heart, to relinquish my United States citizenship once and for all, realizing that it is an irrevocable act.

    I saved the above hoping that when the time comes (1-2 years off) my husband can use it as a template. With the appropriate changes could he use your words?

  11. @Em sure. It worked for me. May be I should prepare a relinquishment kit for folks, and sell them. 🙂 –but probably I should do this for Queen and country.

  12. @ Petros
    Thanks. 🙂 The kit sounds like a great idea. Market it as an antidote for toxic tax tyranny.

  13. So I read this article and my first thought was, what the hell does the Pentagon have to do with overseas voters? Has voting become militarized in the U.S. too, along with the police, border services, drug enforcement agency and, for all I know, your local WalMart greeter brigade? Is this the kind of overseas service that the American government figures expats should be paying thousands of dollars a year for in tax accountants and lawyers fees along with taxes, penalties and interest? Do guys with camo fatigues and automatic weapons now guard ballot boxes during American elections?

  14. I think what this article shows that those in power feel there’s a threat some where so lets just change the rules. This will keep expats at bay with no way to exercise any power through the system. It also shows the depth to which the Obama camp and the Dems have really slipped to. ‘Taxation with no representation’. There’s no question, Sam Adams and King George III are having a gut splitting laugh over this one. Eventually I believe it will be Americans themselves who will bring all this down.

  15. It’ sad that at the very moment in American history where more voter input is needed, the US Government screws up overseas voting by asking too many dumb qustions. They never leave well enough alone!

  16. Just want to point out that the author of this story, Brian Knowlton is the one what contributed to David Jolly’s NYT’s piece called “For Americans Abroad, Taxes Just Got More Complicated.” http://nyti.ms/JjJFdy

    Both he and David are sympathetic to Expat issues…

    You should, or could, go on the NYTs contact page, (click on his name) and send him a message thanking him for his interest and reporting on these stories. I am sure he would appreciate positive feed back and it keeps his interest. 🙂

    Also, watch to see if this shows up on the blog, where you can make comments.. It may not, or may not. Not sure what the criteria is. http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/

    That is what happened to David Jolly’s story. First the NYTs, and then to the blog and then a bunch of you weighed in..

    BTW… Please note: This blog has been updated April 25th with comments directly related to much of the feedback David has received. I hadn’t noticed it, as we do move one not looking back, but I think it shows that he has picked up the Minnow’s issue, and whether or not we are just unintended collateral damage in search of bigger prey (Whales)… Read again here…

    http://nyti.ms/HYFo16

  17. So the choice on the voter ballot is abroad temporarily or forever (ie traitor status). Typical US thinking – Always black or white. This would be brilliant if you could check abroad forever, lose the right to live and vote but retain the passport for visa free travel and be thrown out of the US tax net. Perfect compromise for many at least I imagine.

  18. @ALL
    For all of those intending to vote 🙂 ….. why don’t you just check “……., and I intend to return” ????
    As far is I know a person has the right to change their mind. Heck, my wife does it all the time 🙂
    An intention is not legally binding, or is it?

  19. @UncleTell
    I think you are right. There are no $10K non willful penalties associated with the check mark, so intentions do change. That is what I would do. Tell them what they want to hear.

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