Democrats Abroad Switzerland (DACH) will elect a new Executive Committee (ExCom) at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Basel on Sunday January 15. Now is the time to heed the call for candidates and get involved! We especially encourage those who have some previous experience at any level in DACH registering voters or helping out in some capacity to step forward. Volunteers should be committed to being task oriented team players. We are a grassroots organization with a small budget and no paid staff. We meet monthly via video conferencing, and work and organize between meetings using Slack, an online team communications tool. Willingness to use this tool is necessary. If you enjoy working online, then a national position might be well suited to your skills!
Our primary mission is to use our various skills and enthusiasm to reach out and find Americans living in Switzerland and help them register to vote in upcoming US elections. There are many opportunities for activism and to work on political issues important to our members here in Switzerland and within our international organization (DA). Democrats Abroad has regular in-person meetings in Europe, Washington DC and other member countries that provide opportunities to train for the upcoming elections, to work together with other country committees on the DA platform, policies, and caucuses, and to hear stimulating political speakers. The ExCom guides the DA effort in Switzerland.
PLEASE CONSIDER RUNNING FOR AN OFFICE!
Executive Committee Officers
The ExCom is the leadership of DACH and is made up of twelve officers, of which eight will be elected at the AGM and four sit as ex-officio (Chapter Chairs and previous DACH Chair). Officers are elected for two-year terms and may serve two consecutive terms. Officers are members like you who volunteer their time and skills to represent and organize Democrats across Switzerland. The elected positions are listed below.
DPCA Voting Representatives
In addition to electing the ExCom at the AGM, we will elect three voting representatives to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA). This is DA at the global level, which is part of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Each country committee, eg. Switzerland, sends reps to vote at DPCA global meetings. In 2023/24, we estimate that DACH will send five, of which our Chair and Vice-Chair are two. The three others are elected from among the DACH membership. You may run both for an ExCom office and to be DPCA Voting Rep.
To run for a position, inform the Nominations Committee via email before the deadline of December 11th. Include your name, address, telephone number, email address, and a brief statement of intention to run. By December 21st we will distribute candidate names, short bios, and voting procedures to all members by email.
Elections will be held during the 2023 AGM on Sunday January 15th, from 2 to 5 PM, Clarastrasse 34, 4058 Basel. At the meeting, additional nominations will be allowed from the floor as described in our Bylaws. Be sure to attend the meeting and vote for your new ExCom!
By December 11, 2022 Members who wish to run for office shall inform the Chair of the NEC in writing (email) December 21, 2022 The NEC will distribute to all current members of DACH a notice regarding the election meeting. The notice will include the names of all candidates and a brief summary of their qualifications January 15, 2023 AGM and Elections
You can follow this link to see excepts from the DACH Bylaws that describe the positions available.
In addition to officers at the DACH country level, we will also have elections this Spring for officers in the Basel, Suisse Romande, and Zürich chapters during their AGMs, so you can also run for local chapter positions.
This is a midterm election year — all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 35 of the 100 Senate seats, and 39 gubernatorial seats are up for grabs in November. U.S. citizens have the right to vote in primary and general elections, no matter where in the world they live! If you're a U.S. citizen, dual-national, or will be 18 on November 8, 2022, you have the right to vote from abroad in US elections — including in the November 2022 midterms!
As a U.S. citizen, you can register to vote from abroad while living, working, or traveling overseas by submitting one form — the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). It doesn't matter if you were registered to vote before you left the U.S., how long you’ve lived outside the U.S., or if you've never resided in the U.S. at all. You have the right to vote!
The U.S. State Department recommends, “all U.S. citizens living abroad complete and submit a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) annually, to ensure you remain on your state’s voter rolls and to ensure your local election office has your up-to-date contact information.” Vote From Abroad provides all the information, forms, and support help in one place to make voting easy!
