by Melinda Gallo

Online voting

I was happy when I heard a few months ago that I could vote online instead of sending in an absentee ballot. I heard a representative of the American Consulate in Rome say on the local news today that the overseas Americans are considered to be the 51st state.

Absentee ballots in the past seemed like they were just tossed aside because they were generally counted late. And by the time they were counted, it didn't seem to matter as the elections were already over.

I had received many emails over the past few weeks from my party's abroad organization helping me sign up online. When today arrived, I went to the website that they sent me, entered all my information, and voted. It was so quick and easy that I was a little disappointed when all I saw at the end of the process was a short message thanking me for voting. I was hoping that something more spectacular would have happened at the end. It got me thinking that I could've gone to the local poll and maybe I would've at least been offered a cookie.

One thing that surprises me is that the online voting ends on the 12th, but I hope that the results will come in sooner. It seems like it will be an interesting election this year full of new people on both sides.

What I love about living overseas is that I can hear about the race to the presidency without being bombarded by it all the time. When I watch the Italian news and they discuss the US elections, I feel like I'm getting the information I need and nothing more.

I look forward to casting my vote online in November. And because I know that no bells and whistles will go off when I do, I will have to eat some cookies to celebrate.

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