News

January's Newsletter

 

In This Issue —

New Year’s Greeting

Events:

  • Americans Abroad and the $600 Economic Impact Payment
  • DA Global Black Caucus: MLK Film Night
  • DA Austria Biden/Harris Inauguration Watch Party
  • DA Global Women's Caucus: Inauguration Celebration
  • Solidarity Sundays: Americans Divided
  • DA Austria Annual General Meeting

Issues & Actions:

  • Looking Forward
  • Save the Date! Annual General Meeting & Elections
  • Open Volunteer Positions
  • Fixing Democracy Project by Solidarity Sundays

Reviews:

  • Punching for Democracy

 

Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, January 13, 2020, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Jennifer at chair@democratsabroad.at to join.

DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date in order to avoid the flood of emails that occurs in an election year. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Thanks for reading!

 

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New Year’s Greeting —

You did it!

Going into 2020, none of us could have imagined the pandemic that lay around the corner and just how challenging it would be to help people vote in 2020.

But, with the two Georgia Senate seats going blue on 5 November, we did it — together!

Whether online, on the phone, with postcards, at voter help tables, or ads in Metropole Magazine — thanks to you, your countless volunteer hours, your generous donations, and, most importantly, your vote, DA Austria pulled off record-breaking voter returns. Toi toi!

After last week’s seditious attack on the US Capitol building and an attempt to overturn a free and fair election, it is all too clear that the challenges that lay ahead have not diminished and will require all of our continued efforts. As Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said in her acceptance speech on November 7, “Now is when the real work begins. The hard work. The necessary work. The good work.” Four democracy-threatening years are just a few days from being behind us. Now, we’ll not only need to address the critical issues before us but also repair the gaping holes in our democracy and civil society.

This new year, I’m looking forward to brighter days when the Experienced Dems will once again meet for wine and the Progressive Dems for pizza; Solidarity Sundays will be working to fix our democracy, and we’ll all be able to celebrate Thanksgiving again—together. In the meantime, I hope you will join us online on Tuesday, January 20 as we watch the 46th President of the United States and a history making Vice President be sworn into office.

Until we can meet again in person and in the name of the entire Executive Committee, DA Austria wishes you health and happiness in 2021!

Democratically Yours,

Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DA Austria Chair

 


Events:

Economic Impact Payment

January 13, 7:00 PM (CET) – Online

Black Caucus Film Night

January 17, 6:00 PM (CET) - Online

Biden/Harris Watch Party

January 20, 5:00-7:30 PM (CET) - Online

Global Women's Caucus Inauguration Celebration

January 23, 4:00-5:30 PM (CET) - Online

Americans Divided

January 31, 4:00-6:00 PM (CET) - Online

Annual General Meeting & Elections

March 21, 3:00-5:00 PM (CET) - Online

 

About the Inauguration Watch Party —

We’ll not only be watching and discussing the events in Washington, DC, but we’ll also feature a few special guests and other activities. If you missed the Election Night party, you’ll definitely want to tune into the LIberadio Show out of Vorarlberg. Stephanie and Diego are our hosts and will spin a few tunes as we try to answer their Inaugural quiz questions for DAA swag. We’ll also be joined again by former DAA Chair Keith and mixology partner Kate as they mix up some Liberal Libations for us to enjoy (see the ingredients below).

So grab your martini glass and patriotic paraphernalia as we celebrate a Democratic victory in the House, Senate and White House!

 

Liberal Libations:

Will be mixing The President and The Kamala Harris Victory Cup for us. We’ll be mixing our victory cocktails together.

Be sure to have on hand:

 

 

The President–

  • 2 oz light rum
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 0.25 oz lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz grenadine
  • An orange slice
  • A martini glass

The Kamala–

  • 1 oz gin
  • 0.25 oz dry vermouth
  • 0.75 oz lemon cordial (like limoncello)
  • Slices of cucumber
  • 3 oz sparkling wine, prosecco or champagne
  • A few cucumber slices

 


Issues & Actions:

Looking Forward

The silver lining in moving online is that many of our members across Austria and Europe have been able to come to our events, and we’ve been able to join their’s. I hope many of you will take the opportunity to attend the Global Black Caucus for a film night and discussion on Martin Luther King holiday or the Global Women’s Caucus for an Inaugural Celebration and plan to keep volunteers engaged. And, for those of you hoping to get a stimulus check, Nathalie Goldstein from My Expat Taxes will be answering your questions on January 13.

For more information and to RSVP for all these events, click the links in Events above.

 

Save the Date!
Annual General Meeting & Executive Committee Elections

Fresh voices, energy, and ideas — save the date! On March 21, 2021 DA Austria members will meet online for our Annual General Meeting and to elect a new Executive Committee. More information about the meeting and how you can run will be posted in February’s newsletter, but we wanted to make sure you add this important date to your calendar!

 

Youth Caucus Coordinator Position Open

If you or someone you know is interested in building your resume and being a key component of DA Austria’s youth outreach, please contact me at: chair@democratsabroad.at

–Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair DA Austria

 

Fixing Democracy Project

We’re turning Trump out of the White House, but that’s only the first step. America’s democracy has been hijacked, and we need to get it back. Throughout 2021, our Fixing Democracy Project looks at one democratic institution a month. We‘ll examine why it‘s not working and inspect solutions.

Our year-long series starts on January 31 at 4 p.m. with Solidarity Sundays 39: Americans Divided and a look at our troubling political divide: Who voted for Trump? Why? And how do we interact with them? Or not?

Many of us want to initiate conversations with Republicans to cultivate solidarity. We‘ll explore ideas, and share tips and resources for conducting difficult conversations on your own.

Check out the 2021 agenda for the Fixing Democracy Project — what do you want to work on? https://www.facebook.com/solsunvienna/guides/?view_public_for=2248595575364902&ref=page_internal

—Tanya Lolonis, Solidarity Sundays Vienna Co-Founder

 


Reviews:

ProDA “Progressive Punch”

On December 6th, a dozen progressive “punchers” convened via Zoom to discuss president-elect Biden’s developing cabinet and agenda for the presidency’s first 100 days and beyond. These were our central questions:

  • How might the Georgia run-off elections influence the developing team and its agenda?
  • How will the administration respond to the coronavirus health and economic crises?
  • What steps will it take to combat climate change quickly and effectively?
  • What can we do to influence the decisions?

We enjoyed our favorite holiday punch, heard talking-point reports from ProDA Austria members, discussed in small-group break-out rooms, then held a joint discussion of what we expect. Finally, we considered action options to ensure our expectations are met. Please look for an invitation to our January event soon!

– Bruce Murray, ProDA Leader


Thank you for reading January’s newsletter!


December's Newsletter

In this Issue:

Events:

  • Progressive Caucus
  • Solidarity Sundays — will be back in January 2021!

Issues & Actions:

  • DA Austria’s Super Volunteers
  • Georgia on Our Mind
  • Post-Election Round Up
  • DA’s Phonebanking Campaign
  • Youth Caucus Coordinator Position Open
  • Democratic Holiday Gifts

Reviews:

  • Solidarity Sundays

 

Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, December 9, 2020, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Jennifer at chair@democratsabroad.at to join.

DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date in order to avoid the flood of emails that occurs in an election year. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Thanks for reading!

