Monday, July 18, 2005

Early Voting continues to expand worldwide

I have posted recent stories regarding absentee balloting by Mexicans living in the United States. The most recent story (AP Wire, July 14, 2005 ) shows the sort of hurdles that these efforts will encounter.

The number of potential absentee Mexican citizens living in the US would total in the millions (the LA Times estimates 11 million). This is easily enough voters to sway the 2006 Presidential election. Given the history of electoral fraud in Mexico, combined with problems with the Mexican postal service, Mexican officials recently announced that they are considering absentee drop off stations located in the US! Imagine the prospect of millions of Mexican citizens casting their ballots in Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, Dallas, and other large American cities! (See also this story in the Chicago Tribune. )

On the heels of the developments in Mexico, news out of Israel is that this government is also considering proposals which would make it far easier for Israeli citizens living in the US to vote in Israeli elections.
This initiative has a more partisan flavor than the Mexican initiative--it seems to be a move by the right to shore up their support by gaining the votes of conservative Jewish voters who are temporarily living or visiting in the US. Are US visitors that skewed on a partisan basis?

Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World

Perhaps not surprisingly, legislators in Taiwan have moved in the opposite direction. While they are relaxing absentee balloting requirements in the country (allowing those who are not in their electoral district at the time of the election to cast an absentee ballot), they are considering whether to explicitly exclude Taiwanese nationals living abroad (e.g PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC!) to not be able to cast a ballot.


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