Global Presidential Primary FAQ

When is the global primary where I’m located?

Democrats Abroad is hosting voting center events in over 40 countries - with additional ballot assistance events around the world - from March 3 through March 10, 2020. Details for specific locations, including exact dates and times, can be found here.

- Farthest north location: Helsinki, Finland
- Farthest south location: Melbourne, Australia
- Farthest east location: Aukland, New Zealand
- Farthest west location: Victoria, Canada


What about voters elsewhere?

Voters who are already members of Democrats Abroad received notice about how to vote remotely, including how to download and return their ballot, on February 18. Remote voting information can be found here.


Who will win the 2020 Global Primary?

That’s up to the voters to decide! We’ll be announcing the results on March 23, 2020.


What is the history of the global primary?

Democrats Abroad has sent a delegation to the Democratic National Convention since 1976

In 2016, turnout in the global primary was 50% higher than our last primary in 2008 (there was not a primary in 2012, with President Obama running for reelection). 34,570 voters cast their ballots from over 170 countries all around the world.

Bernie Sanders received approximately 69% of the vote in our 2016 primary, and Hilary Clinton received approximately 31%. View the full results, including results by country, here.


Who can participate in the 2020 global primary?

Voters must meet the following criteria:

    • Be residing abroad and be a US Citizen
    • Be a member of Democrats Abroad
    • Be 18 as of November 3, 2020
    • Not have voted, nor plan to vote, in any other state’s 2020 presidential primary


Why should voters participate in the global primary?

Lots of reasons! 

First, participating in the Global Presidential Primary shows the US (and the world) how important our elections are to US Citizens living abroad -- and how important WE are to those elections. Our strength is in numbers, and by making our voices heard loudly, we make the issues that matter to us known.  Voting in the Global Presidential Primary is a forceful way to advocate for those issues. 

Second, a vote in the Global Presidential Primary had greater weight than it does in a voter’s “home” state party.  While tens of thousands of people will participate in the global primary this year, millions will vote in a voter's home state. That means that a vote in the Global Presidential Primary is more powerful than if a vote back home -- in fact, it could be 4 times more powerful for voters in states like California.

Third, by casting a vote in the Global Primary, US citizens abroad will help give Democrats Abroad a stronger voice and greater weight within the Democratic National Committee.  Representation in the DNC is based on proportionality. The more we vote, the more representation we have, and this improves our chances of achieving some of our most important policy goals.  

Fourth, the Global Presidential Primary is the same week as Super Tuesday, which means that it will have an impact early in the nominating race.  Who knows? The whole contest could ultimately be decided by the outcome of our primary ... the next POTUS could be determined by the vote that ANY OF US cast in the Global Presidential Primary!   No, really. We're not exaggerating.  

Finally, we have made it very easy for US citizens to participate both at our Voting Centers and by remote voting options. Sheer turnout – raw numbers – really does matter, and that’s why we want Americans abroad to vote in the Global Presidential Primary.  


Can people vote in their state primaries and the global primary?

Voters can only vote for each race once. So if they have voted in the global presidential primary for the democratic presidential nomination, they can vote in their state primary, but only for down-ballot primary races -- races for important congressional seats and state and local elections.


When is the Republican abroad primary?

Like many state primaries, the Democrats Abroad global primary is run by the party itself. This is a big reason why we have very official procedures and why we have a voice at the Democratic National Convention and on the Democratic National Committee. 

While there are certainly many Republicans living abroad, and there are clubs and groups for Republicans around the world, there is not an official arm of the Republican party equivalent to Democrats Abroad. Consequently, Americans who wish to vote at the Republican primary level are only able to do so as an overseas absentee voter and vote in their home state in the US.

Press Requests

In person, phone, or on-camera interviews are available upon request. Democrats Abroad leaders around the world possess a wealth of knowledge on key issues facing citizens abroad and the elections process. To reach any of these individuals, please visit and select your location under “Countries.”

For global enquiries, please contact [email protected]

Back to the 2020 Press Kit