The State of Kansas will hold a Special Election on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 for the 4th Congressional District to replace Mike Pompeo who resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives when he was confirmed and formally sworn in as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
This district consists of all or part of Barber, Butler, Chautauqua, Comanche, Cowley, Edwards, Elk, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Kingman, Kiowa, Pawnee, Pratt, Sedgwick, Stafford and Sumner Counties.
If you are a Kansas resident from the 4th Congressional District, register to vote and request an absentee ballot today at www.VoteFromAbroad.org or by clicking the VOTE link in the top menu above. Overseas citizens may use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), the registration and ballot request form accepted by all States and territories to request a ballot for this special election.
REMEMBER: You must 1. COMPLETE, 2. SIGN, and 3. SEND the FPCA to your local election office.
Be sure you will receive a ballot to vote
If you are not currently registered, your FPCA needs to be received by March 21 for you to receive the ballot to vote; if you are currently registered, your FPCA ballot request must be received by April 11.
Please do not assume you will receive the ballot to vote in this special election, even if you just voted in the November 2016 General Election. Detailed instructions and county contact information is available at www.fvap.gov/kansas.
February 8, 2017 — Yesterday the House Administration Committee voted to terminate the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The EAC is the only federal agency devoted exclusively to improving election administration on a bi-partisan basis. The EAC is the agency responsible for overseeing the vote from abroad process for all overseas Americans, to make sure our access to ballots and the handling by elections officials is consistently fair and transparent.
Save the Election Assistance Commission
The House Committee on House Administration voted 6-3, along party lines, in favor of H.R. 634, the Election Assistance Commission Termination Act, sponsored by the committee chairman, Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), which would shut down the federal agency that helps states regulate voting systems and administer election standards. Created after the chaotic presidential election of 2000, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) secures our voting process and infrastructure, providing support that local election officials rely on. Now, the House Committee has decided that we no longer need it.
In 2014, President Obama’s Presidential Commission on Election Administration tasked the EAC with modernizing our severely outdated voting machines with more efficient, secure technology, and developing new standards, last updated in 2007. This legislation will leave local election officials without support just as machines around the country are reaching end of life. Terminating the EAC would abruptly end its important work, putting our democratic process at a higher risk for voting irregularities, machine failures, and hacks. This is a stunning move by Congress, especially after reported attempts to hack into state voter registration databases and destabilize our entire presidential election.
The bipartisan commission, co-chaired by the general counsels of the Obama and Romney 2012 campaigns, wrote in their report that: “Without a fully functioning EAC to adopt new standards, many new technologies that might better serve local election administrators are not being brought to the marketplace.”
The League of Women Voters Released a statement opposing this move: "League Opposes End to Voting Agency Passed by House Panel":
The EAC does invaluable work to improve our nation’s election system on a voluntary, non-regulatory basis. The bi-partisan organization seeks to ensure the efficacy, reliability, and trustworthiness of our nation’s election systems by conducting research, collecting data, and sharing information among elected officials, the public, and interested organizations. It was set up by the Help America Vote Act, which was adopted after the controversial presidential election in 2000.
Help America Vote Act 2002 (HAVA) mandated that overseas absentee ballots be tabulated separately from domestic absentee ballots, ensuring overseas Americans can see that their votes count and are counted. The EAC’s tabulation of overseas absentee ballots provides elected officials and candidates with a clearer picture of their overseas American constituents. Through reporting and data analysis, the EAC was established with the goal of improving the uneven state compliance with federal regulations of voting law.
Support for the EAC and it's impact on the vote from abroad and overseas Americans is among Democrats Abroad's top priorities.
TechCrunch published an article "House moves to eliminate commission overseeing voting system security" questioning the intelligence of eliminating the commission at this particular time:
...it seems like extraordinarily bad timing to kill the EAC immediately after an election marred by allegations of fake voting, hacks and other improprieties. The Department of Homeland Security just last month even designated election systems as “critical infrastructure” and will be helping secure them...
