News

VOTING FROM AUSTRALIA IN THE DECEMBER 6 GEORGIA SENATE RUNOFF ELECTION

You can vote from abroad in the December 6 runoff election, as long as you were registered in Georgia before November 7, 2022.  We’ve outlined below how you can vote from abroad and where to turn for help.  If you have any     questions or require assistance, please visit www.democratsabroad.org/georgia or write to [email protected]

Figuring Out What to Do First

How you will go about voting from abroad in Georgia’s December 6 runoff election depends on several factors, e.g. whether you already received ballots for the November 8 general election and December 6 runoff election and/or already voted in either. We’ve posed a series of questions below to help you identify where to start, followed by action steps to be taken in your unique case.

Question #1: If you voted in the November 8 general election, did you also return a second official ballot for the December 6 runoff election? 

If yes – confirm that your official runoff ballot was received and accepted (Action Step #3)
If no – immediately vote and return your official runoff ballot, which should be available on Georgia’s My Voter Portal.  If your official runoff ballot is not available, vote and return a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (“FWAB”) (Action Step #2).  In either case, confirm that the ballot you voted for the runoff arrived and will be accepted (Action Step #3).

Question #2: If you did NOT vote in the November 8 general election, did you receive a ballot that you just didn’t return?

If yes – immediately vote and return your official runoff ballot, which should be available on Georgia’s My Voter Portal.  If your official runoff ballot is not available, vote and return a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (“FWAB”) (Action Step #2).  In either case, confirm that the ballot you voted for the runoff arrived and will be accepted (Action Step #3).
If no – immediately submit a ballot request (Federal Postcard Application, “FPCA”) electronically (Action Step #1) and immediately vote and return a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (“FWAB”) (Action Step #2).  Then confirm your FWAB arrived and will be accepted (Action Step #3).

All voted runoff ballots must be postmarked by December 6 and received by your local election office in Georgia by December 9!

How to Vote From Abroad in the December 6 Runoff
Before getting started please:
1.    Confirm your starting point using the questions above.
2.    Log in to Georgia’s My Voter Portal to confirm your voter registration status and locate the voter information GA has on file for you (GA address, Party affiliation, etc):  https://mvp.sos.ga.gov

Action Step #1 – Submit a Federal Postcard Application (‘FPCA”) using VoteFromAbroad.org
•    Have your GA voter information as displayed on Georgia’s My Voter Portal handy.
•    Go to www.VoteFromAbroad.org, select “Georgia” and then click on “Get Started”
•    Fill out the FPCA as prompted on VoteFromAbroad.org, entering the information exactly as it appears on file for you in Georgia’s My Voter Portal
•    Email your completed FPCA right from VoteFromAbroad.org
•    Download your completed FPCA and also send it to your local election office from your own email 

If your starting point is Action Step #1, you must have submitted an FPCA by November 25 in order to vote in the December 6 runoff election. 

Action Step #2 – Vote in the December 6 Runoff Election using your official runoff ballot, or if unavailable, a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (‘FWAB”)
•    Go to Georgia’s My Voter Portal and if your official runoff ballot is available, download it, fill it out and return it to Georgia by postal mail or courier (recommended).
•    If your official runoff ballot isn’t available on Georgia’s My Voter Portal, vote using a FWAB
o    Have your GA voter information as displayed on Georgia’s My Voter Portal hand
o    Go to www.fvap.gov/fwab , select “Georgia” and follow the prompts
o    Fill out the FWAG
    DO NOT click “I also request voter registration”
    DO NOT sign your FWAB
    DO enter the information exactly as it appears on file for you in Georgia’s My Voter Portal

Whichever ballot you use, please be sure to:
•    Fill out, sign, date and return the “Oath of Elector”
•    Use two envelopes – one “secrecy” envelope that contains your voted and unsigned ballot and one larger outer envelope that contains the sealed secrecy envelope and your completed, signed and dated Oath of Elector.
•    Mail or courier (recommended) your ballot to your local election office in Georgia
o    The return details can be found on Georgia’s My Voter Page

Your voted runoff ballot must be postmarked by December 6 and received in GA by December 9!

