18/12/2009 21:33

U.S. Embassy Prague American Citizen Services Newsletter

U.S. Embassy Prague

American Citizen Services Newsletter



December 2009

Dear American Citizens:

Greetings from Prague!  Happy holidays to you and your loved ones and best wishes for the new year! 


Stay Safe over the Holidays.   We would like to remind you and your families to remain vigilant as you go about your holiday shopping and enjoy the festive atmosphere throughout the country.  Incidents of pick-pocketing were reported in significant numbers during 2009, often taking place on trains, trams, or the metro.  Please pay special attention in Prague's restaurants and train stations, and on public transportation around the city center. 

New Health Insurance Requirement.   As of January 1, 2010, a new health insurance requirement will take effect for foreigners in the Czech Republic on visas above 90 days as well as for long-term residents. The new policy will require that foreigners and long-term residents have proof of medical insurance from an insurance company that has representation (i.e. an office) in the Czech Republic.  This means that in addition to Czech insurance companies, insurance can also be arranged with a foreign insurance company based in the Czech Republic.  For more information please see the website of the Czech Foreigners’ Police.

Voting Information:  Florida, Illinois & Massachusetts Elections.  Florida Voters, submit your ballot request now for the February 2, 2009 Special Primary!   On Tuesday, February 2, 2010 Florida will hold a special State primary election to fill the congressional vacancy left by the resignation of Congressman Robert Wexler. A list of candidates is available here. The 19th Congressional District includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach Counties.  The Special General Election will be held on Tuesday, April 13, 2010.  If you do not have an absentee ballot request on file, you need to fill one out as soon as possible. The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) ballot application and instructions are available at www.fvap.gov Send your FPCA NOW to ensure you have enough time to receive, vote, and return the ballot!  The online version of the FPCA and Florida’s instructions on how to fill out and submit the form are available at: www.fvap.gov.  If you are not a registered voter, your FPCA must be postmarked by January 4, 2010.  Although the registration deadline is January 4, 2010 and the ballot request deadline is January 27, 2010, these dates do not take into account mail delivery times required to receive and return your ballot by Election Day. You should not wait to complete and submit your FPCA, especially if you are completing the process by mail from an overseas location.  

Illinois Military and Overseas Voters, submit your ballot requests for the February 2, 2010 State Primary!  Illinois will hold its State primary election on Tuesday, February 2, 2010. If you are eligible to vote in this election, and requested and received a ballot for the November 4, 2008 presidential election, you will automatically receive an absentee ballot, and need not take any further action unless your mailing address has changed.  Registration is not required for Uniformed Service members, eligible dependents, and overseas citizens if you only wish to vote for Federal offices. If you want to vote for State and local offices you must register to vote.  Uniformed Service members or family members will be registered if their Federal Post Card Applications (FPCAs) are received at the local election office by January 22, 2010.  U.S. citizens residing temporarily overseas who would like to register should submit their FPCAs so that they are received at the local election office no later than January 2, 2010.  Your ballots must be received at your local election office by 7 pm February 2, 2010 or by February16, 2010 if postmarked February 1, 2010.  Please see www.fvap.gov for more information.

Massachusetts Military and Overseas Voters, submit your ballot for the January 19, 2010 Special Election!  Massachusetts will hold a special election on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 to fill the currently vacant U.S. Senate seat caused by the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. The candidates for this election are: SCOTT P. BROWN, 70 Hayden Woods, Wrentham, Republican; MARTHA COAKLEY, 46 Coolidge Rd., Medford, Democratic; and JOSEPH L. KENNEDY, 20 Hyde Park St., Dedham, Liberty.  Massachusetts will begin mailing ballots on December 16, 2009.  If you are only now requesting a ballot for the special election, there is a good chance you will not receive it in time to be voted and returned by the mailed absentee ballot receipt deadline.  Even if you have already requested an absentee ballot, based on local mail delivery, you still may not receive the ballot in time to vote and return it in time to be counted. But you have an easy alternative:  use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)! You do not need to register to vote in Massachusetts. However, to vote in this special election, you must still request a ballot. Massachusetts allows you to use the FWAB as a simultaneous ballot request and ballot.  Get started by going to www.fvap.gov and follow the instructions for using the FWAB in Massachusetts. The FWAB is also available from your Voting Assistance Officer at the U.S. Embassy. Vote the FWAB by using the candidate list above or, you may write in another candidate of your choosing, or simply write-in a political party designation and the candidate running under that party’s designation will receive your vote.


Best regards,

David Beam
Consul General
Embassy of the United States





American Children Abroad

Ben and Helena Henderson

Prague, Czech Republic

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