There is still time for overseas Americans to fill in their absentee ballot paper to vote for the US federal election on 2 Nov. Ballot return deadlines vary according to the state you are registered in. Some states also accept faxed ballot papers.

The US expatriate community is thought to be a crucial yet often overlooked constituency, especially in close elections. Indeed, the last stages of this presidential campaign have seen overseas Americans turning out in higher numbers than ever before to register.

Five organisations have been helping to register US citizens abroad: Democrats Abroad, Republicans Abroad, American Overseas for Kerry (AOK), Overseasvote2004 (the first online registration) and Tellanamericantovote.com. Both Democrats Abroad in Italy and Republicans Abroad in Italy have registered more voters than four years ago.

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