Action Step #3 – Confirm your official runoff ballot was received and will be counted
•    Sign into Georgia’s My Voter Portal at https//mvpsos.ga.gov
•    Click on “Absentee Ballot Portal” and under “Absentee Ballot History” locate “General/Special Election Runoff” with date “12/06/2022”
o    Under “Accepted Ballot Status” look for “Accepted”
o    If it doesn’t say “Accepted,” please contact your local election office immediately to inquire about the status of your ballot.  The contact details can be found on Georgia’s My Voter Page.

We are here to make sure you can vote!

Find more resources at www.democratsabroad.org/georgia, including links to live voter help on Zoom through December 6 or write to us at [email protected]

 

 


Welcome to Democrats Abroad Australia

Democrats Abroad Australia (DAAU) is the official country committee for US Democrats living in Australia. Membership is available only to US citizens. Joining Democrats Abroad will enable you to have a say in the future of our Party right from Australia. It’s critical that we continue to push for bold reforms in the United States. 

Make sure you vote from abroad. Once you have requested your ballot, we recommend that you share the www.votefromabroad.org website to other Americans or Australians who may know Americans! 

Everyone is welcome to like our Democrats Abroad Australia Facebook page.

Justin Underwood, National Chair

[email protected]

Democrats Abroad - Australia

For all media inquiries, please contact [email protected]

DAAU has chapters throughout Australia, all led by dedicated volunteers. If you're a U.S. citizen living in one of the areas and would like to be involved in our Get Out The Vote efforts,please get in touch. If you are interested in starting a local chapter please contact the National Chair at [email protected].

 

Chapters

New South Wales: [email protected]

Victoria: [email protected]

Australian Capital Territory: [email protected]

Queensland: [email protected]

DAAU has a number of representatives on the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA). The DPCA is the governing body of Democrats Abroad and is the principal body that develops the policy positions for Democrats Abroad. If you have an issue you would like to raise please get in touch.

DPCA representatives

Justin Underwood: [email protected]

Carmelan Polce: [email protected]

Kent Getsinger: [email protected]

Connie Gibbons: [email protected]

Josh Merriman :[email protected]

Interested in getting involved feel free to contact us at [email protected].






Welcome to Democrats Abroad Australia!

 

Democrats Abroad Australia (DAAU) is the official country committee for US Democrats living in Australia. Membership is available only to US citizens. Joining Democrats Abroad will enable you to have a say in the future of our Party right from Australia. It’s critical that we continue to push for bold reforms in the United States. 

Make sure you vote from abroad. Once you have requested your ballot, we recommend that you share the www.votefromabroad.org website to other Americans or Australians who may know Americans! 

Everyone is welcome to like our Democrats Abroad Australia Facebook page.

Justin Underwood, Chair
[email protected]
Democrats Abroad - Australia


Call for Nominations: DA Asia Pacific RVC

Call for Nominations:
Democrats Abroad Regional Vice Chair Asia Pacific

We are now accepting nominations for the bi-annual election of Regional Vice Chair (RVC) for the Asia Pacific (AP) region! This election will take place during the AP Regional Meeting on the 16th of May as part of the Democrats Abroad Global Meeting. One vote is allocated to each AP country committee and will be cast solely by country committee chairs and vice chairs. The chair and vice chair each carry ½ vote. If either is not present, the other will carry the full vote.

