February 22, 2017

Press

For general press inquiries please contact:

Julia Bryan
International Secretary 
press@democratsabroad.org 

For UK press inquiries please contact: 

press@democratsabroad.org.uk


DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTE MEETS TO ELECT NEW LEADERSHIP, CHART PATH FORWARD

Members of Democrats Abroad participating in critical DNC meeting   

The Democratic National Committee meets this week in Atlanta to elect new leadership and to determine how the party best moves forward under the Trump administration. Democrats Abroad has eight DNC members participating in the meeting, which could not come at a more critical time.

“Our losses in November and the magnitude of the challenges we currently confront – from unconstitutional executive orders that sacrifice our American ideals to Tweets inviting a nuclear arms race – are serious cause for reassessment,” said Kathryn Solon, International Chair of Democrats Abroad. “We need to establish a clear vision and strategy in order to reach every voter in the US, and to ensure that leaders get elected who are capable of changing this frightening new world for the better”.

The three-day meeting will last from Thursday, February 23 through Saturday, February 25, during which time its general sessions and elections will be livestreamed on Democrats.org. Among those officer positions to be determined are Chair, Vice Chair At-Large, National Finance Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Vice Chair for Civic Engagement and Voter Participation.

"We have been awed by the diverse, deep and broad skill sets brought to the DNC officer positions by the candidates,” added Solon. “No matter who wins these elections, we will have strong leadership as we work together for the sake of the Party and America."

Recognizing that US voters living overseas are playing an increasingly important role in elections at home, Democrats Abroad is prepared to do all it can to protect and expand overseas voting rights. This is especially important in light of current voter suppression efforts occurring across the U.S.

“Despite our losses in November and the imbalance in state legislatures and governor posts, I am more optimistic about the Party than I've ever been,” said Solon. “We have the ideas, values, principles, and leaders, and we are getting a sorely needed fresh wind.”  

Democrats Abroad DNC Members

Kathryn Solon, International Chair, ex officio member (Germany)
Arthur Schankler, International Vice Chair, ex officio member (Serbia)
Connie Borde, EMEA (France)
Ken Sherman, Americas (Canada)
John Eastwood, Asia Pacific (Taiwan)
Martha McDevitt-Pugh, Global (Netherlands) 
Orlando E. Vidal, Global (UAE)
Adrianne George, Global (Sweden)

Notes: Democrats Abroad is the official Democratic Party arm for the millions of Americans living outside the United States. We strive to provide Americans abroad a Democratic voice in our government and elect Democratic candidates by mobilizing the overseas vote. Our focus in 2017 is to be the go to organization for American activists abroad looking to stand up for our values and protest the Trump administration, while preparing to help take back the House and Senate in 2018, and get out the vote for this year’s special elections.

Democrats Abroad has committees throughout Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. These Country Committees keep Americans abroad informed of their rights and help them participate in the U.S. political process. Our members live in more than 190 countries around the globe and vote in every state and Congressional district.

Democrats Abroad is recognized as a "state" Party by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and is represented on the DNC by eight voting members, as well as at the quadrennial Democratic National Convention.

Our online voter registration tool - votefromabroad.org - makes it easy to request a ballot and vote absentee from any place on the planet.


Democrats Abroad and Get Out the Vote in 2016

Democrats Abroad worked hard supporting the 9 million Americans living abroad in get out the vote efforts in 2016. We had on-the-ground voter teams in 41 country committees and ran a huge global effort to reach these millions of Americans and help them vote through our online voter registration tool - votefromabroad.org

Our global efforts included social media outreach, online phone banking, and a 24/7 voter help desk. Besides helping our hundreds of thousands of members within Democrats Abroad our global team focused on finding, educating and supporting overseas Americans to request a ballot and return it on time to be counted in November.

We also engaged with Democratic State parties in battleground states and where there were races important for a broad Democratic victory.   

In 2016:

  • 150,000+ voters used our online tool votefromabroad.org to request their ballots. That’s an 83% increase over our numbers from 2012.
  • 120,000+ phone bank calls made to Americans abroad, helping them request their ballots 
  • 2.5 million+ Americans abroad reached through votefromabroad facebook ads
  • 30,000+ voters reached through our 24/7 online voter help desk
  • 5 Global Town Halls organized for over 3,000 voters to attend and hear from Senate and House candidates across the United States

Global Vote from Abroad Numbers:

2016: we estimate that more than 1,000,000 UOCAVA voters submitted ballots
2012:  606,425 UOCAVA voters submitted ballots (EAC 
2008:  682,341 UOCAVA voters submitted ballots (EAC)  

(UOCAVA = overseas civilians and military & dependents posted outside the US or away from their home state)

Democrats Abroad Global Primary Numbers: 

34,570 Americans abroad participated in the DA Global Presidential Primary in March of 2016.
68.79% voted for Bernie Sanders. 30.92% for Hillary Clinton. 
For more details, visit our full article on the GPP Results

 

Democrats Abroad at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

Below is an online press kit divided into three sections

  • Media requests

  • The organisation

  • The convention

If you are a member of the media, and have any further questions, you can contact us at press@democratsabroad.org.