 

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Events:

Progressive Punch Plus New Year's Resolutions

December 6, 4:00-6:00 PM (CET) – Online

Georgia Voter Help Desk

Until January 5, Noon - 6:00 PM (CET)

 


Issues & Actions:

DA Austria’s Super Volunteers

Every election cycle has a few super volunteers who go to extraordinary efforts to help get out the vote by calling members, registering new voters at schools and universities, and assisting people with their ballots. This last election was extraordinary in many ways, including the number of dedicated volunteers who, since January, have dedicated tens of hours and made thousands of calls and helped hundreds of people at in-person voter events. Because of them, 80% of DA Austria membership engaged with our VoteFromAbroad.org website and turned out to vote. Thank you to all our volunteers and especially the super volunteers!

Top callers: S. Ball, A. Beckman, R. Franks, D. Heatherman, R. Miller, B. Murray, Y. Richard, M. Rosenberg, W. Rosenzweig, J. Schechner, M. Wagner. Voter Help Tables: L. Davidson, S. Don, D. Englund, E. France, A. Grossman, M. Kollert, S. Kulnigg, T. Lolonis, R. Miller, P. Milstein, H. Monihan, R. Saul Ganev, L. Tuttle-Weidinger, M. Wagner. Get Out the Vote Video: S. Dahmen, F. Hall-Herbold, E. Stolyarov.

–Jen Rakow-Stepper, Chair DA Austria

 

Georgia On Our Mind

Georgia voters, your vote is powerful and will determine Biden's presidency!

Federal elections were held for both of Georgia’s US Senate seats on November 3, 2020. Both of these races are going to "runoff elections" as no candidate received at least 50% of the vote. Democrats need to win both of these seats to have a 50/50 Senate with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote.

The two races are:

  • US Senate: Jon Ossoff (Democrat) versus David Perdue (Republican)
  • US Senate Special: Raphael Warnock (Democrat) versus Kelly Loeffler (Republican)

Help get out the word! Please go to DA Austria’s Facebook page and share our Georgia posts in your groups and networks.

The diplomatic pouch will be available. Please drop off you ballot at the US Consulate, Parkring 12A, 1010 Vienna by 4pm, December 7, 2020.

For detailed information on how to register and return your ballot go to: https://www.democratsabroad.org/jenniferrakowstepper/georgia_us_senate_election_jan_5_2021

Have questions? Need help? Go to one of the online forums for Georgia Voter Assistance: https://www.democratsabroad.org/at_events

–Jen Rakow-Stepper, Chair DA Austria



We did it!

Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States of America!! He has won the popular vote with 80.1 million votes and counting, the most votes ever received by any candidate in US history. Senator Kamala Harris will become the first woman and person of color to hold the Vice-President's office, "but won't be the last." The voter turnout in 2020 is projected to reach 158 million votes, or 66.8%, 20 million more than 2016. The 2020 election will go down in history as the highest voter turnout in over a century.

I want to take a moment to thank all of our members and volunteers who contributed to the Democrats Abroad election efforts this Presidential cycle. This colossal victory doesn't come without enormous effort from activities like each of you, who made calls in Austria and all around the globe, sent texts, wrote postcards, donated your euros, and spoke with your friends and family time and again about the importance of this election. Democrats Abroad was the margin of victory in flipping key electoral college states such as Georgia and Arizona and holding the blue wall in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Not every fight this year was a victory. Democrats lost seats in the House. The Senate is still up in the air—however, two significant Senate seats were flipped, with the election of Mark Kelly in Arizona and John Hickenlooper in Colorado. Trump continues to undermine democracy out of delusional spite. We didn't win everywhere, but where we did win—thanks are very much owed. Above all, I'm most thankful that we will have competence back in the White House.

There's plenty to do in Georgia, and we will continue the fight for the Senate and beyond. For now, let's take a moment to celebrate our victory.

– Juan Cerda, Vice-Chair of DAA



DA’s Phonebanking Campaign

Phone banking works and our call hub activities may have had a significant impact on the 2020 election results. The DA global phone banking team currently consists of 1,600 volunteers who have made over 600,000 calls to more than 200 countries. Our DA Austria team had done 11,904 calls by election day. To illustrate this: our DAA phone bankers were online on call hub for a period of 583 hours and talked to people for 308 hours. 34 people in Austria helped make calls during this election campaign and our top five phone bankers each had more than 1,000 conversations with voters. The biggest highlight of our phone banking activities was the call-a-thon on Trump’s birthday with almost 9,000 calls. What a gift for the president. A big thank you to all of our phone bankers!

– Michael Wagner, DA Austria Phone Bank Coordinator



Thank You Laura — DAA Youth Caucus Coordinator

DA Austria would like to extend a big thank you to Laura Farmwald who did great work organising the Young Dems Pub Nights for the Youth Caucus over the past year. Many of you know Laura from the Global Presidential Primary where she registered voters, or perhaps from the 2019 Pride Parade which she co-organised. Laura needs to step down from her role due to a busy work and academic life. We wish her great success completing her Masters degree!



Youth Caucus Coordinator Position Open

If you or someone you know is interested in building your resume and being a key component of DA Austria’s youth outreach, please contact me at: chair@democratsabroad.at

–Jen Rakow-Stepper, Chair DA Austria



Democratic Holiday Gifts that Win for Georgia

The impact of the work of Democrats Abroad has never been more apparent: 19,000 overseas ballots were the “margin of victory” for Biden’s 12,000-vote lead in Georgia. Our votes from abroad helped turn Georgia blue for the first time since 1992!

Two U.S. Senate seats will be decided in a January 5 run-off election that will oust Mitch McConnell and his plan to cause further gridlock. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris need and deserve a Congress that will work with them and for the American people.

Help Democrats Abroad realize our extensive outreach plan for reaching Georgians abroad – from social media and phonebanking campaigns to postal mailings and newspaper ads.

Consider supporting Georgia outreach efforts by making a donation in return for Democrats Abroad swag, including a limited-edition Georgia peach tote bag.

 

If you are already stocked with plenty of Democrats Abroad gear, you can still help by donating directly: democratsabroad.org/donate.

None

 

 

 


Reviews:

Solidarity Sundays 38: Democracy — Let's Fix It!

New Dealers in the '30s tried to save the economy, and ended up saving democracy. The nightmare of Watergate was followed by an era of reforms in federal and state governments. What might an era of economic and political reform look like after Trump?

Let’s be honest — America’s democracy is broken. The minority party routinely elects Presidents, controls state legislatures, and appoints federal judges — locking the majority out of governing. The hard-won Biden-Harris victory is critical to saving our system, but not enough to fix it.

Solidarity Sundays emerged as part of the civic movement inspired by Trump’s election. Our grassroots group was founded on the principle that democratic renewal takes more than one or two elections. At the last meet-up of the year, sixteen activists focused on rebuilding work that we can start in 2021.

Building starts with the foundation. Juan Cerda surveyed who voted in November, and why. Democrats embody America’s diverse majority, but the election revealed cracks in our coalition. These need attention if we are to expand on this year’s achievement, reassert majority power, and enact a fully progressive agenda.