In the article, EAC Chair Thomas Hicks is quoted saying, "the EAC is the only federal agency bridging the gap between federal guidance and the needs of state and local election officials.
Democrats Abroad Switzerland (DACH) will elect a new Executive Committee at our Annual General Meeting on March 25.
This is a call for candidates to stand for office and run the nominations/election process. We seek members motivated to help Democrats win races at all levels of our political process for the 2018 U.S. Midterm Congressional Elections. There will be political activities, fundraisers, Get-Out-The-Vote campaigns around Switzerland, discussions and watch parties, and more! Now is the time to heed the call for candidates and get involved.
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something.”
– President Barack Obama
Please consider running for an office. Joining the leadership of DACH is a great opportunity to build up experience, broaden your network, have fun and meet great people. There will be plenty of opportunity and demand for Democratic activism to counter the policy being put in place by the new Republican administration and to promote the Democratic message.
The Executive Committee (ExCom) is the leadership of DACH, elected for a two-year term and is made up of eleven officers, of which nine are elected and two sit ex-officio. Officers are members who volunteer their time and skills to represent and organize Democrats across Switzerland.
Officers will be elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Basel on Saturday, March 25, 2017.
- Member-At-Large, Membership Development
- Member-At-Large, Fundraising
- Member-At-Large, Events and Volunteers
- Member-At-Large, Press and Media
All registered members of Democrats Abroad living in Switzerland are eligible and encouraged to run for a position AND to vote at the Annual General Meeting. You can nominate any member of Democrats Abroad Switzerland, including yourself.
How It Works: Nominations Timeline
Feb 17 — Send Statement of Intent to Nominations Committee
Include nominee's name, address, telephone number, email address, and a brief statement of intent (under 500 words) to Committee Chair Anne-Shelton Aaron.
Feb 28 — Announce Candidates to Members
We will distribute information about the candidates, their statements, voting procedures, meeting agenda and venue to all members by email.
Mar 25 — Vote in the Election
Elections will be held during the 2017 Annual General Meeting. Save the date!
Job Description & Duties
☆ Chair ☆
Chief executive officer of DA Switzerland – as such, Chair must
- Organize and conduct meetings of the Executive Committee and the membership, and set the agenda of such meetings
- Establish all committees necessary for the proper functioning of the organization
- Represent DACH in interviews with the press
- Represent DACH at meetings of the DPCA (DA International) in person or online, in accordance with the DPCA Charter, and report to the DACH ExCom on DPCA activities, issues, votes, etc.
- Choose a fair and impartial head of the “Nominations and Elections Committee” to run DACH elections in odd numbered years
☆ Vice-Chair ☆
- Must be opposite gender to Chair (as per DACH and DPCA by-laws)
- Assist Chair in all DACH ExCom activities
- Substitute for Chair when needed
- Attend all DACH ExCom, and regular international, meetings in person or online
- Co-represent DACH at meetings of the DPCA (Dems Abroad International) in person or online, in accordance with the DPCA Charter
- Take on other responsibilities as agreed upon with the ExCom
☆ Secretary ☆
- Take minutes of all meetings and after approval of the Chair distribute to the ExCom in a timely fashion
- Distribute meeting agendas to the ExCom
- Maintain all files and administrative records of the organization (Google Docs)
- Maintain a current list of members of the organization
☆ Treasurer ☆
- Manage the finances of DA Switzerland and its Chapters
- Maintain clear and accurate financial records and make financial reports as required on a timely basis
- Ensure all financial matters conform to local rules and regulations as well as those of the Federal Election Commission and campaign finance laws of the United States
☆ Counsel ☆
- Preferably a qualified lawyer
- Consult with the Executive Committee and/or its officers on legal and procedural questions relating to Democrats Abroad Switzerland and its activities
☆ Chair of Zurich Chapter ☆ (ex officio, elected at Zurich Chapter meeting)
- Lead and mobilize members to join his or her team
- Appoint Chapter positions such as vice-chair, secretary, media contact, event organizer, GOTV coordinator, Young Dems chair, or any other position deemed necessary
- Direct the activities of DACH in the German-speaking part of Switzerland
- Be a dedicated team player who will work with the DACH Executive Committee
☆ Immediate-past Chair ☆ (ex officio)
- Advise and assist DACH Executive Committee in its activities
The ExCom has designated specific duties to these 4 seats. Candidates for these positions must be willing to fill the specific duties. The main function of each designated-duty Member-At-Large position is to coordinate efforts on the national level in this general area. For some specific projects, such as fundraising events, the Member-At-Large coordinator may create work groups under his/her leadership.
