Heading away from home means a lot of things–discovery, adventure, challenge, discomfort. But it does not have to mean you miss your chance to vote in the midterm elections in the U.S.! If you are 18-20, it’s likely this is the first time you’ll have a chance to vote in an election for state and federal governance. This can feel, rightly, like a big deal.
Nepal has been through a lot of political change in the last decade–among other things, in 2008 they voted to end a centuries-long monarchy and instate a federal democratic republic! Voting matters a lot to folks here, and we’ll be talking more about the ins and outs of how politics, society, rights, food, water, culture and art all intersect in big concepts like democracy, justice, and progress.
In the spirit of a living democracy, we want to strongly encourage you to register as an absentee voter before you get on the plane to meet up with our program! This means different things in different places–some places may already have ballots prepared, and you may be able to go to your town or city hall and vote RIGHT NOW. Some places will only be able to mail an absentee ballot, which may or may not get to Nepal on time. Other places may be able, once you register absentee, to email you a ballot when they are ready (Vermont, for instance, will email Charis a ballot in mid-September that she’ll print out, fill out, and mail back). We want to support you in your civic participation to whatever extent you’ll be able to participate, so go ahead and register absentee if you’d like to, as a member of the party of your choice–we’ll all figure out together how to be sure the ballots get back to the U.S. on time.
Keep posting your introductions and questions, and keep an eye on the Yak board for information and updates!