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Opinion, by Melissa Mello e Souza

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – We are now entering the climax of the Presidential Race in the United States, with both Party’s political conventions unfolding this week and next. This is also crunch time for voter registration of Americans living abroad. There is a small window of about two weeks to register to receive your Absentee Ballot, if you’re American and will be in Brazil in November.

Melissa M. Souza, Chair Democrats Abroad Brazil
Melissa M. Souza, Chair Democrats Abroad Brazil.

After the first week of September, it becomes increasingly difficult to process the application and send the ballot out in time for the election. And remember, that regardless of having registered for past elections, you MUST REGISTER THIS YEAR to be able to participate (see MOVE ACT).

So, to all Americans living in Brazil, please register ASAP at www.votefromabroad.org. It takes five minutes, online. Just click on the link, have your current Brazilian address, last US residence address, social security and — if possible, but not necessary—driver’s license handy. Print out the form and mail it/fax it to your county.

We are here to help you do this. To honor Convention Week, when President Obama takes the podium to make his plea for reelection in this crucial year, we will be promoting several eat, drink and register- to -vote events around Rio.

Beginning next Tuesday (September 4th) , and moving until Friday, Democrats Abroad Brazil will be organizing a series of non-partisan Happy Hours/Voter Registration Drives around well-known American hang-outs in Rio.

We will have the full schedule ready in the days to come, and will be publicizing it through Rio Times and various social media sites.

We also welcome you to join our Facebook Pages: www.facebook.com/groups/demsabroadbrazil (for group discussion), and www.facebook.com/demsabroadbrazil (fan page) to keep updated on our events.

The stakes in this election could not be higher, whichever side one supports. Either we continue and strengthen the reforms and changes enacted under President Obama–in the social, economic and financial sectors– or we make a dramatic U-turn and follow a drastically different path.

As we have been arguing over the past months—every vote results in a policy. It can make a difference between war and peace; between whether one gets affordable health care or not; between which sectors of the economy are strengthened and supported, and which are left to languish. The Affordable Care Act was a policy that resulted from the vote; as was the Iraq War.

The vote is the first link in a chain reaction of events—from the voting booth to the White House and Congress, and from there back to society and the world.

The vote is a concentrate of Power—this is why people are dying for it throughout the world, and why so many are killing to keep it from happening.

Value your vote. Value your heritage as an American, the first democratic revolution of the Western World.

Please Register, and Fight the Powers: VOTE!!

Melissa M. Souza, Chair Democrats Abroad Brazil
Email: demsabroadbrazil@gmail.com

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