☆ Member-At-Large, Membership Development ☆
- Develop and implement strategies to recruit new members, to reach goal of a 10% membership growth in 2017
☆ Member-At-Large, Fundraising ☆
- Develop and implement campaigns and events to meet revenue goals as stated in the DACH field plans for 2017 and 2018.
☆ Member-At-Large, Events & Volunteers ☆
- Develop and implement DACH program of events
- Keep an up-to-date list of volunteers, recruit them for events as needed
☆ Member-At-Large, Press and Media ☆
- Maintain up-to-date press list
- Draft press releases
- Maintain press and media relations
Beyond the nine Executive Committee positions above, the ExCom seeks people to take on the following non-elected positions:
☆ Young Democrats Coordinator (18-35) ☆
Organize and implement events, maintain communication
☆ LGBT Caucus Coordinator ☆
Create and maintain caucus, coordinate with same in other countries
☆ Women's Caucus Coordinator ☆
Create and maintain caucus, coordinate with same in other countries
For more information on these offices and positions, contact Anne-Shelton Aaron.
You are invited to reach out to these committee members to enquire further about the roles described above or ask general questions.
- Anne-Shelton Aaron (Chair), Chair of DACH (2013-2017)
- Peter Butterfield, Vice-Chair of DACH (2013-2017)
- Maya Samara, Past Chair of DACH (2009-2013)
On January 21, 2017, march in Geneva in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington, to send a powerful message promoting a world that respects the human and civil rights of all citizens. Open to those who share the values of equality, diversity, and inclusion and who care about addressing climate change, the Geneva’s Women’s March for Dignity is one of 121 the Global Women’s March taking place in 50 countries that day as part of a viral movement supporting progressive values. more...
Women's March Global is a proactive international movement, not a U.S. election-specific protest per se, which has galvanized people to defend women's rights and those of others in response to the rising rhetoric of far-right populism around the world.
Members of Democrats Abroad Switzerland are invited to grab a bite at the end of the at The Hamburger Foundation in the Paquis, 37 rue Philippe-Plantamour. map...
If you are going to the Geneva’s Women’s March for Dignity, join Democrats Abroad at the Gazebo between 10:45-11 AM so that we can march together. Look out for our banner.
Donald Trump announced today that he will not divest from his business interests or release his tax returns.
Tell Donald Trump: Release Your Tax Returns!
Even Rex Tillerson, the nominee for Secretary of State, completely divested from ExxonMobil when he received the nomination.
- Donald Trump and his family will continue to profit from new business deals that will be conducted while he is president.
- Foreign governments and entities will be able to directly curry favor with Trump by doing business with his company.
- We don't know if Trump has financial ties to foreign countries that will cloud how he conducts foreign policy.
- When asked, Trump claimed that nobody other than journalists wants to see his tax returns.
That's just not true -- releasing his returns is the only way the American people can know for certain if he will follow even the most basic ethical standards.
Donald Trump owes it to the country to prove -- before he takes office -- that he has no conflicts of interest that will affect the decisions he makes as president. Sign your name to demand that Donald Trump release his tax returns before January 20th:
It only takes two minutes to have a big impact: Call Now
Demand Senate Republicans Reject Jeff Sessions' Nomination
Your voice is powerful. Use it to call Senate Republicans. Why?
