January 18, 2016

Global Presidential Primary FAQ





Q:  Am I eligible to vote in the Democrats Abroad Global Primary?

A:  Any American living abroad, who will be at least 18 years old on Election Day 2016, and who is a member of Democrats Abroad is eligible to participate, on the condition of not having voted (or intending to vote) for a presidential candidate in any other state primary in 2016.


Q:  How do I join Democrats Abroad?

A:  Just visit www.democratsabroad.org/join and fill out the form.  It will only take a minute or two.   Tell your friends to join, too. 


Q:  Can I join on the day of the Primary? 

A:  Yes absolutely.  Our voting centers will be equipped to register new party members on the spot. 


Q: How do I vote in the Global Presidential Primary?

A:   There are two ways you can vote in the Global Primary.  The FIRST WAY is to go to your local VOTING CENTER during the designated voting hours in the first week in March.   Each Chapter of Democrats Abroad will have a Voting Center, and you can find out where they are by CLICKING HERE.  The Voting Centers will be convivial places where you can meet with fellow Democrats, exchange views, and vote for your favorite candidate.  Just be sure to bring your American passport.


Q:  Going to a Voting Center sounds like fun, but I can’t attend that day, or I live far from the nearest voting center.   Is there another way I can vote? 

A:  Yes.   The SECOND WAY way to participate is by REMOTE VOTING.   You can download a ballot, mark it, sign it, date it, and send it to us either as an email attachment or via old-fashioned snail mail (or you can even fax it!).   It has to be postmarked no later than March 8 and received no later than March 13 to be valid. 


Q:  When does Remote Voting begin and how do I do it?

A:  NOW!  From January 11 to March 8, it is possible to download and complete a ballot via Remote Voting, and if you would like to do so, please CLICK HERE.  There is a full set of instructions accompanying the ballot.  You need return only the ballot to us, and be sure the follow the instructions carefully.


Q:  I cannot download and/or print a ballot but I want to vote via Remote Voting.  What do I do?

A:  Write to to your local Country Committee with your complete address and contact information, and they will send you a ballot by post; you can find their email address by navigating to their home page on this website.  If you cannot contact them directly, then write to us at [email protected] and we will forward your request to them.


Q:  Where do I return my ballot (and only my ballot) after I complete it?

A:   If you are returning it as an email attachment, then send it to [email protected].  If you are returning it via postal mail, you can find your local return address for ballots by CLICKING HERE.


Q:  What Information is required on my ballot? 

A:  Your full legal name, date of birth, your country of residence (e.g., France), address of residence in France (or the Country where you live and in which you are a member of DA), voting address in the US (or at the very least, the state in which you vote), and if you are returning it by email, your email address.  You must also sign and date your ballot for it to be valid.


Q:  Why do you need all that information?  And why do I have to sign my ballot?  Isn’t it secret?

A:  This is a partisan election for a political party, not a federal election.   By signing your ballot, you are attesting that you are a properly qualified party member in good standing, and that you haven’t voted in any other Primary election.   And if the results are challenged and we are called upon to provide proof of the validity of a ballot, your signed attestation will be that proof.  We will note only that you voted, as is the case at any voting station in any election. 


Q:  Can I vote in my home state primary?

A:  Yes and No.  Ours is a Global PRESIDENTIAL Primary.   If you vote for a presidential candidate in our Global Primary, then you cannot vote for a presidential candidate in your home state primary.   However, you may vote for Senator, Congressional Representative, Governor, state reps, etc. in your home state primary.  To do so, you will first need to contact your home state Democratic Party for the rules and regulations for voter eligibility, remote participation, and the use of absentee ballots, and then request an absentee ballot from your home state.  Each state is different, and each state party has their own set of rules governing their primary election.  But in fact, it is in your interest as an American living abroad to vote in our Global Presidential Primary ...


Q:  Why should I vote in the Global Primary instead of my home state Primary?

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

Second, your vote has greater weight in our Global Presidential Primary than it does in your home state party.  Think about it: ten million votes may be cast in the NY or CA state primaries, but maybe five hundred thousand in DA’s Global Primary.  Each individual vote is amplified and more powerful in our primary.   And in addition ... 

Third, by casting your vote in the Global Primary, you’ll help give DA a stronger voice and greater weight within the Democratic National Committee.  Representation in the DNC is based on proportionality.  The more we vote, the more representation we have, and this improves our chances of achieving some of our most important policy goals.  (And by extension, lots of votes cast by Americans in France, for example, equates to a stronger voice for DA-France within DA, etc.).

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

Finally, we have made it very easy for you to do, at both our Voting Centers and by Remote Voting. Sheer turnout – raw numbers – really does matter, and that’s why we want you to vote in the Global Primary.  Simply put, it’s in your interest to do so.


Q:  I want to vote in a Republicans Abroad Primary.  Can you help me out?

 A:  No.  The GOP does not have a primary for its members abroad.  The Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary is the easiest and simplest opportunity for Americans living abroad to participate in the nominating process of either party.  Besides, at this point, wouldn’t you really rather be a Democrat?  Join us at www.democratsabroad.org/join


Q:  Are you sending delegates to the Convention?  How do I become one?

A: Yes.  And everything you want to know about the delegation and how to become a delegate can be found on our dedicated page, which you can get to by clicking THIS.


Q:  The specific question I have hasn’t been answered on this FAQ.  What do I do?

A:  Write to us at [email protected] with your question and we’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as we can.