Record number of absentee votes expected this year

| Thursday, September 02, 2004

A record number of Americans overseas are expected to vote by absentee ballot in this year’s November election, Agence France-Presse reported Thursday, Sept. 2.

About 3 million Americans of the 4.65 million overseas are eligible – including roughly 550,000 military and other government personnel, the news service said. Experts quoted by the press agency said that despite claims by both parties, the expatriate community is about split evenly between the two parties.

A number of those overseas Americans this year are truckers working in Iraq, primarily for Kellogg, Brown & Root, a division of Halliburton.

The Democratic Party has set up a site specifically to court overseas voters, www.overseasvote.com. The site claims to have registered thousands of overseas citizens to vote in the November contest.

And the GOP has been active abroad as well. An organization called Republicans Abroad, which has chapters in a number of foreign nations, also has a presence on the Web at  http://www.republicansabroad.com/index.html , and offers registration services as well.

USA Today reported that the GOP organization plans to run ads for voters to support President Bush’s re-election bid in newspapers that cater to Americans overseas. Those ads will start to run after Labor Day.

Truckers or family members of truckers can register to vote through a special Web site set up by OOIDA at www.truckvote.com. The Truck Vote effort is designed to get as many truckers as possible registered to vote.

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