Former US Ambassadors Partner with Democrats Abroad to Get Out the Vote from Abroad in 2020
Innovative voter mobilization effort is geared to reach ~6.5 mil eligible Americans voters living abroad.
Washington, D.C., July 15, 2020: In an unprecedented outreach to American voters abroad, Ambassador Bruce Heyman, representing Ambassadors for Biden, announced the "American Voters Abroad" program on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today. The program is a first of its kind in support of a US presidential campaign, and is designed to get out the vote to the estimated 6.5 million eligible Americans living outside the US.
Run by the Ambassadors for Biden coalition and Democrats Abroad, the official Democratic State Party representing Democratic Americans living outside the United States, the project couples the reach and influence of former US Ambassadors with the voter tools, digital outreach, and voting expertise of Democrats Abroad to help Americans living outside the United States know that they can vote, explain how to vote, and above all remind them that their vote counts. Americans abroad are encouraged to use an online tool designed specifically for them, www.votefromabroad.org, to register and request their overseas absentee ballots from their home state.
Ambassadors for Biden are a group of over 200 diplomats who served abroad, and who are committed to leveraging their knowledge of American organizations abroad and their extensive social networks to help deliver the overseas vote back home. Their voter outreach abroad project is spearheaded by Ambassador Bruce Heyman, US Ambassador to Canada from 2014-17, and his spouse, Vicki Heyman.
Julia Bryan, Chair of Democrats Abroad, notes, “We are honored to be working with an incredible team of former Ambassadors, led by the Heymans. US Ambassadors and their partners are both influencers and outreach giants in their former host countries. By engaging with Americans abroad, they will make a true impact in helping more Americans vote.”
Approximately 6.5 million voting-age Americans live abroad, and are eligible to vote where they last resided before moving abroad. In 2016, less than a million successfully returned their ballots. The goal of this initiative is to take advantage of this opportunity and double if not triple that figure in 2020.
Voters abroad have proven to be the margin of victory in several high-profile U.S. elections over the last four years, thanks in part to the voter mobilization efforts of Democrats Abroad. The team plans to ensure those wins continue and expand in number in 2020, helping Joe Biden win the White House and Democrats take control of the Senate.
Ambassador Heyman states, “Electing VP Joe Biden to President, and Democrats across the ballot are our top priorities, and it’s telling that so many of my fellow former US Ambassadors agree. We need to restore America to its leadership position in world affairs and ensure it is taking the right approach on topics like the climate crisis, health care, education, and the economy. I am pleased to be working on voter outreach to the ~1 million Americans living in Canada, where I served, and to be working with my esteemed colleagues in Democrats Abroad on global get out the vote efforts. As Democrats Abroad says, When Americans abroad vote, Democrats back home win. Together, we are going to win.“
From now until election day, Ambassadors for Biden and Democrats Abroad will work together to return votes from abroad, with special interest in swing states including Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. “Americans abroad have an incredible amount of clout through their vote,” said DA Chair Bryan, “and all they have to do is engage in the process to make change.” Added Ambassador Heyman: “Votefromabroad.org will be a game changer in this 2020 election, and we want to make sure that all Americans abroad know about it and how to use it.”
Democrats Abroad is the official organization of the Democratic Party for United States citizens living permanently or temporarily abroad. The organization is given state-level recognition by the Democratic National Committee, with eight positions on the Democratic National Committee, and sends a voting delegation to the Democratic National Convention to help select the Democratic presidential candidate every four years. For more information, visit https://www.democratsabroad.org.