Media requests

Q: How do I contact a press officer/delegate/representative of Democrats Abroad with a media request?

A: Our media contact in Philadelphia is Amanda Mohar. She can be reached at press@democratsabroad.org.

Democrats Abroad will also have dedicated communications team members overseas to ensure that your press questions will be answered quickly, no matter where you are contacting us from. You can reach us at press@democratsabroad.org.

Q: Can Democrats Abroad arrange an interview with other leaders of the Democratic Party, or the Clinton campaign?

A: No, you will need to contact the relevant office of the person you are trying to reach to arrange an interview.

Q: How are overseas votes counted in the general election?

A: Every absentee vote is counted. When someone votes from overseas, their vote will go to their local election office in the last place in the United States they were registered to vote, and be counted with the other absentee votes.

Q: Did Democrats Abroad hold its own primary?

A: Yes, we held a Global Primary that ran from March 1-8, in 111 cities around the world. Voters from over 170 countries all around the world, cast their ballots, through in-person voting, by fax, email, and post

Bernie Sanders received 69% of the vote in the Democrats Abroad’s Global Presidential Primary, Hillary Clinton 31%. Sanders picked up 9 pledged delegates as a result of the primary, while Clinton secured an additional 4 delegates. We increased our voter participation by 50% over our 2008 numbers

A full breakdown of the total ballots cast for each candidate, and number of delegates received, is detailed here.

The Organization

Q: What is Democrats Abroad?

A: Democrats Abroad is the official arm of the Democratic Party for the millions of Americans living outside the United States. We strive to provide Americans abroad a Democratic voice in our government and elect Democratic candidates by mobilizing the overseas vote. Our primary focus is to register Americans living overseas through our online voting tool www.votefromabroad.org, get out the vote, and advocate for overseas American issues.

Democrats Abroad has committees throughout Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. These Country Committees keep Americans abroad informed of their rights and help them participate in the U.S. political process. A support office is maintained in Washington, D.C.

Democrats Abroad is recognized as a "state" Party by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and is represented on the DNC by eight voting members, as well as at the quadrennial Democratic National Convention.

Q. What issues do Democrats Abroad advocate for?

A. Democrats Abroad prioritizes issues that affect U.S. citizens living overseas. These issues begin with the most fundamental democratic right - voting, and extend to taxation, health care, equal rights and more.

Democrats Abroad’s 2016 platform can be found here.

Q: When did Democrats Abroad form?

A: Democrats Abroad was founded in 1964. A short history of the organization can be found under History on the DA website.

Q: How many members does Democrats Abroad have?

A: We do not release detailed membership numbers, as they rise and fall dramatically during election years, and therefore are an inaccurate indicator of our influence.

Democrats Abroad has members in over 190 countries around the world, and 41 official country committees.

We have over 147,000 activists and voters signed up to support get out the vote and a tremendous reach through our social media channels

Q: How is DA financially supported? Do you get donations from abroad?

A: The organization is supported entirely by donations from our US citizen members and Americans living in the U.S. who value DA’s work and see us as the natural resource to tap into a huge number of potential voters living abroad.

We never accept donations from corporations or foreign citizens.

Q: What is the equivalent organization in the Republican Party?

A: There is none. The Republican Party does not allow US citizens living abroad to have a voice via a dedicated overseas primary, and has no elected delegates from abroad representing its overseas members.

The Convention

Q: Who makes up the Democrats Abroad delegation?

A: The delegation is made up of 13 pledged delegates elected during the 2016 regional caucuses and global convention, and eight "super delegates" who each receive half a vote at the Convention. These "super delegates" include our Chair and Vice Chair, and six Democratic National Committee (DNC) members elected every four years to represent our party within the DNC.

The delegation also includes representatives on the Convention's standing committees, as well as delegate alternates and pages.  

A full delegation list, including which country each delegate is resident of, can be found here

Q: How did Democrats Abroad’s delegates get elected?

A:  Our delegation was elected in the same way as other state parties in the United States– we held elections at regional caucuses and then at a global convention in Berlin in May.

 


Berlin Meetings Overview

2016 DPCA GLOBAL MEETING (May 12)

Who are the Voting Participants ?

DPCA Voting Members* -- Country Committee Chairs, Vice Chairs , Voting Representatives, current DNC Members, plus the 8 Members of the DPCA (International) Executive Committee
* DPCA Voting members representing Country Committees must be from a CC in compliance as of the start of the Global Meeting.

What do they vote on?

