Voters abroad could make difference

Nov. 5, 2012 at 8:21 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- About 500,000 Americans living abroad, including large numbers from swing states, are expected to cast ballots in the presidential election, officials say.

In the 2008 presidential election, Americans registered to vote overseas were in largest numbers from Texas, California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia and Washington. Four of those states -- Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan -- are considered swing states in this election, meaning their votes could have a large impact on the election, CBS reported.

"Every single year the overseas vote can be decisive in the election," said Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, president and CEO of the U.S. Vote Foundation and Overseas Vote Foundation.

"We don't believe that there will be more voting by overseas Americans than in previous years, unfortunately, despite $25 million of investment into the overseas voting program," she said.

"I would not say Americans abroad are more motivated this year, but they have become more interested since the debates in a noticeable way: There is trepidation about backtracking on foreign policy, and there is concern about tax policy overseas, and they are interested in healthcare policy, as many Americans overseas are recipients of Medicare, believe it or not."

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