Attendees then turned to the question on everyone‘s mind — where do we start? This was discussion at its finest. The team explored threats to our fraying democracy, and debated reforms small and big. Talk was lively, critiques incisive, ideas inventive. Juan and Tanya will do their best to shape the ideas into Solidarity Sundays' 2021 agenda. Check out the Solidarity Sundays Vienna Facebook page for how to drop in on the stimulating conversation, and add your ideas and muscle to the work of our generation.

—Tanya Lolonis, Solidarity Sundays Vienna Co-Founder

 

Thanks for reading December's newsletter!

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Georgia U.S. Senate Runoff Election on Jan 5, 2021!

Georgia voters, your vote is powerful and will determine Biden's presidency!

Federal elections were held for both of Georgia’s US Senate seats on November 3, 2020. Both of these races are going to "runoff elections", to be held on January 5, 2021, as no candidate received at least 50% of the vote. Democrats need to win both of these seats to have a 50/50 Senate with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote.

The two races are:

  • US Senate: Jon Ossoff (Democrat) versus David Perdue (Republican)

  • US Senate Special: Raphael Warnock (Democrat) versus Kelly Loeffler (Republican)

Both US Senate races in Georgia are going to a runoff election on January 5th, 2021. Ballots are available since November 21. 

💙 DA Global needs to raise funds for ads to support the GA Senate runoffs. We must turn out as many GA voters abroad as possible. Due to FEC rules, country committees cannot pay for the ads; only DA Global can. If you can give any amount to support this effort, that would be great! As proven, overseas voters are the margin of victory. Donate here: democratsabroad.org/georgia_runoff

Georgia voters, here's what you need to do today!

#1 Register to Vote by December 7 
🗳️ If you didn't vote in the November election, you can still vote in the runoff! Go to votefromabroad.org and request an absentee ballot or register to vote. Ask for your ballot to be sent to you by email. First time voters who will be 18 years old by January 5, 2021 can also vote!

#2 Check your ballot status
🏴 If you voted in November, check your absentee ballot status at mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do

 
 
 

#3 Ballots must be returned by post or courier service
If your absentee ballot application has not been received, you will need to request a ballot at votefromabroad.org by Jan 5, 2021. Please don't wait—request and return your ballot immediately!

Ballot return to Georgia is by postal mail only, so hurry. Because of the mail disruptions from COVID and Christmas, voters should mail back their ballots ASAP. Regular mail may work in November, but by December it will be too late and you should definitely use a courier. Ballots must arrive in Georgia by January 8, 2021. The US Consulate in Vienna will accept ballots for the Diplomatic Pouch until 4pm Monday, December 7.

#4 Receive your ballot by email on November 21 and return it asap!
✍️ If you don't receive your official ballot, fill out and mail back a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) at https://www.votefromabroad.org/fwab/. Because the FWAB isn't set up for two Senate races, here's an example FWAB showing how to fill it out:

 
FWAB Example:
 
 
#5 Check it was received
☑️ Verify your ballot was accepted, and fix if needed. georgia.ballottrax.net/voter
 
Questions?
👉 We're here to help!
 
You want to help get out the Georgia vote?
Reach out to Georgia voters in your networks and make sure they are ready to vote. 
  • See more ways to help in these slides Help with the Georgia runoff election!
  • Phonebank in Georgia for both the Ossoff and Warnock campaigns. Find more information at info mobilize.us/ These PhoneBanking campaigns currently require a US-based mobile phone number—or similar VoIP service like Google Voice, Skype In, or Line2—to be able to signup for calling. We are working to locate other calling opportunities as well.

 

PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH YOUR FRIENDS WHO VOTE IN GEORGIA.


In November: Election Day and Beyond

In this Issue –

Events:

  • DA Austria Election Night Party
  • Global Programming for Nov 3 & 4
  • "First Vote" Documentary Viewing
  • Solidarity Sundays #38

Issues & Actions:

  • Getting Out the Vote in Vorarlberg
  • DA Austria in the News
  • Gearing up for 2020
    • Voter Protection Survey
    • Democrats Abroad's 2020 Impact

Reviews:

  • Innsbruck Meet-up
  • Solidarity Sundays #37

Member's Corner:

  • Art & Music Fridays
  • Lockdown: Vienna Nights in the time of Corona

 

Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, November 11, 2020, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Jennifer at chair@democratsabroad.at to join

DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date in order to avoid the flood of emails that occurs in an election year. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Thanks for reading!

 

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EVENTS:


Election Night Party with a Twist!

November 3, 9:30 PM – Online

Global Programming: 24 Hours

November 3, 8:00 PM (CST)

View the Documentary "First Vote"

Until November 10 

 

Solidarity Sundays 38: Democracy - Let‘s Fix It!

November 29, 4:00 PM 

 


ISSUES & ACTIONS:

Getting Out the Vote in Vorarlberg

Democrats Abroad in Vorarlberg, Austria made themselves not only heard last week (through phone-banking and calling out from mountain tops) but also seen, with a 90 foot abroad banner exhorting compatriots in all lands to vote and vote right for Biden-Harris with Vengence! Have a look. 

 

Election Night with a Twist! Schedule

We’ll watch the news and so much more! Join us online for the DA Austria election night party. We’ve got a lot planned to keep us entertained and informed throughout the night. Here’s the full schedule–

 

Gearing up for 2020

This is the spot where we answer your frequently asked questions and make sure you, your family, friends, and colleagues have the voter information you need to be an enfranchised voter and make your vote count. Please share!

Democrats Abroad Impact in 2020

2020 has been a record breaking year for Democrats Abroad, as we have nearly tripled our outreach to Americans abroad and are on track to double the vote from abroad. The unique challenges presented by the global COVID pandemic and international mail disruption make these achievements particularly significant.

Our nonpartisan voter support tool - VoteFromAbroad.org - has seen more than 766,680 unique visitors visit the site more than 1 million times - nearly 3x 2016 traffic.

 We estimate that in 2020 approximately 1.8 million eligible American Voters living abroad have received ballots (compared to 930,156 ballots received in 2016).

 50% of ballots from American Voters Abroad will be returned to battleground states in this year’s election!

We are on target to DOUBLE 2016 voter turnout abroadThat means an additional 500,000 votes—and possibly 1 million!—sent from abroad. 

This success was made possible through the 18,000 volunteers who generously provide their support, as well as the donations of over 4000 donors, who donated over $650k this year to Democrats Abroad (an all volunteer run organization with no external funding). 

— Aaron Fishbone, DA Global Communications Director

Voter Protection Survey

Tell us about your voting experience so we can help make voting better for every American abroad. Let us know in this short survey. Your feedback and stories are vital for pushing election reform in Congress and in state legislatures.

This election cycle Individual leaders and volunteers testified in two Federal cases on behalf of voters abroad this fall. The first case was resolved with a successful judgement against Postmaster DeJoy. DA currently runs a voter protection division that includes a director, 9 lawyer volunteers, and voter protection volunteers tasked with organizing and managing the escalation of cases from our country committees and voter help communications.

 

DA Austria in the News  

DA Austria has been in the news a lot recently in the run up to the election on Tuesday. Be sure to watch or tune in! Young DA Austria members will be asked about their feelings about the election on Ö3. Other spokespeople will appear early in the morning on Wednesday on Servus TV and Puls 4 and later in the afternoon on ORF 2 Vorabend, Ö1 Radio Journal Panorama, Puls 4 Pro & Contra will take place at 8:30pm and finally Runder Tisch at 10:25pm on ORF. 