📌 Please note that there is NO IN-PERSON VOTING in Switzerland for the November election! 📌
✭ ✭ ✭ In 2022, these States must mail in the ballot. Vote as soon as you get your ballot! Don't wait to return your ballot! ✭ ✭ ✭
Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Go to www.votefromabroad.org/states for specific details
KEY POINTS FOR VOTING
- Request your overseas ballot now! www.votefromabroad.org
- Ask on the request form (FPCA) that your ballot be sent to you by email
- Submit your request form by email, if your state allows
- Return your voted ballot electronically (email, upload, or fax), if your state allows
- If your state requires you to mail back your ballot:
- Request your ballot NOW, so you’ll receive it on Sept 24 when counties start sending overseas ballots out (45 days before the election)
- Download and vote your ballot as soon as you receive it
- Use the diplomatic pouch (by Oct 2nd) or use a courier service to sent it back
- Track your request form and your ballot
- Questions? [email protected]
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What's covered on this page:
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1. Registering to vote and requesting your ballot for the 2022 midterm elections
The first step is to request your ballot, and if need be, register to vote from abroad. You should do this every election year to ensure you remain on your state’s overseas voter rolls and to ensure your local election office has your up-to-date contact information. It’s important to register as an absentee voter from abroad because the ballots of US citizens voting from abroad have special protections and are different from the standard absentee ballot.
Go to votefromabroad.org to fill out your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) absentee ballot request — it takes 5-10 minutes! If you're not registered to vote, the FPCA also serves as a voter registration form. Choose the option to receive ballots by email.
The second step is to submit the FPCA absentee ballot request form to your local election office in the United States. Most states allow you to submit your FPCA directly from votefromabroad.org without the need to print it out. But some states require that you submit your completed form by email attachment, fax, or postal mail. State deadlines and submission methods can be found here.
If you have any questions while filling out your request form, go to the Vote from Abroad FAQ section, type your question in the website's chatbox (red circle in the bottom right-hand corner of each screen), or you can email us at [email protected]
2. Confirming your request has been accepted ✅
After submitting your FPCA absentee ballot request form, call or email your Local Election Official (LEO) to confirm they have received it and will be sending your ballot. Your LEO's contact information is listed in the instructions generated when you fill out your FPCA form at Vote from Abroad. You can also look up their contact info here.
Most states provide a website where you can verify your voter status. To find your state's website, click here and scroll down to “Where Is My Ballot?"
3. Receiving your ballot 📬
Your overseas absentee ballot is not your standard absentee ballot back home! Thanks to the MOVE Act, all states must send FPCA-requested absentee ballots to overseas voters no later than 45 days before a federal election — this year that’s September 24, 2022.
And, if requested, all states must send overseas voters their ballot by email.
You don't need to wait for ballots to arrive on September 24. If you're worried your ballot won't arrive on time, send in a Backup Ballot NOW. The Backup Ballot (Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot or FWAB) is specifically for overseas voters who are concerned they won't receive their official ballot in time to return it by the deadline. All details about the Backup Ballot can be found here.
4. Your ballot hasn’t arrived? 📭
Check your spam folder. Still no ballot? Contact your local election official here and confirm they’ve sent your ballot to you. Go to votefromabroad.org if you need to send in a new FPCA absentee ballot request form.
If you haven’t received your ballot by October 1 and your state requires postal mail return, we recommend you send in a Backup Ballot to make sure your vote gets to your state in time. All details about the Backup Ballot can be found here.
5. Voting your ballot 🗳️
It’s easy to get informed about candidates, ballot initiatives, and judicial candidates and important to vote your ballot completely. State and local races are critical in 2022!
The simplest way is to vote for Democrats straight down the ballot. Some elected positions do not list a party affiliation, like school boards, judges, and others. To determine who to vote for in those cases, you can do the following:
- Google your county's local Democratic Party
- Go to the League of Women Voters personalized ballot service
- Go to Ballotpedia - Example: google “Ballotpedia Arizona elections 2022”
- Google the candidate's name to find their campaign website
6. There are lots of ways to return your ballot!
📌 Remember! Only use a mail service if you cannot return your ballot electronically 📌
Ballot return methods – by email, online, postal mail, fax – vary by state. Always return your ballot as quickly as possible, but especially if your state only allows postal mail return. Find your state's exact ballot return methods here.
If your state allows email, online upload, or fax for ballot return, please use these options as they’re not subject to delay! Here is more information on fax submission.
If your state requires postal mail return, see info below on options from Switzerland.
New Jersey Voters: Please note that New Jersey allows for email or fax returns, but requires that the ballot ALSO be sent by postal mail.
New York Voters: Here are instructions on how to fold the New York State General Election ballot.
Need help scanning your ballot?
Watch this video on how to scan using your smartphone.
