FAQ: Democrats Abroad

How big is Democrats Abroad? 

Democrats Abroad is the largest organization of civilian US citizens living abroad. We are the Democratic Party arm for approximately 7 million eligible voters overseas (out of 9 million abroad total), with activists and members in over 190 countries around the world. We are 100% volunteer-led, with active chapters across six continents and members who vote in every U.S. state and congressional district. 


How is Democrats Abroad funded?

Democrats Abroad relies almost entirely on donations from American citizens, both abroad and living in the US. All US citizens are welcome to donate to our efforts.


How long has Democrats Abroad been active?

There have been patriotic Americans abroad virtually since the inception of the United States! But as an organization, Democrats Abroad has been continuously active since chapters were established in Paris and London in 1964.Read more about our history here.


Where is Democrats Abroad active?

Everywhere! Our extensive reach goes far beyond our country committees through engaged, active online communities of Americans around the world.


Do Americans abroad vote?

Yes! But unfortunately voter turnout is relatively low abroad, but that’s slowly changing. Voter turnout abroad more than doubled between 2014 and 2018, with 344,392 US citizens abroad casting their ballots in the 2018 midterms. Presidential election years are much more popular, so we can expect to see well more than 650,000 votes cast from abroad in 2020.


Aren’t US citizens abroad mostly military and conservative?

This is a common misconception! In recent years, the population abroad has gotten bluer as voter turnout has increased. In 2018, civilian turnout surpassed military turnout among abroad voters in a 2-1 margin.  Since votes are private, we don’t know how liberal or conservative these voters are, but we do know that, civilian voters abroad are one of the bluest — most consistently Democratic — bloc of all US voters.


Are all votes from abroad counted?

In the United States, every absentee vote is counted in each and every election. With the exception of the global primary, when ballots are tabulated by Democrats Abroad, votes from abroad are returned to their local election office and then tabulated.

On  election day, the press often makes projections by “calling” an election, based on exit polling and sometimes when the number of absentee ballots doesn’t exceed the margin of victory for a given candidate but those are not official results. Every official vote total, and the official results, include every single valid ballot. 

In close races where there are more absentee votes than the number of votes separating two candidates, that race will be deemed “too close to call” by the press,” and no winner can be determined before each and every absentee ballot is counted.


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