 


REVIEWS:

Innsbruck Meet-up 

A group of DA members living in Innsbruck get together at Glorious Bastards restaurant on Friday, October 9. Tyler reported, "It was a great success! Everyone had turned in their ballots already and we'll meet up again in December."

 

Solidarity Sundays #37: Can We Trust the Polls?

The 2016 election shocked most of us. How could Trump win the presidency when he was behind in the polls? On the eve of the most important election in our lifetime, this Solidarity Sundays webinar explored what went wrong in 2016 and asked — was the same thing happening again?

Tanya Lolonis ran through how polls are made. Building them is partly art — figuring out what the electorate will look like, then selecting a sample of respondents who look like that. The other part — calculating the sampling error, the ± 3 or so attached to a poll’s results — is the science.

In 2016, national polls got it right, correctly predicting Clinton’s popular vote win. Battleground state polls, though, were way off. Why? The samples they selected (the art part) were wrong. State polls underrepresented white non-college educated voters — a fatal error. That year, education was the best predictor of white voter preferences — those with college degrees went for Clinton, those without degrees preferred Trump. Pollsters build models based on how the electorate looked in the past. It’s why they miss tectonic shifts, like blue collar voters moving from Democrat to Republican under Reagan. In 2016, they missed the educational achievement shift.

By the time you read this, we’ll know if pollsters got it right in 2020. We have great confidence they won’t make the same mistake twice. Still, a “pandemic election“ won’t make predictions easier. We are on the edge of our seat to learn what new error they make.

What to do when polls menace your sleep? Two things help. First, don‘t trust individual polls. Be guided by a good meta-pollster, like Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com. They average polls to flatten the error fluctuations, and weight the most reliable polls so you don’t have to.

Second, do something within your control. Michael Wagner, DA Austria’s Phonebanking Coordinator, shared the impact volunteers have had in turning out the expat vote. In October alone, 18 phonebankers made 4,800 calls out of Austria to the world. Two weeks before election day, nearly 60,000 members globally told 700 phonebankers they had voted.

Forecasting the future is difficult; helping to shape it is potent.

 


MEMBER'S CORNER

 

Art & Music Fridays

An exhibit and concert series by DA Austria member Kathleen Amos Eichorn in Sulz im Wienerwald. Individual, hour-long seatings available from 7-10pm following Covid regulations. Please email kathy.artistherapy@gmail.com to confirm upcoming dates and make a reservation.

 

Lockdown: Vienna Nights in the Time of Corona

Dear all, I'm producing a coffee table book of the photographs I took in Vienna at night during LOCKDOWN, and I am hosting a crowdfunding site with REWARDS for contributions. You can view the site at  wemakeit.com and search Danny LoCascio. 

Or click this link LOCKDOWN: Vienna Nights in the time of Corona  

– Danny LoCasio

 



Thanks for reading the November newsletter! 

 

 

 

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PROMOTIONAL 20% OFF DHL BALLOT RETURN RATE!

Attention all US voters in Austria! 

PROMOTIONAL 20% OFF DHL BALLOT RETURN RATE!

For those of you who have not yet voted, Metropole English language magazine and Democrats Abroad Austria are happy to announce a reduced rate for ballot returns with DHL!

You can now return your ballot with DHL for a flat rate of EUR 24,77 when dropped off at a DHL Servicepoint. Promo code: USA20

Via online order, your ballot can also be picked up by DHL for a flat rate of EUR 39,83 (including pick up). Promo code: USACLICK20

Please note: your ballots will be delivered between 1 to 5 days after handover to DHL Express.

 


In October —

In this Issue –

Events:

  • Young Dems Pub Night
  • Presidential Progressive Pizza
  • Vice Presidential Debate Watch Party
  • Innsbruck Afterwork Meet-Up
  • Last Call! Voter Help Table
  • Presidential Debate Watch Party (TBD)
  • Presidential Debate Watch Party (TBD)
  • Solidarity Sundays #37

Issues & Actions:

  • Gearing up for 2020: Voting & Returning Your Ballot — FAQ's
    • Get In-Person Voting Help
    • Get Online Voting Help
    • Should I Submit a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot?
    • How Should I Return My Ballot?
    • Help! Am I Being Disenfranchised?

Reviews:

  • Candlelight Vigil for Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Solidarity Sundays #36:  Dismantling Structural Racism Workshop

Member's Corner:

  • Step Up for Democracy
  • Lockdown: Vienna Nights in the time of Corona
  • Opinion: Setting the Stage to Steal the 2020 Elections.

 

Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, October 14, 2020, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Jennifer at chair@democratsabroad.at to join

DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date in order to avoid the flood of emails that occurs in an election year. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Thanks for reading!

 

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EVENTS:

Presidential Progressive Pizza — Let's Save the Planet!

October 6, 7:00 PM – Online

Young Dems Pub Night

October 6, 7:30 PM — In person

Last Call! Voter Registration & Ballot Help

October 12, 5:00 PM — In person

 

Vice Presidential Debate Watch Party

October 8, 7:00 PM — Online

Innsbruck Afterwork Meet Up

October 9, 6:00 PM — In person

Presidential Debate Watch Party

October 16, 7:00 PM — Online

 

 

Presidential Debate Watch Party

October 23, 7:00 PM — Online

 

Solidarity Sundays #37: Can We Trust the Polls?

October 25, 4:00 PM — Online

 


ISSUES & ACTIONS:

Gearing up for 2020

This is the spot where we answer your frequently asked questions and make sure you, your family, friends, and colleagues have the voter information you need to be an enfranchised voter and make your vote count. Please share!

 

Americans living overseas must request their ballot in every calendar year they want to vote — yes, even if it’s normally sent to you automatically. Go to Vote From Abroad and request your ballot to be sent to you by email! Don’t procrastinate — you should have received your ballot by email on September 19. The time to request is now! 

When you receive your ballot be sure to immediately vote it and return it by the fastest method your state allows — help election officials at home by getting your ballot in early and flattening the curve. 

 

 

Where can I get in-person help?

Come to our LAST Voter Help Table in Vienna! 

We’ve been helping Americans to register to vote, request their ballot, fax their ballot back, and fill out their Federal Absentee Write-in Ballot at farmers markets and other venues during the summer and fall. OUR LAST IN-PERSON VOTER HELP TABLE IS OCTOBER 12!  Please be sure to stop by and say hello to our fantastic volunteers and make sure you are ready for November’s election. Bring a friend! 

 

Where can I get online help?

Most days of the week, volunteers at the Global Voter Help Desk are ready to answer your questions in a one-on-one session. Just go to democratsabroad.org/global_voter_assistance.

 

Should I submit a Federal Absentee Write-in Ballot (FWAB)?

If you haven't received your ballot yet, you should send a back-up emergency ballot (FWAB) immediately! You must return you're ballot the same way you would your official ballot. 

This year, like no other, the fate of your ballot depends on which state you vote in. Currently* AR, CT, GA, ID, IL, KY, MD, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT**, WI, will only allow voters to return their ballot by postal mail/courier. All US Citizens who vote in one of these states should immediately fill out and return a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). It’s not the year to put your ballot in jeopardy! 

Even if you sent in a FWAB you can still send the regular ballot if and when you receive it. “If they both arrive before the deadline — which for most states is Election Day — the election office will count only the official ballot, so there’s no need to worry your vote will be double-counted or disqualified.” (Are You an American Voting From Abroad? Here’s How to Do It, NYT August 28, 2020). After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by your election office.

Get more information on how to submit your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot.

* Please check the State Voting Guide at votefromabroad.org for up to date information for your state.

** Voters in Vermont need to check with their local election official.

 

Where’s my ballot?   

You should have received your ballot in your inbox on or before September 19 (check your spam folder).

If you didn’t request to receive your ballot by email, you can still do so. Just resubmit your FPCA form or go online to your state’s voter status website — google “Am I registered” and your state. Some states ask for an ID or a driver’s license with the online form. In this case contact your local election official directly. You can find yours under “Find your election office” at votefromabroad.org.

 

How should I return my ballot?

You should return your ballot as soon as you receive it in the fastest way which your state allows. 

If you can return your ballot by email, online, or by fax, use this method! 

  • States that accept email and online ballot returns are: AL, AZ, CO, DC, DE, HI, IA, IN, KS, MA, ME, MS, MT, MO, NC, ND, NE, NM, NV, RI, OR, SC, UT, *VT, WA, WV
  • States that accept ballot returns by FAX are: AK, CA, FL, LA, OK. Most Austrian post offices have a Fax machine. Or, read the instructions on how to do it without a fax machine. With both methods, make sure the pages you are sending are reduced 94% in order to fit the shorter US paper size.

States that only accept postal mail ballot returns (be sure to also immediately send an FWAB) are: AR, CT, GA, ID, IL, KY, MD, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, *VT, WI

If you can only return your ballot by postal mail you have a couple of different options:

  1. Courier Service: The "mail only" ballot return states have confirmed to Democrats Abroad, in writing, that they will accept overseas ballots that are sent in by courier (Fedex, DHL, etc). All of the states indicated that a date stamp isn't needed if the Ballot/FWAB arrives by close of polls on Election Day, November 3.  A date stamp is only necessary in those states that have a "postmarked by election day" deadline and accept ballots that are received in a specific period after Election Day. If a ballot for one of those states is received after Election Day, then there must be something to prove it was placed in the mail by Election Day. The states that require a date stamp for ballots that arrive after Election Day are: GA, IL, KY, MD, NJ, NY, PA, TX, and VA.
  2. Diplomatic Pouch: You may drop off your ballot in person at U.S. Consulate Vienna at Parkring 12A (Marriott Hotel building), weekdays from 08:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Ballots sent by Diplomatic Pouch must be placed in a postage-paid envelope for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities once received by the U.S. sorting facility. It can take up to three weeks for mail sent by Diplomatic Pouch to reach your local election office. Therefore, U.S. Consulate Vienna will accept ballots until October 7.
  3. Priority mail with the Austrian Post: The Austrian post office updates its International postal service on a daily basis which means it could currently be unreliable. You can check the current status here. Use the envelope template provided with your ballot, but be sure to add postage where it says “no postage required.” Expect up to a 4 week delivery time. NOTE: In order that the envelope is not returned to you by the Austrian post, put an X in ballpoint pen across the return address in such a way that it is still legible to the local election official in the US.

 

Help! Am I being disenfranchised?

If you have not received your ballot and have perhaps been stonewalled by your local election office, it's a good idea to go to the voter protection expert group in Democrats Abroad. Please contact them at voterprotection@democratsabroad.org with an explanation of the issue and supporting documentation and communications you've had with your LEO. Please contact me at chair@democratsabraod.at if you're unsure. 

 

 


REVIEWS:

 

Candlelight Vigil for Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Hours after Austria awoke to the news of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, sixty Americans gathered before the U.S. Embassy in Vienna. A fierce wind made it hard to keep candles alight, and mask-wearing mourners observed social distance. Mourners for the liberal Supreme Court Justice and feminist lodestar greeted one another with expressions of grief.

The devastation was amplified because America is in the middle of an election. Early voting is underway in some places – it began the day Ginsburg passed – making November 3 the end of the election. As the vigil started, President Trump announced he would nominate a conservative to succeed her. His rush to fill the seat will have profound consequences. The Supreme Court has operated as a 5-4 conservative majority for over a decade; now the bare majority will be a super majority.

Democrats Abroad Austria Chair, Jennifer Stepper-Rakow, spoke of Ginsburg’s career and what the Justice meant to Democrats. She did not get far before people cut in — can I still register to vote? How do I send my ballot home if the post service isn’t reliable? Does the consulate take ballots? I haven’t gotten my ballot, when can I expect it? In an instant, the vigil for the equal rights champion became a political organizing event.

DA Austria’s Chair, Juan Cerda, gave an impassioned speech asking mourners to “text five friends — now — be sure they’re voting and know how.“ We’re in the middle of a pandemic, a presidential election and a supreme court fight, he reminded the gathering. “Everything is on the line”.

And then a clear voice broke through. Raina Saul-Ganev began “Amazing Grace.” The crowd slowly joined in, and the organizing rally became a vigil once again. As the last note hung in the air, a nearby church rang its bells. 

 

Solidarity Sundays #36:  Dismantling Structural Racism Workshop

“I can‘t tell you what your work is in this movement, but I … know that determining our roles and opportunities is something that needs to happen in conversation and community with others.“

Sherri Spelic, Vienna-based author and educator, introduced Solidarity Sundays to a method of approaching systemic racism and how we live it:  intimate and reflective conversation.  

Discussing emotional issues is never easy. Discussing racism is particularly tricky. Speaking honestly makes us apprehensive, uncomfortable, and anxious. Let‘s face it, no one wants to be wrong. Ms. Spelic made talking easier by posing questions, then stepping back. In small break-out groups, people jumped into animated, personal, and meaningful conversations on racism.

The news is filled with information to process:  police brutality and Covid’s disproportionate impact on communities of Colour among the most important. With so much to fix, where to begin? Ms. Spelic‘s observation:  admitting our own feelings on racism is a potent starting point. Working from self-knowledge, she offered, creates openings to think, to listen and to be a part of anti-racist solutions.

Solidarity Sundays recognizes that in order to foster an equitable and inclusive community, it is necessary to have uncomfortable conversations on topics like race. We are grateful for Sherri Spelic‘s help in facilitating these valuable discussions.

Sherri Spelic shared this powerful poem by Clint Smith III. We think you might want to hear him tell it:  [“How to raise a black son in America”] (https://youtu.be/boGt69rR7X8)

 


MEMBER'S CORNER

Step Up for Democracy

Our DA Austria Communications Chair Sophie just released an app that allows you to fundraise and exercise in one! Using the new app Step Up for Democracy you can raise money for democratic causes each time you hit your daily step goal! Available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

– Sophie Spiegelberger 

 

Lockdown: Vienna Nights in the Time of Corona

Dear all, I'm producing a coffee table book of the photographs I took in Vienna at night during LOCKDOWN, and I am hosting a crowdfunding site with REWARDS for contributions. You can view the site at  wemakeit.com and search Danny LoCascio. 

Or click this link LOCKDOWN: Vienna Nights in the time of Corona  

– Danny LoCasio

 

Opinion

Voters beware – Trump and the Republican Party have been setting the stage to steal the 2020 elections.

If you are hard pressed to believe that the 2020 elections cannot be stolen, keep in mind that Trump wants to stay in power to avoid criminal charges for many of his transgressions for which there is ample public evidence. For that purpose, I would like to invite you to think about the following:

Since the impeachment, Trump and the Republicans have been working to find all kinds of ways to swing the population’s feelings to get behind Trump, painting him as a ‘victim of false accusations’ by the Democrats and the media. Trump himself has constantly used the term ‘witch hunt’ when evidence of his multidimensional violation of laws, ethics, facts, etc. surface and it is made public.  The Republican Senate violated every element of honesty, decency, and their elected responsibilities by their actions when the articles of impeachment reached them widely demonstrated by Republican House and Senate elected officials. Trump knows he has to stay in office for another 4 years to avoid criminal charges.

— Patricia Godoy-Kain

READ MORE


Thanks for reading the October newsletter! 


Opinion: Setting the Stage to Steal the 2020 Elections

By Patricia Godoy-Kain

If you are hard pressed to believe that the 2020 elections cannot be stolen, keep in mind that Trump wants to stay in power to avoid criminal charges for many of his transgressions for which there is ample public evidence. For that purpose, I would like to invite you to think about the following:

Since the impeachment, Trump and the Republicans have been working to find all kinds of ways to swing the population’s feelings to get behind Trump, painting him as a ‘victim of false accusations’ by the Democrats and the media. Trump himself has constantly used the term ‘witch hunt’ when evidence of his multidimensional violation of laws, ethics, facts, etc. surface and it is made public.  The Republican Senate violated every element of honesty, decency, and their elected responsibilities by their actions when the articles of impeachment reached them widely demonstrated by Republican House and Senate elected officials. Trump knows he has to stay in office for another 4 years to avoid criminal charges.

 

Read more

How To Fax Your Ballot Back Without A Fax Machine

Use_DoD_Fax_Service.png
 
Thanks to DA Germany for putting together this information! 
 
Some states require that ballots must be returned by regular mail or fax. If you do not have access to a fax machine, you can use the DoD FAX SERVICE.
 
  • What is the DoD Fax Service? 
If you need to send your election materials to your election official by fax but do not have access to a fax machine you can email them to fax@fvap.gov and FVAP will fax your election materials for you. This service is fax only. If your State accepts your election materials by email, you should email them directly to your election official. FVAP will not transmit email to email transactions.
  • Does it matter what size paper I use?
    No. Any paper size is acceptable as long the information is legible. 
    Correction: Yes, create US letter-sized PDFs to ensure the ballot information all fits on the fax sheet print out.
  • You will need to print and fill out this Voter Transmission Cover Sheet-In Bound From Voters. Voters should use this fax transmission cover sheet as a cover sheet when faxing or emailing election materials back to their local election office.
 
If your forms can be emailed, DO NOT USE FAX@FVAP.GOV. Email them directly to your election official. Email addresses for your election official can be found at FVAP.gov.

Voter Help Information

Americans living overseas must request their ballot in every calendar year they want to vote — yes, even if it’s normally sent to you automatically. Go to Vote From Abroad and request your ballot to be sent to you by email! Don’t procrastinate — blank ballots will be sent September 19. The time to request is now! 

When you receive your ballot by email on or before September 19, be sure to immediately vote it and return it by the fastest method your state allows — help election officials at home by getting your ballot in early and flattening the curve. 

Did you not receive your ballot yet and are unsure when the deadlines to register, request, and return the ballot is for your state? Find out here: www.votefromabroad.org/states.

Be a voter. Be counted — request and return your ballot immediately!

 


Why Use the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA)?

  1. All states will send you your blank ballot by email on or before September 19, if you requested one. Not sure? Check with your local election official or re-submit an FPCA form and request to receive your ballot by email
  2. Some states give more time to return a ballot
  3. An up-to-date FPCA form could protect your ballot in case of a recount
  4. You may have the option to return your ballot electronically (fax, email, web portal)
  5. You may use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if your ballot doesn’t arrive on time — you can only use an FWAB if you have sent in the FPCA!
  6. You’ll receive ballots for all the elections in which you are eligible to vote for the calendar year, including run-offs and special elections

 


Why use Vote from Abroad (VFA) vs other FPCA-generating websites like FVAP or Overseas Vote Foundation? 

  1. Vote from Abroad has a photo signature option that allows voters from most states (excluding CA and NY) to sign their completed FPCA and email it directly without needing to print, sign, and scan it
  2. VFA has an online help desk to answer individual voter questions
  3. VFA has volunteers who contact states to ensure that voting information is correct and up to date in the State Voting Guide
  4. VFA has the option to receive non-partisan voting reminders tailored to your state

 


Where can I get in-person help?

Come to one of our Voter Registration Help Tables in Graz, Innsbruck, Linz, Salzburg, Vorarlberg & Vienna*! 

We’ve been helping Americans to register to vote, request their ballot, and fill out their Federal Absentee Write-in Ballot at various farmers' markets and other venues during the summer and we’ll continue over the next couple of months. Please be sure to stop by and say hello to our fantastic volunteers and make sure you are ready for November’s election. Bring a friend! 

For voters who need to return their ballot by fax, we’ll help you on September 21st.

*Help tables in Vienna have a printer, envelopes, and stamps available. 

 

Where can I get online help?

Every Sunday, volunteers at the Global Voter Help Desk are ready to answer your questions in a one-on-one session. Just go to democratsabroad.org/global_voter_assistance.

 


Should I submit a Federal Absentee Write-in Ballot (FWAB)?

This year, like no other, the fate of your ballot depends on which state you vote in. Currently* AR, CT, GA, ID, IL, KY, MD, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT**, WI, will only allow voters to return their ballot by postal mail. All US Citizens who vote in one of these states should immediately fill out and return a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). It’s not the year to put your ballot in jeopardy! 

Even if you sent in a FWAB, you can still send the regular ballot if and when you receive it. “If they both arrive before the deadline — which for most states is Election Day — the election office will count only the official ballot, so there’s no need to worry your vote will be double-counted or disqualified.” (Are You an American Voting From Abroad? Here’s How to Do It, NYT August 28, 2020). After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by your election office.

Get more information on how to submit your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot.

* States are constantly realising that postal-only ballot return will disenfranchise tens of thousands of overseas voters and are updating the regulations daily. Please check the State Voting Guide at votefromabroad.org for up to date information for your state.

** Voters in Vermont need to check with their local election official.

 


Where’s my ballot?   

Your ballot should be in your inbox on or before September 19 (check your spam folder).

If you didn’t request to receive your ballot by email, you can still do so. Just resubmit your FPCA form or go online to your state’s voter status website — google “Am I registered” and your state. Some states ask for an ID or a driver’s license with the online form. In this case contact your local election official directly. You can find yours under “Find your election office” at votefromabroad.org.

 


How should I return my ballot?

You should return your ballot as soon as you receive it in the fastest way which your state allows. 

