Many of our Award Expert clients are U.S. expats living abroad and as the USA votes today in the 2022 midterm elections, I was mildly surprised at how many are flying home simply to vote.
Flying Home To Vote In 2022 U.S. Midterm Elections
Every election cycle we are told this is the most important election of our lifetime. While that may be true (every election may be relatively more important than the last as time progresses), I personally think we can only appreciate the gravity of an election in retrospect…sometimes many years and even decades down the line.
In any case, while our clients tend to be in the upper-income brackets, I still find it somewhat surprising that we’ve booked at least a half dozen clients from places as far as Kenya, Qatar, Sweden, and India a quick back to the USA just to vote.
Theoretically, all of these clients could have requested absentee ballots and voted from abroad. But that is a cumbersome process (some states make it easier than others) and it just sounds so much sexier to say that you flew home to take part in democracy, doesn’t it?
Now some races are looking so close that every vote might matter: I do not downplay the value of even a single vote, though I am a bit incredulous about how some people have justified very pricey business class tickets just to vote. Put another way, perhaps such a profound electoral concern could have been better addressed by donating the equivalent of the airline ticket to the campaign you care most about. Then again, the correlation between money spent and votes received often diverges.
Perhaps it should not come as a surprise. We even booked a couple to fly down to Brazil the week before last just so they could vote in the presidential election there. When I was living in Germany I also timed a trip home in order to vote, though I accomplished many other things as well during my visit.
No judgment from me, but I certainly did not see this level of interest in voting two years ago or even four years ago (before the pandemic).
Please Vote Responsibly
A final word. If you are a U.S. citizen, please vote today and vote as if democracy depended upon it… because it does. Preserving our democratic experiment is a fragile endeavor and the U.S. has somehow managed to persevere for nearly 246 years. But what has been painstakingly built and preserved can be quickly lost. Do not take our representative republic for granted: we must do our part to preserve the rule of law and understand that recklessly sowing the seeds of illegitimacy and corruption concerning elections is a dangerous game. When faith in institutions is eliminated, the entire system is more vulnerable to those who seek to consolidate power for their own sordid gain.
Please also inform yourself on the issues and know what you are voting for (I know for my readers in California, this can be a daunting task with a ballot a mile long with more initiatives and judges than we might care to digest). We must not only vote, but choose the right people. Beyond party affiliation, may you vote for someone who honors the constitution above any man, woman, or party seeking power.
It’s election day and I’ve helped several clients fly from the far reaches of the earth back to the USA in order to vote today. For all of us, let us carefully guard our precious nation by voting and then by accepting the results of that vote and holding all of our elected leaders accountable to carefully safeguarding the system that has given us so much blessing.
Have you ever flown home just to vote?
I assume Aaron and Bill Baghdad Bob among others will be working overtime in these pages in the next few days to defend democracy.
Just as much as you’ll be working to tear it down, I imagine 😉
Aaron should be celebrating this morning. Gay sex wasn’t on the ballot but to him it was since he is a one issue voter. Remember Aaron, as long as they are 18 and consented, we don’t care. It’s when you groom the kids we get upset.
Aw, one of this site’s best know homophobes is back to spouting his nonsense. Do you get this upset when guys like you groom kids?
Democrats are already trying to steal the election in AZ like they did in 2020. They are having massive problems with voting machines. Don’t let them steal it again.
You filthy pathological liar. I feel bad for your dirty kind.
Just turn on the tv and look yourself you cheat.
Are you still peddling that deluded lie?
And MAGA a**hats are working overtime to spread lies via their favorite travel blogs.
Want a better country, stop the MAGA lies
What lies? its the truth. You people are the enemy.
Your fascist values are the enemy of America.
Have you put yourself on Putin’s payroll, or are you just a free tool for America’s enemies?
You are the enemy of America.
Babykilers and pedophiles.
Stop projecting feeling about yourself onto the rest of us.
Don’t think elections are stolen but for a country that claims to be the most powerful nation in the world and has the top technology companies in the world, not be able to have systems working during election day is at minimum embarrassing. No wonder people will start with theories. Can they just get their s..t together and make the process work? On the other hand, I still cannot understand why I am not asked for my ID to be able to vote. Why not follow the same process of TSA at airports? Show you ID, confirm you are who you say you are and go vote. Is that difficult?