Democrats Abroad has three RVCs, one for each region, who:

  • Are elected to a two year term that begins and ends with the regional election.
  • Cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.
  • Serve as one of 8 voting members of the International Executive Committee. Meetings are currently held weekly and typically last from two to three hours, but this is subject to change with the new leadership. 
  • Organize and lead monthly regional calls of about one to two hours to encourage, inform, and create a sense of community among regional country committees. 
  • Organize and lead a one to three day annual regional meeting to encourage, inform, and create a sense of community among regional country committees. When practical, these annual meetings are held as in-person events with remote participation available. 
  • Act as a liaison between the International Executive Committee and one or more of the Democrats Abroad committees, lending a hand to the committee chair and assuming chair responsibilities should that position not be filled.
  • Assist in organizing and attend the annual Democrats Abroad Global Meeting, preferably in person when conditions allow. Note that travel costs are the responsibility of the RVC.
  • Work with existing country committees to mediate and resolve issues within their committees including election issues, membership queries, etc. 
  • Track compliance status of country committees with Charter requirements and work with emerging and out-of-compliance countries to help bring them into compliance.
  • Communicate International Executive Committee decisions, policies, and Democrats Abroad best practices to the country committee leaders.
  • Bring regional issues to the International Executive Committee for discussion and resolution.

The eligibility requirements for AP RVC are as follows: 

  • Be a citizen of the United States. 
  • Be a member of Democrats Abroad residing within a country in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Adhere to the principles of the Democratic Party of the United States.
  • Due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents of the AP region who are temporarily residing outside of their country of residence due to the pandemic may still run for AP RVC (example: resident of Singapore who is temporarily residing in France due to quarantines and travel restrictions). There must be an intent to return to the AP region following the lift of travel restrictions.

Self-nominations and nominations of others are both welcomed and encouraged! Please submit any nominations via the nomination form at this link no later than 23 March 11:59 PM EDT (UTC-4). Each nominee is required to accept their nomination no later than 31 March 11:59 PM EDT (UTC-4). Nominations from the floor of the election meeting will be accepted as well, and all official candidates will be given time to make a short speech.

A list of candidates will be released on 1 April following the nomination acceptance deadline. 

Please direct any questions to [email protected].

On behalf of the 2021 AP Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC),

Anthony Nitz (Vietnam, Chair)
Christine Valverde (New Zealand)
Michael Ramos (Australia)
Phong Quan (Singapore)




What is missing from the discussion on the political polarisation?

The Q+A Panel “US Election 2020” on Monday, 22 September was a challenging and needed discussion about the polarisation in the United States and the very real possibility that there could be mass unrest before, during and after this election.

There was disagreement about the very scary sense of unease in the United States. Challenging issues were discussed such as the systematic issues of racism where organisations like Black Lives Matter are crying out for justice. 

However, what was missing from the conversation was the issue of economic inequality.

Read more

Endorsement of the Delegation supporting Medicare for All at the DNC

As Co-Chairs of Democrats Abroad Australia, we support and endorse the “No” vote on the Democratic National Platform that does not include Medicare for All.

Read more

Democrats Abroad 2020 Platform: the most progressive platform to date!

At the 2020 Global Convention held on 6th-7th June 2020, Democrats Abroad (DA) voted to adopt its 2020 Platform that we will take to the Democratic National Convention later this year.

During the Global Convention, this Platform was heralded as the most progressive platform ever put forward from our organisation.

Read more

Democrats Abroad Australia Global Presidential Primary 2020!


DEMOCRATS ABROAD AUSTRALIA IS HOLDING FIVE OFFICIAL POLLING LOCATIONS FOR OVERSEAS US CITIZENS TO VOTE IN THE DEMOCRATS ABROAD GLOBAL PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY (GPP) FOR 2020!

So much is at stake in the 2020 Election and we want EVERY US Citizen who lives in Australia to vote - this is why we are having five polling locations with additional cities holding information sessions.

GPP VOTING DAY IS SATURDAY 7TH MARCH 2020!

