Voting in Israel Q&A (I)

Joanne Yaron answers readers' questions about how to vote from Israel.

us special 2 224 (photo credit:)
us special 2 224
(photo credit: )
Joshua Haber, Jerusalem: I am not yet registered to vote. Is there a way I can register and vote in the primaries and presidential elections from Jerusalem? For Joshua in Jerusalem: Registering and voting in the primaries would be a bit difficult right now as most of the states moved their primary dates up to February and even January. But there are quite a few that have not done that. Which one is your "voting state" (i.e., home state)? You may still have a chance. Voting in the national election is a different matter. Simply go to www.votefromabroad.org and download the smart form for voter registration and request to receive an overseas absentee ballot, fill it out, print it and snail mail it to the election authority in your "voting state". Simple as that. Hannah Schneiderman, Dallas: Hi, I'm from Dallas, Texas. At the moment, I am living here and will be able to vote in the primaries, but I am planning on doing Year Course with Young Judea next school year, so I'll be in Israel for the election. How will I vote? Hi Hannah enroute from Dallas to Israel: This one-year move puts you in the "temporarily living abroad" voter category, which most states respond to by providing a simple absentee ballot of the type they would allow a voter who was "out of town" on election day to vote. Go to the election authority in your area and ask how you can get an absentee ballot to vote with while you are abroad on a study course for one year. Danny Kahn, Meitar: My children, who were born in Israel, are joint American/Israeli citizens. If they want to vote in American in what state should they vote? Could voting effect their situation as far as paying US taxes, or if American were to start a draft for the military again? Well now worried daddy Danny: Your Israeli kids with US citizenship can register to vote when they reach the age of 18 in the state and district where you last registered and voted. This now becomes theirs, as well. Just like you they should go to www.votefromabroad.org and follow the instructions. Questions concerning US taxes and possible resurrection of the draft law should be directed to a lawyer, but suffice it to say that no state is allowed by federal law to levy taxes because a citizen voted in a federal election, i.e., for president/vice-president, and members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Rumor has it that paying local taxes is a different story if the voter votes in local elections and/or has property in the state. As for a new draft law, it would depend on what it says. In the past US citizens of draft age living abroad were drafted into the US army - but that was because of their citizenship and not because of voting. Tony Hollombe, Ra'anana: I was previously registered to vote in Los Angeles, but no longer have a home address there. Do I have to re-register as a voter in LA, and if so, how? Registering "Homeless" Tony: The last place an overseas absentee voter registered to vote while still in the states remains his or her permanent voting address even if the house or street no longer exists. As for re-registering, technically overseas voters are supposed to re-register every year, though every state has its own last minute rules. California doesn't actually require re-registration, though I always recommend it anyway. It is so easy to do with www.votefromabroad.org . Stuart Hersh, Kiryat Arba: My wife and I haven't voted in the past three presidential elections. If we must re-register, how do we go about doing so? How do we go about registering via the Internet or email? Stuart the non-voter wants back in: I would say that regardless of the state involved, if you have not voted in 3 presidential elections in a row it's essential to re-register to vote. So download the forms from www.votefromabroad.org and do your duty. You can't register to vote via the Internet or email. All you can do is download the forms, fill them out on screen, and then print and snail mail them to your election authority in your "voting state". Some states allow sending voter registration forms by fax followed by mailing the originals, as well. Which state do you vote in?