There’s no legal requirement to have an ID and voting is a right, so how can you require ID?
Also, how did voting occur before the invention of photo IDs?
Wouldn’t it make it easier for people to stop the suspicion that elections are stolen by simply requiring ID to vote? It is called evolution. To your question about how it occurred before the invention of ID, tell me how people used to board planes before 9/11 and now. It is called evolution. Because in the 1800’s people didn’t need ID to vote doesn’t mean it has the be like that forever. Make the system too old fashioned then be prepared for people doubting the system.
The only people doubting the system are sore losers unwilling to admit they lost. Why should we cater to them?
And technically you can board a plane without an ID
You and I disagree on voter ID, an that’s fine, but regarding IDs becoming a requirement to fly post 9/11, doesn’t that have more to do with airlines not wanting there to be a secondary market for seats than anything actually dealing with aviation safety?
I am happy to learn why showing ID to vote is a bad thing. If you are the one you say you are, why not show ID? Seriously, just trying to understand it.
Maybe read and explore and find out why it’s so difficult for people to legitimately obtain an ID. If you were willing to go door to door and give legitimately entitled people a photo ID, then this would be less of an issue.
Also, it’s solving a problem that doesn’t exist. Just because someone shouts about something doesn’t mean it’s a genuine issue. Don’t get sucked in by the nonsense.
To koggerj, keep bowing to the orange messiah. Believe the wisdom of a loser that would destroy this country before admitting defeat. And if he now has you whipped up to think this election is rigged, remember any maga win will actually not count using your logic. May we all move towards peace and sanity.
I will, people like you are the enemy.
Dude, what is up with level of incendiary rhetoric? Did you watch any of the 1/6 committee hearings?
Jan 6th was nothing but people walking around the capitol it was much less violent than the domestic terrorist riots of 2020.
Watch? He probably was one of the participants.
“voted from aboard”
^funny typo – would love to see someone pull out their absentee ballot in business class
“I still find it somewhat surprising that we’ve booked […] clients from places as far as Kenya [..].”
^shows what little you think of people from these places that you are surprised someone from somewhere other than Germany might come vote here.
“perhaps such a profound electoral concern could have been better addressed by donating the equivalent of the airline ticket to the campaign you care most about”
^I’ll wait for you to lead by example there.
Forget American Democracy. Go where you are treated best, even if you have no political rights, you still have economic rights. Vote with your feet . . . To other countries.
Nice little town but it’s too sweaty over there!
But not like Americans can just decide to move there, right?
The really rich ones can, apparently.
“I will vote the way Tucker tells me to”, said roughly half of America.
I assume there’s some red tape to clear to do that. I don’t know, I just fired off the first country in my head that has good economic freedom but bad political freedom.
Crap this was my response to Matthew
I flew home to vote. If I had tried to submit an absentee mail-in ballot, I’m sure one of the anti-democracy fascists would have found a way to invalidate my ballot and cancel my vote. Defend your right to vote or lose it forever.
We did the same. Or, more correctly, we made sure we were in the US until after 11/8 before heading back to Europe. We simply don’t trust the international-to-international postal systems to get our ballots there on time, or at all. Heck, we even thought about FedEx or DHL to my parents so they could then drop it in the mail. But that’s a LOT of logistics and points of failure. So, I guess we didn’t really “fly home to vote” so much as we made plans around it.
Ever thought about using the same font here as you use at Award Expert? Looks sooooooooooooooo much better and is MUCH easier to read, especially on the phone. Many times I have to zoom in to read your articles due to less than ideal font choice.
Remembering “this is a travel blog”. I did fly back totally jet lagged. Put on hiking boots, walked uphill 1 1/2 miles, stood in line for 2 hours, voted, hiked back & tripped over my dog at the front door. Split & bruised my lower lip. Thankfully dog was fine.
I make it a habit to return to the US for elections. I could easily do absentee voting, but I prefer in-person voting even when it’s just for early voting. Also, it’s a quite nice surprise to see others voting and even running into acquaintances at polling/voting places. Even in places where I can’t vote, I tend to like to check out the voting action. I guess it’s the legacy of being born of relatives where there was some history of being forced underground and being locked up for opposing authoritarianism and occupations. I won’t forget the look of disappointment and annoyance when I once told an older relative that I was considering not going to vote because I didn’t like the candidates in the election and knew the polling data suggested my vote wouldn’t make a difference and my preferred candidates would lose. I did go to vote, as the action of voting is an antidote to despair even when facing overwhelming odds and the defeats that follow.
And when a sleazy con-man comes along and wins an election, I can say I already did my part to signal my opposition by voting against the dishonest slime-ball when I cast my vote for the losing candidate in an election.
Better to oppose and lose than to support
a bad victor.
By the way, the incoming Republican majorities in the US House and Senate are going to be doing their darnedest to gut Social Security. The plan is to cuts its payout for the upper half of Americans and then parlay that into getting the upper half of Americans and others to be less supportive of Social Security and thus see an overall erosion of support for Social Security until they can wipe it out via Congress or the Republican-stacked Supreme Court.
Stay away we don’t want you back.
Koggerj. Who exactly are the “we?” And I am not your enemy. I support the United States and the constitution 100% I also support free speech. And I truly support free thinking! What disapprove of is indoctrinating free thinking. Please use your own words to explain your views. Thank you. Maryland
No petty fan of fascism is going to stop me from doing my civic duty and returning to my country whenever I please. I do my part by voting and noting that fascism was not just some pre-Cold War foreign threat to America. Fascism is the most extreme domestic threat that any democratic system faces. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination for unscrupulous power-hungry clowns to rally idiots by playing from the fascist playbook and consequently ramp up the threat level to a country. January 6th 2021 is but a canary in the coal mine, and it shows that the enemy is the domestic fascism begot of a public adherence to fables and exaggeration. As it always has been, fascism is refuge for insecure losers and those who exploit the deep insecurities of losers.
I am the other way. I think voting is nearly useless. One vote doesn’t matter and is undone by dumb people. The exception might be local elections. In my town, city council members get about 250 votes. City council members can and do vote on thing that cost me money, like fees that make cutting a tree cost $3,000 more because I have to hire experts to document stuff. Even invasive species are protected in my town, which is crazy. They protect weeds, essentially, but only if the weed becomes tree-like.
Best take of the day! These power hungry clowns think they are important in their little positions.
Democracy is the problem. It’s not something that should be preserved. It is illogical why 49% would follow the will of 51% when the 51% are pushing an agenda, policies, and laws that go against their conscience, beliefs, morality, and freedom. Democracy is the opposite of freedom. Anyone who wants us to preserve democracy is essentially telling us to condemn ourselves to the disastrous last 100 years and follow the same path where everyone is unhappy. The constitution has been amended and interpreted into toilet paper so if you want to follow it follow the interpretation that says all laws which ban freedom are unconstitutional from vaccine mandates to forced bussing to taxes including Whiskey taxes in 1794. It makes no sense why we would abide by a system made by others hundreds of years ago designed only when sensible people were allowed to vote and not every Tom, D, and Harry,
To John Dogas. Democracy dates back to ancient Greece. It roughly means the people rule. Forums, debating & voting on issues of government. Democracy is not the problem. The problem currently is the uneducated not understanding how to use the system to work together. I’ve noticed Fox avoids using the word democracy. It’s just too close to Democrat. Somehow they fear that. So silly. Thanks to all voters today. You did your part, no matter your choice!
If not for democracy, a much higher proportion than 49-51% would be the subjects of the whims of the sub-1% that are Arab monarchs, Persian theocrats, Slavic autocrats, Communist Party Politburos, African warlords, and other such micro-minority authoritarians dismissive of majority rule.
The bigger issue is why are these people who CHOSE money over country still even allowed to vote? The word EXPAT shows they don’t care about America. Let them vote in the banana republic they chose to exploit. We don’t need their vote on either side. Making other countries better hurts America, but they only see money.
Quite amusing to see a Trump supporter complaining about Americans choosing money over country (as if that even is the main driver for why Americans may be abroad at times).
The US has been made by people choosing money over country. And capitalism and driving forward a hatred for taxation and economic redistribution over country has long been a feature of the Republican agenda.
Live in London – I’ve flown back most elections to vote.
Its a good a reason as any to pop back home (and its kinda fun).