Times vary by location below:

 

  • ADELAIDE, SA (11:00am - 4:00pm) - Gilbert Street Hotel, 88 Gilbert Street, Adelaide, SA 5000
  • BRISBANE, QLD (4:00pm - 7:00pm) - Pig & Whistle Riverside, Riverside Centre, 123 Eagle St, Brisbane, QLD 4000
  • CANBERRA, ACT (9:00am - 2:00pm) - King O’Malley’s, 131 City Walk, Canberra, ACT 2601
  • MELBOURNE, VIC (9:00am - 3:00pm) - Community Hub at The Dock Multipurpose Room, Level 1, 912 Collins Street, Docklands, VIC 3008
  • SYDNEY, NSW (11:00am - 4:00pm) - Palace Hotel, 730 George Street, Haymarket NSW 2000

 

In addition, there are Voting Information Centres* planned for the following cities, locations and times TBD:

 

 

*Voting Information Centres will not officially collect ballots but will have ballots on hand that members can fill out and scan to return to the secure electronic ballot e-mail address.

If you cannot make it to one of the locations on Saturday 7th March, absentee voting will be available from 18 February to 10 March 2020. Ballots can be returned to a secure e-mail address (preferred) OR a PO Box in Adelaide, SA. Details forthcoming.

US Citizens must join Democrats Abroad to vote, same day registration is permitted. Join us today at www.democratsabroad.org/join!

Democrats Abroad Australia also encourages all US Citizens to also register to vote in down-ballot races in your home state (if permitted). NOTE that you may only vote ONCE for the Presidential Candidate either in the Democrats Abroad Primary OR your home state - NOT BOTH!

You can request your State primary ballot at www.VoteFromAbroad.org - follow the steps on the website

Voting Information Guide forthcoming!

+

A sense of “big, future vision” in the rise of populism

Response to 22 July 2019 QandA panel on Australian ABC television

“Why are the symptoms of populism distracting us from the concerns of ordinary and working people?” was the last part of my question on QandA last Monday night.

The 22 July QandA titled “Boris, Brexit and the Black Dog” was focused on populism and I asked why were we focusing on the symptoms of populism, being racism and xenophobia, rather than the cause of populism which is the deterioration of common and working people’s living conditions?

I’m sure every QandA audience member wants to interject after every sentence of response to the question they just asked.

There were some good responses, glimmers of sense, but as the conversation circled, only more questions came to mind. Here are but a few;

  • What are indeed the “real, legitimate grievances that these people have” that Alastair Campbell referred to in response to my question?

  • Why would Nick Cater say that he felt his free speech curtailed but at the same time legitimately choose not say something so inflammatory as Trump did?

  • What is the difference between an “elite” and an “expert” after Alistair Campbell explained the role of an expert? Is that the same thing as the populist anger towards elites?

  • But most of all: if all on the panel admitting that they knew that we were good at defining what the problem is, had nothing to offer, perhaps even an idea, in “finding a solution”?

I found the last question the most troubling.

Can we not muster some cogent idea, something workable even if wonky, to take us forward out of the division and “symptoms” of the problem my question alluded to?

The sentiment was echoed in Nick McMahon’s recap of the QandA evening that highlighted the overarching pessimism with exception by ending quoting Alastair Campbell “there’s got to be that sense of a big future vision...”

I couldn’t believe after referencing the US example, that there wasn’t a hint of such a “big future vision” occurring right before our eyes from across the pond.

We, as Democrats Abroad Australia, watch in disbelief at the current US administration, yet we also see inspiring moments.

Perhaps because of Trump’s presidency, people are realising what power they have in their own hands - and bringing US Americans together amid this chaos. The examples are numerous.

The grassroots and political movement for Medicare for All, a measure which would eliminate financial and psychological ruin due to lack of un- and under-insursed people in the US.

The Women’s March, organised by the ongoing and continuous and consistent attacks on women and women’s right in the United States, are mobilising for transformational social change.

March for Our Lives, organised by the MSD Parkland Survivors, who have had enough of the inaction on the epidemic of gun violence and the failure of both political leaders and society to act for sensible gun reform.

The Fight for $15, and a recent bill just passed the US House of Representatives, would ensure a direly needed wage increase for those facing class oppression in the US.

Last but not least, the numerous global climate marches, mainly led by school children who realise the grave existential threat of climate apocalypse and that the former generations have let them down.

Ironically, all of these movements and more have been the rallying cry of the four US Congresswomen that Trump singled out in reference to my QandA question with Congresswoman Pressley explicitly stating “our squad includes any person committed to creating a more equitable and just world.”