  • Admission of new Country Committee(s)
  • Approval of the 2015 Financial Report
  • Resolutions/Bylaws amendments
  • Venue and date of 2017 DPCA Global Meeting
  • Any other DPCA business

Voting rules:

  • Proxies allowed as in the 2015 DPCA Global Meeting
  • Number of votes allocated to Country Committee (CC) is based on the verified CC membership list as of January 31, 2016 

REGIONAL CAUCUSES (May 13 and May 13 p.m. in A/P = May 14 dawn in Berlin):

Who are the Electors?

Potential Electors are all elected members of Country Committee executive committees, elected or recognized (chapter chairs of recognized chapters , plus the Regional Vice Chair (RVC ) for the region.

Certified Electors are Electors who have agreed that they will attend the Regional Caucus either in person or via WebEx and who have submitted the “Declaration of Participant” form and for whom a “Electors List” form has been submitted. The number of certified Electors is used to determine quorum and allocation of Country Committee votes among participants (thus, if a certified Electors doesn’t attend, those votes are lost.)

What they vote on:

  • Permanent Caucus Chair
  • Election of 1 DNC Member (per region)
  • Presidential Preference Group (PPG) Chairs
  • Election of 1 or more delegates to the Philadelphia Convention
    • 1 in each PPG in the Americas and A/P Regional Caucuses
    • 2 in the Clinton PPG in the EMEA Regional Caucus
    • 3 in the Sanders PPG in the EMEA Regional Caucus
  • (possibly) Platform planks to be sent to the Global Convention


Voting rules:

Certified Electors may join/vote in-person or via WebEx. No proxies are allowed.

Quorum requirement is 40% of certified Electors. There will be voting by rounds until a delegate receives an absolute majority . In the second and subsequent rounds of voting, candidates with less than 15% of the vote will be dropped from the ballot. The number of votes allocated to each Country Committee is established by the CC’s turnout in the GPP. Gender division is required within each Presidential Preference Group and affirmative actions goals must be taken into account.

 

GLOBAL CONVENTION (May 14-15)

Who are the Electors?

  • 9 pledged delegates chosen the day before at the Regional Caucuses
  • 3 DNC Members-elect chosen the day before at the Regional Caucuses
  • DPCA Voting Members (see list above in DPCA Global Meeting section) 

What do they vote on:

  • Presidential Preference Group (PPG) Chairs
  • Election of PLEO + 3 pledged delegates + 2 pledged alternates to the Philadelphia Convention
  • Election of 3 DNC Members
  • DA 2016 Platform

Voting rules:

Electors may join/vote in-person or via WebEx. No proxies are allowed.

Quorum requirement is 40%. There will be voting by rounds until a delegate receives an absolute majority . In the second and subsequent rounds of voting, candidates with less than 15% of the vote will be dropped from the ballot. The number of votes allocated to each Country Committee is established by the CC’s turnout in the GPP. Gender division is required for the overall delegation and affirmative action goals must be taken into account.



Order of events at the Regional Caucuses

  1. Call to order/roll call
  2. Temporary Caucus Chair is RVC
  3. Appoint Caucus Secretary
  4. Election of Permanent Caucus Chair
  5. Report of Credentials Committee
  6. Report of Rules Committee
  7. Election of DNC Member
  8. Split into two Presidential Preference Groups (PPGs) – Clinton and Sanders
  9. Temporary PPG Chair appointed by campaigns
  10. Election of PPG Chair
  11. Elect pledged delegate(s) (total in all Regional Caucuses: 5 Sanders pledged delegates and 4 Clinton pledged delegates)
  12. Reconvene in the larger group ( PPGs recombine)
  13. PPGs report
  14. Consider and possibly vote on Platform planks
  15. (Regional Caucuses may decide to abbreviate this session.) 
  16. Consider any other business
  17. Adjourn

Order of events at the Global Convention

  1. Call to order/roll call
  2. Global Convention Chair is International Chair or her designee
  3. Appoint Convention Secretary
  4. Chair reports on gender balance and representational goals of the affirmative action plan
  5. Split into two Presidential Preference Groups (PPGs) – Clinton and Sanders
  6. Elect pledged delegate(s): 1 PLEO, 3 pledged delegates and 1 alternate in the Sanders PPG; 1 alternate in the Clinton PPG
  7. Reconvene in the larger group ( PPGs recombine)
  8. PPGs report
  9. Chair reports on gender balance and representational goals of the affirmative action plan
  10. Election of 3 DNC Members
  11. Consider and vote on Platform planks 
  12. (Global Convention will consider and vote on Platform planks on Sunday May 15. There will be a pre-Meeting on Platform on Thursday May 12 morning.)
  13. Consider any other business
  14. Adjourn

 

Later events, elections, appointments

  • May 14 – DA Philadelphia delegation elects Delegation Chair
  • May 23 – DA Philadelphia delegation (in a WebEx meeting) elects 3 Standing Committee Members from lists approved by the campaigns
  • May 23 – Delegation Chair names Delegation Page
  • May 24 – International Chair certifies entire delegation to the DNC
  • June and/or July in the U.S. – Standing Committees meet
  • July 25-28 – Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia