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The Federal Voting Assistance Program assists military members who need to vote via absentee ballot. A spokeswoman for the Defense Department said there would be "minimal disruptions" if the United States pulls out of the international postage agency.

Costs to mail ballots may skyrocket for civilians, military living overseas

Election officials are growing increasingly concerned that the Trump administration's trade war with China could make it more difficult and expensive for overseas voters — including those in the military — to cast ballots in the 2019 and 2020 local, state and federal elections.

The issue is the pending withdrawal in October by the U.S. from the Universal Postal Union, a group of 192 nations that has governed international postal service and rates for 145 years.

Last October, the U.S. gave the required one-year notice stating it would leave the UPU unless changes were made to the discounted fees that China pays for shipping small packages to the United States. The subsidized fees — established years ago to help poor, developing countries — place American businesses at a disadvantage and don't cover costs incurred by the U.S. Postal Service.

With the U.S.-imposed deadline for withdrawal or new rates fast approaching, states officials are running out of time to prepare for overseas mail-in voting.

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Across generations, young people vote at lower rates because we're more transient, writes Riegel.

How to tackle the millennial turnout gap

Riegel is the co-founder of Motivote; a peer-to-peer social accountability platform that uses behavioral economics to improve voter turnout.

On paper, I'm a picture-perfect civically engaged millennial. I majored in political science, served in Teach for America and earned a master's in public administration.

But despite my passion for politics, I never voted in non-presidential elections. I knew it was important but didn't make it a priority.

Imagine what the country would look like if part-time voters like me showed up consistently.

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If Americans are going to combat polarization, they need to begin from a clear understanding of what it is, writes Talisse.

Political polarization is about feelings, not facts

The ConversationPoliticians and pundits from all quarters often lament democracy's polarized condition.

Similarly, citizens frustrated with polarized politics also demand greater flexibility from the other side.

Decrying polarization has become a way of impugning adversaries. Meanwhile, the political deadlock and resentment that polarization produces goes unaddressed. Ironic, right?

Commentators rarely say what they mean by polarization. But if Americans are to figure out how to combat it, they need to begin from a clear understanding of what polarization is.

My forthcoming book, "Overdoing Democracy," argues that polarization isn't about where you get your news or how politicians are divided – it's about how a person's political identity is wrapped up with almost everything they do.

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Stacey Abrams, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Georgia governor, is taking her voter protection work to the Midwest and Southeast.

Abrams targets key states to prevent voting problems

Stacey Abrams, who lost her bid for the governorship of Georgia but gained national prominence in the process, is unveiling a multimillion-dollar campaign to support Democrats' voter protection efforts in next year's election.

Abrams planned to announce the initiative, called Fair Fight 2020, during her speech Tuesday at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades convention in Las Vegas.

The effort is expected to cost between $4 million and $5 million and target 20 states, mostly battlegrounds in the Midwest and Southeast, according to news reports.

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