If you don't have a scanning app on your phone, you can use Adobe Scan mobile app for iPhone & Android
➡ International Postal Service:
If your state requires postal mail ballot return, one option is to use express international mail from the Swiss Postal Service. Please remember mail service can be slow and send your ballot as soon as possible!
You should – and some states require you – to ask for a postmark or date stamp (Poststempel, cachet de la poste, or timbro postale) to be placed on the outer envelope. Find out your state’s requirements here.
➡ The U.S. Embassy/Consulate diplomatic pouch: The U.S. Consulate in Switzerland requests that ballots sent by the diplomatic post be dropped off no later than four weeks before the ballot due date. You will need to place your ballots in a U.S. postage paid return envelopes (usually provided with your ballot) or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage. You can download a free U.S. postage-paid return envelope template at FVAP.gov.
Please be aware that using the diplomatic pouch does not mean your ballot will arrive faster. It can take up to four weeks for the mail to reach its final destination. Use a Back-up Ballot to make the diplomatic pouch deadline if your regular ballot hasn’t arrived. Find out more here.
The U.S. Embassy and Consular Agency addresses in Switzerland are:
U.S. Embassy Bern
Hours: Weekdays, 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. (Closed U.S. and Swiss holidays)
U.S. Consular Agency Zürich
Hours: Mon/Tues/Thurs, 10 AM to 1 PM; Wed, 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM. (Closed on Fridays and U.S. and Swiss holidays)
Directions: Take Tram 2 or Tram 4 in the direction of Tiefenbrunnen to the stop "Feldeggstrasse."
U.S. Consular Agency Geneva
Rue François-Versonnex 7
Hours: Mon, 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM; Wed, 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM; Thurs, 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM to 2 PM. (Closed on Tuesdays, Fridays, and U.S. and Swiss holidays)
More information is on the website.
➡ Courier Service:
If your state requires postal mail ballot return, the quickest option is to use a courier service.
Even with expedited courier services though, ballots still take several days to get to the United States. Please send your ballot as soon as possible! Do not wait! You should – and some states require you – ask for a postmark or date stamp (Poststempel, cachet de la poste, or timbro postale) to be placed on the outer envelope. Find out your state’s requirements here. We do not recommend booking or paying online with any courier service. You will not receive a postmark if you book or pay online.
📌 Remember! Only use a mail service if you cannot return your ballot electronically 📌
7. Checking twice to prevent mistakes 👀
When filling out and packaging your ballot, don't forget to review the instructions carefully. Don't let human error spoil your ballot!
Regardless of how you send in your ballot, remember that you – the voter – must be the one who places it “in the mail.” In some states, it is unlawful for any other person to handle your voted ballot, even if it is sealed. Unsure? Find out your state’s requirements here.
8. Confirming your ballot's arrival at your local election office in the United States ✓✓
Once you've sent your ballot, follow up with your local election official to make sure that it arrived and will be counted. Please do not just assume that your ballot has made it!
The easiest way to ensure your ballot has arrived is to go to "Track Your Ballot" on your state’s website. You can also look up your local election office's contact details here and contact them directly. They may be experiencing a high volume of calls, so you may need to be persistent to get through to someone.
9. Having trouble? Need help? 😕
Or, a one-on-one live voter help is just a Zoom away! Click in to ZoomTheVote, hosted and staffed by experienced VoteFromAbroad voter helpers, from anywhere in the world. Tuesdays and Wednesdays from noon-4pm EDT and Sundays from 11am-3pm EDT. Link to join is here: https://qrco.de/bbh0zg Please share widely!
10. Get your "I Voted from Switzerland" sticker
Thank you for voting! If you would like to print an “I Voted from Switzerland” sticker go here.
Join us at the Kitchen Brew brewery in Allschwil for a tour of the facilities, a tasting, and a substantial apéro!
DACH Basel has arranged this exclusive tour for our members and we would love to see you there. This event is our 2022 holiday party!
Additional glasses of beer can be purchased at cost from the brewery.
Elections are over, Democrats exceeded all expectations, let's meet at Mulligan's again for an evening of celebration and holiday cheer! The work of Democrats Abroad in Switzerland and globally was a big factor in all the close Midterms races, so we deserve a toast. Join us!
And keep it on your calendar: 2nd Tuesday each month with Democrats Abroad at Mulligan's Pub. Next round: Tuesday January 10th at 6:30pm, see you there!
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