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US elections: American citizens cast their vote from the UAE

anjana@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 30, 2020 | Last updated on October 2, 2020 at 11.48 am
US elections, US Embassy, American expats, Dubai, UAE, UAE missions, ballots,

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The US Mission in the UAE estimates there are 75,000 Americans living in the UAE, as in April 2020.

The US Embassy said American citizens in the country have shown a "strong interest" in voting from overseas.

"While we're unable to provide specific numbers, we have had increasing numbers of voters submit ballots for mailing in recent days," Jon Webster, Consul-General, US Embassy Abu Dhabi, told Khaleej Times in a statement.

The US Mission in the UAE estimates there are 75,000 Americans living in the UAE, as in April 2020.

The US Embassy in Abu Dhabi and US Consulate General in Dubai have been accepting election materials, including absentee ballots. When dropping their ballots at the missions, citizens were asked to bring a self-addressed and self-stamped envelope. After security staff screened the envelope, the voter saw it deposited into the secure drop box. The sealed absentee ballots in the locked ballot box are securely transferred from the missions to local elections officials in the US.

When asked how crucial absentee voting is in deciding the outcome of the elections, Webster said: "US elections for the House and Senate have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters. All states are required to count every absentee ballot as along as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline."

A study published by the US Federal Voting Assistance Programme (FVAP) in July 2020 analysing the overseas citizen population during the 2018 elections estimates there are 2.9 million voting age Americans living abroad. In 2018, the global rate of overseas voter participation was 4.7 per cent, while in the Middle East it was 1.9 per cent.

anjana@khaleejtimes.com 

author

Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.


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