Democrats Abroad Ireland is encouraging some 25,000 eligible American voters in Ireland ahead to vote in the US midterm elections, which will this year be held on Tuesday, November 8.
Patti Shields, chair of Democrats Abroad Ireland, recently told BreakingNews.ie that the group is encouraging Americans in Ireland to register to vote and request their ballots before October 5.
US citizens living (or working or traveling) outside the US have the right to vote in US Federal elections, which occur every two years and include all 435 seats in the US House of Representatives along with one-third of the US Senate seats.
Voters living outside of the US can register to vote on VoteFromAbroad.org, which, although is a public service provided by Democratic Party Committee, voters from any party affiliation can use.
Shields said: "When we do our VoteFromAbroad.org, our general voter outreach, which is really I'd say 90 percent of what I'm doing right now, we do that in a non-partisan way. We support the act of registering to vote without partisanship.
"The website we refer people to for voting is completely non-partisan in terms of you go all the way through the process of registering to vote, then at the end of the process if you care to hear more about Democrats Abroad it will take you to a page to go there."
The process to register to vote via VoteFromAbroad.org "takes about seven minutes," Shields said.
"You need to know your old address, if you have an old social security number you need the last four digits but if you don't have that there are other ways to do it, the process itself is quite easy. You just need to do it far enough in advance."
She added: "Some of the ballots are mailed, they're sent to some voters electronically... it varies by state, but most ballots need to be mailed back, or a copy needs to be mailed back.
"You need to mail something back. You just have to do it well enough in advance that it can be received in time for the election. The mail services in our current countries and the US I still don't think have fully recovered from Covid, things take a bit longer, so we're encouraging people to get out and do it sooner rather than later."
The first ballots began to be delivered on September 24, which Democrats Abroad marked with an online Ballot Day Rally, which featured candidates in some of "the most competitive and crucial races in the country," as well as special guests, including Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, encouraging people to voters to complete and return their ballots.
Shields explained: "In most states, you can electronically submit your ballot request and your registration completely electronically, so you don't even need a printer anymore... you can digitally capture your signature.
"We do one-on-one voter assistance and help them manage steps as simple as getting the piece of paper in front of the camera, that kind of thing.
"I think the fact that in the past three years there's been a growing number of voters and population moving here [in Ireland] and also them being very aware and very participative in the US electoral process just speaks to the relationship between the US and Ireland."