All of these movements show that people are indeed organising around such a “big future vision” as Campbell yearned for.

Yet, they rarely make it through the filter of global news media, if at all - and sadly only as a footnote to the intentional distractions caused by the US President.

The constant ignoring of these and many more grassroots movements, led by ordinary people, erases what is so lacking from our public discourse: Hope.

It is challenging for anyone to make such a point on national media and I add myself to a long, unmoving queue of many who have wished and wish to do so.

The next day after reading Nick McMahon’s stocktake of Monday night that the penny dropped for me regarding the state of our political sphere and the real essence of what I was asking.

An audience member told her loss of her brother to suicide and that she had to take actions in her own hands. This brave and tragic story made it abundantly clear the cognitive dissonance of what real issues lie in our social sphere.

I note that this walks an uncomfortable line so as not to politicise the mental health issue, which Campbell rightly claimed to be empty words used by both “sides”, but this crisis does urgently require a political and collective response. Not only is it stigmatised, it is too individualised.

As this issue is indeed one that affects us all, whether we experience it ourselves or have a close family or friend who does, it is one that cuts across all of us.

It left me reeling that we do not, in her words, have a system that does “love, support and encourage the mentally ill” and that has led to this epidemic.

Campbell stated that suicide is most prevelant amongt young men and anxiety and self-harm most prevelant among young women. Geoff Gallop added that “young people are the canaries” and that politicians “those of us in politics have a responsibility to recognise that factor and to build a better society.”

I will only comment on the US side of this issue and yet it begs so many fundamental questions. Why. Why, has this not been the priority from day one?

Why is it that care for each other, the nurturing of our relationships between each other, are not the fundamental essence of what we define our society should be? Why is this not reflected at every level of the world that we are creating?

It seems indeed a “legitimate grievance”.

I can’t refrain from adding that in the case of men’s suicide, a major root cause seems to be killing off the emotional parts of ourselves that we deny authentic connection with each other.

This begs a larger question: why have we shunned this possibility for compassion between ourselves at every level and why is this not writ into the letter of political law?

Why don’t we have organisations that are meant for caring for each other, on a physical, mental and emotional level? Why have we taken such a divided approach to focus on these single issues when they are all connected?

Why is an economy not built on our collective wellbeing?

Watching the US from afar, there is a yearning that points the finger at lack of supportive structural changes -e.g. safety net, living wages, public services- that would lead to better health, physically and mentally.

Take for instance said US campaign for Medicare for All - where many not only deteriorate without public healthcare but face the emotional trauma of not being able to afford life-saving operations or medicine because of outrageous costs. The solution both guarantees medical and mental wellbeing, but is a plan far more economically sound, that is projected to save the US several trillion over a decade.

Here, thankfully, is an issue which makes it bluntly obvious a political change that is indeed about caring for people over profit. Indeed is an issue with the “real concerns of ordinary people” in mind.

This QandA session sits too uncomfortably juxtaposed for me as working within a political organisation where I see this work as empowering grassroots movements for collective change.

Yet too often, these issues are framed as “internal” and “external,” that mental health if even acknowledged is overly personalised. It seems to me to be all too similar to the “us” and “them” opposite camps we get into in political divides.

I don’t resign to the pessimism of such recaps of this certain Monday evening. Too often are those with the best intentions left overwhelmed and inactive.

It does however require an urgency of which we’re long overdue.

This panel made it clear the connection of our mental wellbeing of that to the society that we want and deserve.

We need to take part in a movement for positive change. The social connection of a cause greater than oneself gives purpose which distracting habits and gadgets will never provide.

We do that in our organisation, we change what we cannot accept in the world.

The world is made by those who show up - and keep showing up. It takes the ordinary person realising that you must be part of a collective change.

Only then will a “big future vision” start to become a reality.

***

Kent Getsinger is the National Chairperson of Democrats Abroad Australia

If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 , Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

+