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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Absentee ballots for the US Presidential elections

For those of you who might be wondering when you will get your absentee ballots for the US Presidential elections, mine showed up last night by email.

Now, all I have to do is read the instructions....


At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you mean "by email"?

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Melissa in NorCal said...

Seems strange that after you made Aliya in 1991, you are still voting in American elections. Are you not an Israeli citizen now? Even if you vote for my guy, it seems like you shouldn't vote in our elections. I thought Aliya meant a permanant return to Israel, i.e. accepting Israeli citizenship. The USA does not recognize dual citizenship, so therefore, you are no longer an American citizen. Does anyone else think this is strange?

At 11:27 PM, Blogger Melissa in NorCal said...

I stand corrected:

I've heard that the US has a special agreement with Israel permitting people to be dual US/Israeli citizens. Is this true?
No. It just happens that Israeli citizenship law does not require renunciation of one's old citizenship in order to become a citizen of Israel.

In this regard, Israel is really treated no differently than Canada, the UK, France, or other countries which permit people to become citizens without giving up their old status.

As best I have been able to determine, the US does not have any sort of treaty facilitating dual citizenship with any other country. Dual citizenship arises, not out of explicit bilateral agreements between nations, but because each country makes its own laws respecting who is or is not its citizen, often without regard for whether a given person is considered a citizen by more than one country at once.

It is interesting to note that Israel's "Law of Return" (under which any Jew may immigrate to and become a citizen of Israel) confers Israeli citizenship automatically, without the immigrant having to apply for it, attend any ceremony, or swear any oath of allegiance. The Israeli law may originally have been written this way to encourage American Jews to move to Israel; they could, in theory, argue that they had not explicitly requested Israeli citizenship and were thus still entitled to keep their US citizenship. (Note that Mr. Afroyim, subject of Afroyim v. Rusk, was alleged to have lost his US citizenship, not because he had become an Israeli citizen, but because he had voted in an Israeli election.)

At 11:40 PM, Blogger biz said...

Melissa, I moved to Israel from the US one year ago. Even though I live outside the borders of the US, as a US citizen, I'm still required by law to submit an annual income tax return to the IRS. (I've also paid into state and federal funds like Social Security over many years).

The US is based on the principle of "no taxation without representation." The US offers citizens a right to live outside its borders, and also enforces the responsibilities of citizenship (like taxes, and the military draft in time of national peril).

Why do you believe the US doesn't normally recognize dual citizenship? When new citizens are naturalized in the US, the US doesn't have a requirement (such as many other countries have) to renounce their citizenship in their native country. The US has always fully accepted new citizens with knowledge of their citizenship in their birth country. Unlike many other countries, there has also never been a law prohibiting a citizen of the US from accepting citizenship in a different country. The US has never had a problem with dual citizenship.

Having freedom to live where we choose is one of the great advantages of being a US citizen, and we're often ambassadors of goodwill for the US when we live in other countries.

At 12:03 AM, Blogger A Soldier's Mother said...

uh oh...didn't get mine yet. Hope it comes soon....My three oldest kids registered. I called one to come upstairs and sign the form. He told me I could sign it for him. I told him, "no, you have to come up here and sign it."

He did and then said, "but I don't know who to vote for."

I said, "don't worry - I'll tell you who to vote for."

And we both realized how ridiculous that sounds...and yes, of course I'm going to tell him - as soon as we get the ballot.

Moadim l'simcha!


At 7:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melissa, after you've completed your international law degree, come back and try getting your facts straight.

There is no special agreement with Israel on this matter.

The US allows dual citizenship.

Israel's Law of Return was not designed for US Jews in particular but on the principle that the land of Israel is the spiritual and historic home of every Jew who lives anywhere in the world.

Mr. Afroyim won his case. Furthermore, in 1978 Congress repealed that statute calling for loss of U.S. citizenship for voting in a foreign election.

And that's the story!

At 8:09 AM, Blogger yitz said...

One of the candidates for President was not born in the USA and holds Kenyan and or Indonesian Citizenship and I don't mean McCain. Atty. Berg has files suit against this candidate and this candidate has yet to produce a valid US COLB, so why are people making a fuss over us Israelis who have not renounced our US citizenship and say G-d Bless America not like the candidate who refuses to salute the flag and whose mentor of 20 years proclaimed G-d Damn America and whose wife was never proud to be an American?

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yitz, I hate to break the news to you about your pal, Mr. Berg.

Don't go there.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Shy Guy,

The county in which I last lived now emails absentee ballots.

Melissa in Norcal,

The US allows dual citizenship and has since sometime in the 1960's. I carry two passports - an American one and an Israeli one. The only way that might change would be if I voluntarily swore a loyalty oath to Israel - i.e. if I became a member of the Knesset. Not likely to happen.

By the way, all my kids are US citizens, as is my grandson.

And voting in Israeli elections doesn't change anything.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Please tell my wife you read my blog. She doesn't. Yet.

At 6:17 AM, Blogger lance said...

Dear Mrs. Carl,

Read Carl's blog. Its the best source of interesting news in one place about the Matzav.

Respectfully, a fan of Mr. and Mrs. C-in-J


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