As I sit here in Yokkaichi, thousands of mile away from my home state of Georgia, votes are being counted there. Mine should be there, too, as an absentee voter. It is a tremendously valuable right, and becomes even more precious when compared to Japan, where Japanese overseas have only recently been given the right to vote.
Being so far away from the US during the election campaign has some bright points. I don't have to listen quite so much to the nastiness. That is a big one.
On the other hand, there are many more drawbacks. I would like very much to work with others to make a change, but there are very few Americans here, and those who are aren't as politically inclined as I. I would like to participate in protests, registration drives, discussions with candidates, and possibly even consider a run for myself for local office.
There are so many problems that face our societies now, nuclear proliferation, environmental degradation that threatens all life, war, injustice, and religious strife. These elections offer chances to remedy these problems directly, so it is very empowering to be able to participate, even in this limited way.