If you can return your ballot by email, online, or by fax, use this method! 

  • States that accept email and online ballot returns are: AL, AZ, CO, DC, DE, HI, IA, IN, KS, MA, ME, MS, MT, MO, NC, ND, NE, NM, NV, RI, OR, SC, UT, *VT, WA, WV
  • States that accept ballot returns by FAX are: AK, CA, FL, LA, OK

States that only accept postal mail ballot returns (be sure to also immediately send an FWAB) are: AR, CT, GA, ID, IL, KY, MD, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, *VT, WI

If you can only return your ballot by postal mail you have a couple of different options:

  • Priority mail with the Austrian Post: As of August 29, the Austrian post office is accepting “Brief Priority”, but is not accepting “Paket Light International” to the US. Use the envelope template provided with your ballot, but be sure to add postage where it says “no postage required.” Expect a two week delivery time. 

NOTE: The Austrian postal machines cannot read the envelope template when the return address is in the upper left-hand corner. To avoid this problem, put an X in ballpoint pen across the return address in such a way that it is still legible to the local election official in the US.

  • Courier Service: As of August 29, the "mail only" ballot return states have confirmed to Democrats Abroad, in writing, that they will accept overseas ballots that are sent in by courier (Fedex, DHL, etc). All of the states indicated that a date stamp isn't needed if the Ballot/FWAB arrives by close of polls on Election Day, November 3.

A date stamp is only necessary in those states that have a "postmarked by election day" deadline and accept ballots that are received in a specific period after Election Day. If a ballot for one of those states is received after Election Day, then there must be something to prove it was placed in the mail by Election Day. The states that require a date stamp for ballots that arrive after Election Day are: GA, IL, KY, MD, NJ, NY, PA, TX, and VA.

  • Diplomatic Pouch: You may drop off your ballot in person at U.S. Consulate Vienna at Parkring 12A (Marriott Hotel building), weekdays from 08:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Ballots sent by Diplomatic Pouch must be placed in a postage-paid envelope for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities once received by the U.S. sorting facility. It can take up to three weeks for mail sent by Diplomatic Pouch to reach your local election office. Therefore, U.S. Consulate Vienna will not accept any ballots after October 2

Remember, although the diplomatic pouch is free it is also VERY slow. Once your ballot reaches Dulles Airport in DC it then goes into the normal US Postal Service which is currently having long delays.

 

Thank you for being a voter! Together we are the Margin of Victory!

 


In September —

Democrats Abroad Austria in September 

 

In this Issue –

Events:

  • Vote Across Austria: Bludenz, Bregenz, Dornbirn, Feldkirch, Graz, Linz, Salzburg, & Vienna!
  • Drag Queen Bingo — The Sequel
  • Young Dems Pub Night
  • Fax you Ballot Back
  • Solidarity Sundays #36
  • Democrats Abroad Welcomes Malcolm Nance
  • Democrats Abroad Welcomes London Breed

Issues & Actions:

  • Gearing up for 2020: Voting & Returning Your Ballot — FAQ's
    • Get In-Person Voting Help
    • Get Online Voting Help
    • Should I Submit a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot?
    • Should I use the Diplomatic Pouch?
  • Help Make Trump a One Term President

Reviews:

  • 4th of July in the Park – Vienna & Graz
  • Recap of the Democratic National Convention

Member's Corner:

  • Metropole Business Subscription
  • From Vienna to the USA with Steven Scheschareg
  • Liebe Ohne Grenzen – Ehe Ohne Grenzen

 

Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held on: Wednesday, September 9, 2020, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Jennifer at chair@democratsabroad.at to join

DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date in order to avoid the flood of emails that occurs in an election year. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Thanks for reading!

 

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EVENTS:

Bludenz — Voter Registration Help

September 5, 10:00 AM 

Feldkirch — Voter Registration Help

September 5, 9:00 AM 

Vienna — Voter Registration Help

September 5, 5:00 PM 

 

Drag Queen Bingo Fundraiser — The Sequel!

September 5, 8:00 PM 

Young Dems Pub Night

September 8, 7:30 PM

Linz — Voter Registration Help

September 10, 3:00 PM

Linz — Voter Registration Help

September 10, 6:00 PM

Graz — Voter Registration Help

September 11, 5:00 PM


Salzburg — Voter Registration Help

September 11, 2:00 PM

Vienna — Voter Registration Help

September 12, 12:00 PM


Dornbirn — Voter Registration Help

September 12, 9:00 AM

Vienna — Voter Registration Help

September 18, 5:00 PM

Bregenz — Voter Registration Help

September 19, 9:00 AM

 

Fax Your Ballot Back — Together!

September 21, 5:00 PM

 

Dialing For Democracy — Call-a-thon

September 22-24, all day

 

Solidarity Sundays #36: Dismantling Structural Racism Workshop

Sunday, September 27, 4 PM

Democrats Abroad Welcomes Malcom Nance

September 10, 3:00 PM (CET)

Democrats Abroad Welcomes Mayor London Breed

September 24, 8:00 PM (CET)

 


ISSUES & ACTIONS:

Gearing up for 2020

This is the spot where we answer your frequently asked questions and make sure you, your family, friends, and colleagues have the voter information you need to be an enfranchised voter and make your vote count. Please share!

 

 

Americans living overseas must request their ballot in every calendar year they want to vote — yes, even if it’s normally sent to you automatically. Go to Vote From Abroad and request your ballot to be sent to you by email! Don’t procrastinate — blank ballots will be sent September 19. The time to request is now! 

When you receive your ballot by email on or before September 19, be sure to immediately vote it and return it by the fastest method your state allows — help election officials at home by getting your ballot in early and flattening the curve. 

Why Use the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA)?

  1. All states will send you your blank ballot by email on or before September 19, if you requested one. Not sure? Check with your local election official or re-submit an FPCA form and request to receive your ballot by email
  2. Some states give more time to return a ballot
  3. An up-to-date FPCA form could protect your ballot in case of a recount
  4. You may have the option to return your ballot electronically (fax, email, web portal)
  5. You may use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if your ballot doesn’t arrive on time — you can only use an FWAB if you have sent in the FPCA!
  6. You’ll receive ballots for all the elections in which you are eligible to vote for the calendar year, including run-offs and special elections

 

Why use Vote from Abroad (VFA) vs other FPCA-generating websites like FVAP or Overseas Vote Foundation? 

  1. Vote from Abroad has a photo signature option that allows voters from most states (excluding CA and NY) to sign their completed FPCA and email it directly without needing to print, sign, and scan it
  2. VFA has an online help desk to answer individual voter questions
  3. VFA has volunteers who contact states to ensure that voting information is correct and up to date in the State Voting Guide
  4. VFA has the option to receive non-partisan voting reminders tailored to your state

 

Where can I get in-person help?

Come to one of our Voter Registration Help Tables in Graz, Innsbruck, Linz, Salzburg, Vorarlberg & Vienna*! 

We’ve been helping Americans to register to vote, request their ballot, and fill out their Federal Absentee Write-in Ballot at various farmers' markets and other venues during the summer and we’ll continue over the next couple of months. Please be sure to stop by and say hello to our fantastic volunteers and make sure you are ready for November’s election. Bring a friend! 

For voters who need to return their ballot by fax, we’ll help you on September 21st.

