US midterm elections are just around the corner! Can’t you feel the excitement?! OK, maybe excitement isn’t quite the right word but the elections are something to start thinking about.
If you are an American citizen, or even the child or spouse of one, there is the overwhelming likelihood that you are eligible to vote in American elections. We at iVoteIsrael are here to help facilitate your registering to vote and to vote in the upcoming 2014 elections.
The process is actually straightforward and simple and don’t worry, you won’t be called in for jury duty, (though come to think of it if it came with a free roundtrip ticket to your old address in the States maybe it wouldn’t be so bad?)
Over the course of this election year, iVoteIsrael has heard from many American citizens who now live in Israel and are eager to participate in the American political process. The reasons are wide ranging and include:
- “I am watching the political campaign playing out in the Old Country, and I want to have my say.”
- “I have been living in Israel for 30 years and have never voted, but this year, I want to add my voice.”
- “I have voted every election when I lived in America and want to continue doing so now that I live in Israel.”
- “With the turmoil going on in the Middle East and the direct threat that Israel faces, I would be crazy not to exercise my right to vote in the US elections.”
Regardless of the reason, iVoteIsrael is committed to ensuring that Americans in Israel are indeed able to have their votes counted in the general election.
As American citizens living in Israel we may feel frustration with recent statements of the US government concerning Israel’s Operation Protective Edge. Questioning decisions are fair but futile if not backed up with action. The necessary response is exercising your constitutional right to vote and have your voice heard through the democratic process. If you don’t, your voice does not have its full expression and what you are left with is countless Facebook posts floating around cyberspace.
iVoteIsrael is more than just a Get Out The Vote effort – we do have an agenda, and we are proud of it. Our legal status does not allow us to endorse a specific candidate – for Congress or President – but it does allow us to endorse an issue: Israel. In that respect we’re as partisan as it gets, and we’re proud of it.
We don’t care who you vote for – Republican, Democrat or Independent – as long as you have taken the time to vet the candidates on their position toward Israel. We know through intense public opinion research that while Jewish-American voters in the US vote primarily on domestic issues (jobs, healthcare, economy), an overwhelming majority of Israeli-Americans vote on Israel-related issues.
Your vote will make a difference, as a statement that American citizens still care for America and the relationship that it has with Israel.
Remember: Who you vote for is your business; that you vote is ours!
Matt Solomon is the National Director at iVoteIsrael, a bi-partisan advocate group working to get-out-the-vote efforts in the American-Israeli community.