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Voting from Abroad: Lee’s Story

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Voting in Russia

 

Nothing is quite as fulfilling as achieving a major life goal, especially when you have been waiting for nearly twelve years. My name is Lee Schriber and I am studying abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia this semester and that sense of fulfillment has been ever present during my amazing experience. One of the defining moments in Russia was being able to vote for President of the United States of America for the very first time.

I had been waiting to vote in a Presidential election since I was eight years old, way back in 2000, when I stayed up all night waiting for the election results to come in. That moment marked a turning point in my life that has continued to define who I am ever since. From that night, I began to develop my passion for politics which has led me to a major in Political Science and a desire to work in foreign affairs.

After my decision to study abroad in the fall of 2012 one of my biggest concerns was the difficulty that it would create for me to vote in the election of 2012. However, it turns out that all the time I spent worrying and fretting was unwarranted thanks to the fantastic staff of the United States Consulate and the AIFS staff in St. Petersburg. From helping my fellow international students and me register to vote absentee, to printing out our ballots, and finally hosting an event where we could turn in our completed ballots we were assisted all along the way.

I am so thankful and excited that I got to vote. The United States Consulate of St. Petersburg hosted the awesome event at the Anglo-American School in St. Petersburg marked by all the great symbols of the United States of America: the American flag, hamburgers, ice cream, and “I voted” stickers. I was really impacted by the thoroughness of how well everything was put together and how it gave even the most unprepared American abroad the opportunity to fulfill not only his or her civic duty, but maybe even one of his life goals.

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