Photo: NPR

By EARL ANTHONY WAYNE, former U.S. ambassador to Mexico

The U.S. presidential and congressional elections this fall are going to be the most consequential in our lifetime.

These elections will have tremendous impact on the role of the United States in the world and policies within the country.

For those who care about the U.S. relationship with Mexico, as well as with the rest of the region, these elections should be an urgent call to action.

It is crucial that all eligible U.S. citizens register to vote and cast their ballot as soon as possible.

All U.S. adult citizens in Mexico are eligible to vote with an overseas absentee ballot.

You can do this online. It only takes a few minutes to register and to ask for your absentee ballot at the website: votefromabroad.org.

There are an estimated 1.5 million U.S. citizens currently living in Mexico.

All American citizens over the age of 18 can vote from abroad.

You can vote if you are a dual citizen or if you have never voted before. You can vote even if you have never lived in the United States. You do not even need a current U.S. residence.

If you have questions, the Vote from Abroad Help Desk can assist you.

After registering and once you receive your absentee ballot, you will need to return it as quickly as possible to insure that your vote is counted by local U.S. election officials. Different localities have different options for returning the ballots, but all will accept it by mail or private courier such as DHL, FedEx or UPS. 

The U.S. Embassy and consulates in Mexico will also accept completed ballots in sealed envelopes with first-class postage for delivery. Please check their web pages for details.

For your voice to count in this vital election, you should act as early as possible, and return the completed ballot to the United States no later than Oct. 2. When you register at votefromabroad.org, you can find out the deadlines and additional details for your own districts.

Now is the time to act to register, to get your ballot, and then to vote as soon as possible.

The impact of this election for Mexico and the region should not be underestimated. This is the time when you should have your voice heard and when your vote can truly make a difference.

Please pass the word to your family and friends. This is a historic moment in which you can play your part in the democracy of the United States.

EARL ANTHONY WAYNE was U.S. ambassador to Mexico from 2011-2015. He was a U.S. diplomat from 1975-2015. He is currently co-chair of the Mexico Institute Advisory Board at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a Distinguished Diplomat in Residence at American University’s School of International Service.

…Sept. 17, 2020

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