*Help tables in Vienna have a printer, envelopes, and stamps available. 

 

Where can I get online help?

Every Sunday, volunteers at the Global Voter Help Desk are ready to answer your questions in a one-on-one session. Just go to democratsabroad.org/global_voter_assistance.

 

Should I submit a Federal Absentee Write-in Ballot (FWAB)?

This year, like no other, the fate of your ballot depends on which state you vote in. Currently* AR, CT, GA, ID, IL, KY, MD, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT**, WI, will only allow voters to return their ballot by postal mail. All US Citizens who vote in one of these states should immediately fill out and return a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). It’s not the year to put your ballot in jeopardy! 

Even if you sent in a FWAB you can still send the regular ballot if and when you receive it. “If they both arrive before the deadline — which for most states is Election Day — the election office will count only the official ballot, so there’s no need to worry your vote will be double-counted or disqualified.” (Are You an American Voting From Abroad? Here’s How to Do It, NYT August 28, 2020). After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by your election office.

Get more information on how to submit your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot.

* States are constantly realising that postal-only ballot return will disenfranchise tens of thousands of overseas voters and are updating the regulations daily. Please check the State Voting Guide at votefromabroad.org for up to date information for your state.

** Voters in Vermont need to check with their local election official.

Where’s my ballot?   

Your ballot should be in your inbox on or before September 19 (check your spam folder).

If you didn’t request to receive your ballot by email, you can still do so. Just resubmit your FPCA form or go online to your state’s voter status website — google “Am I registered” and your state. Some states ask for an ID or a driver’s license with the online form. In this case contact your local election official directly. You can find yours under “Find your election office” at votefromabroad.org.

 

How should I return my ballot?

You should return your ballot as soon as you receive it in the fastest way which your state allows. 

If you can return your ballot by email, online, or by fax, use this method! 

  • States that accept email and online ballot returns are: AL, AZ, CO, DC, DE, HI, IA, IN, KS, MA, ME, MS, MT, MO, NC, ND, NE, NM, NV, RI, OR, SC, UT, *VT, WA, WV
  • States that accept ballot returns by FAX are: AK, CA, FL, LA, OK

States that only accept postal mail ballot returns (be sure to also immediately send an FWAB) are: AR, CT, GA, ID, IL, KY, MD, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, *VT, WI

If you can only return your ballot by postal mail you have a couple of different options:

  • Priority mail with the Austrian Post: As of August 29, the Austrian post office is accepting “Brief Priority”, but is not accepting “Paket Light International” to the US. Use the envelope template provided with your ballot, but be sure to add postage where it says “no postage required.” Expect a two week delivery time. 

NOTE: The Austrian postal machines cannot read the envelope template when the return address is in the upper left-hand corner. To avoid this problem, put an X in ballpoint pen across the return address in such a way that it is still legible to the local election official in the US.

  • Courier Service: As of August 29, the "mail only" ballot return states have confirmed to Democrats Abroad, in writing, that they will accept overseas ballots that are sent in by courier (Fedex, DHL, etc). All of the states indicated that a date stamp isn't needed if the Ballot/FWAB arrives by close of polls on Election Day, November 3.

A date stamp is only necessary in those states that have a "postmarked by election day" deadline and accept ballots that are received in a specific period after Election Day. If a ballot for one of those states is received after Election Day, then there must be something to prove it was placed in the mail by Election Day. The states that require a date stamp for ballots that arrive after Election Day are: GA, IL, KY, MD, NJ, NY, PA, TX, and VA.

  • Diplomatic Pouch: You may drop off your ballot in person at U.S. Consulate Vienna at Parkring 12A (Marriott Hotel building), weekdays from 08:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Ballots sent by Diplomatic Pouch must be placed in a postage-paid envelope for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities once received by the U.S. sorting facility. It can take up to three weeks for mail sent by Diplomatic Pouch to reach your local election office. Therefore, U.S. Consulate Vienna will not accept any ballots after October 2

Remember, although the diplomatic pouch is free it is also VERY slow. Once your ballot reaches Dulles Airport in DC it then goes into the normal US Postal Service which is currently having huge delays.

 

Make Trump a One Term President!

Let us know if you can help us for a few hours at a voter registration table by sending me an email at chair@democratsabroad.at. I’ll send you a link and the voter access code to our online sign-up sheet. Or, make a donation of any size and help us pay for social media advertising and postcards to get out the vote amongst swing state voters and other Americans living in Austria who are not (yet) members of Democrats Abroad Austria. Please remember, because of Federal Election laws, DA Austria can only accept donations from US citizens.

 


REVIEWS:

 

July 4 Events in Graz and Vienna

DA Austria members celebrated Independence Day at outdoor tables at the Schankwirtschaft in the Augarten in Vienna’s 2nd district and with a picnic in the park in Graz. 

There were about sixty attendees in Vienna. Members and guests enjoyed seeing each other in person, discussing the upcoming elections, and spending a nice afternoon together. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the raffle — your donations will go directly towards our get out the vote efforts!

 


Recap of the Democratic National Convention 

By: Juan Cerda, Joe Biden Delegate for EMEA region

The 2020 Democratic National Convention concluded on August 21st, 2020, for a complete virtual online experience with the nomination of Joe Biden for President and Kamala Harris for Vice-President. 

 Due to the coronavirus pandemic that continues to wreak havoc in the US, the convention played out unlike any before in that it was entirely virtual. Most speakers' remarks were pre-recorded, and none of the usual crowds, balloons, and fanfare that were standard in previous conventions were to be seen.  

Although I would’ve loved to have been in person on the DNC convention floor to witness everything firsthand, it was still a great experience. The DNC was a huge success to pull off in such trying and uncertain times. The powerful speeches showcased the vast coalition of progressive, moderate and conservative voices supporting Joe Biden as our next President of the United States.

In case you missed it, here are the video highlights:

READ MORE

 


MEMBER'S CORNER

The Benefits of DA Membership

DA Austria members can take part in a special offer for access to Metropole magazine’s print, online, and Metropole Salon invitations with a €30 donation to DAA for a one-year subscription. Send me an email at chair@democratsabroad.at if you want to take part. I’ll contact you to make your donation when we have four other members who want to take advantage of this great deal! 

 

From Vienna to the USA with Steven Scheschareg

DA Austria member and Viennese Austro-American Baritone Steven Scheschareg enjoys a career bridging two worlds. Born to Austrian immigrants in NYC, he presents a program of operetta melodies by composers who were exiled from Austria and moved to the US. The program "From Vienna to the USA" presents songs, arias and Lieder by Viennese composers Korngold, Kalman, Zemlinsky, Jurmann, Leopoldi, Stolz, Spielmann and many others who all came to America. It attempts to answer the questions: what did these composers do and create in the US? Were they successful? Were they homesick? And how did they ever learn English? RSVP at steven@scheschareg.com

 

Liebe Ohne Grenzen – Ehe Ohne Grenzen 

Rarely has LOVE WITHOUT BORDERS received so much attention: The media reports about love in times of COVID-19 and the hurdles of seemingly insurmountable national borders which often separate families and deprive children of one parent.

— Michael Wagner

READ MORE



Thanks for reading DA Austria’s September newsletter!