- Because Sessions was deemed too racist to be confirmed as a federal judge in 1986. He's called the Voting Rights Act an "intrusive piece of legislation" and said it was "good news" for the South when key provisions were gutted in 2013 -- and now Trump wants to put him in charge of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.
- Because he has been the most vocally anti-immigrant member of the Senate, playing a key role in killing any attempt at comprehensive immigration reform during the Obama administration.
- Because he has an abysmal record on LGBT rights, including voting against federal hate crime legislation and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
- And because he voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
Ask House Republicans why they backed down on their attempt to gut Congressional ethics rules. They'll tell you it was because their offices were flooded by calls from constituents telling their representatives that this was unacceptable.
Take this opportunity to call Republican senators and let them know why you oppose the appointment of Jeff Sessions. We've created this call tool to make it as easy as possible -- just follow this link, make the call, and then tell everyone you know to make their voices heard too:
This is an important fight -- and we can't win it without supporters like you making their voices heard.
Thanks for getting involved.
We hope you will consider participating in the Women’s March on Washington on January 21 at locations around the world. We've included here some guidance offered by DA's leadership, to keep in mind when participating in or planning demonstrations of any kind of protest marches and vigils.
Here are some general Dos and Don’ts for vigils, marches and demonstrations:
- Stay positive and focus on the values and policies we support.
- Thank President Obama for his efforts and accomplishments.
- Follow the lead of Obama, Clinton and the DNC and accept the results of the election.
- Point out that as loyal opposition we will stand firm, keep fighting for our values and common sense policies and prevent implementation of policies harmful to USA or the world.
- Hold Republicans accountable as they are now responsible to govern.
- Start planning to win back Congress in 2018 and the White House in 2020.
- Focus on anti-Trump.
- Question the legality of the election.
- Endorse local political parties or candidates in your country of residence.
Questions: Please feel free to ask for specific guidance as you think through any unique situations or complexities: email Julia Bryan at [email protected].
The Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) needs volunteers for its Comms committee. If you are interested in volunteering and have skills in social media, writing, video editing or handling the press, please let the Comms team know – we’d love to talk to you!
If you’d like to be a part of the communications team, please be prepared to spend at least twelve hours a month working on the team. This time includes both communications tasks and meeting with the rest of the team twice a month.
We’re looking for volunteers who have experience in communications, have the time to volunteer and enjoy working in a team.
The Comms team is a fun group to be in. We put in the time because we believe in what Democrats Abroad stands for, and we want to help send our party’s messages around the world, loud and clear.
Interested people should contact DA’s International Secretary, Julia Bryan at [email protected].
Consider running for an ExCom or Zürich Chapter seat
Democrats in Switzerland — and across the world — are determined to right the ship and put Democrats back in office where they belong. If that includes you, we encourage you to get active with DA Switzerland! We welcome everyone to lend a voice where possible, to help organize and even to run for a seat on the Executive Committee. A new ExCom will be elected in March at our Annual General Meeting.
ExCom Elections in March 2017
The official call for candidates will go out in January, but now is the time to think about running for one of nine seats: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Legal Counsel, and four Members-at-Large. Serving on the ExCom means a minimum time commitment, but the rewards in seeing things happen can be great. Please write chair Anne-Shelton Aaron to find out more at [email protected].
Membership Clean-up Season has arrived!
Help us start the new year with a clean slate by tidying up our member list. Each year on Jan. 31 DA takes a ‘snapshot’ of our member list in order to determine our official number of ‘valid’ members. A valid member must meet the following conditions:
- Be already approved as a member
- Have a local street address and/or local phone number
- Be verified as still living in your country within the past 4 years. In other words the membership ‘Expiry date’ is after Jan. 31, 2017
(Remember that members not meeting the above criteria can remain on your mailing list, they will just not be included in the official count.)
Join our crack team of net detectives
There are hundreds of members we haven’t heard from in years. Are they still in Switzerland, or have they moved away? Help us find out!We always reach out to other members to volunteer to help us validate those members with whom we've lost contact. Volunteers can decide your own schedule and time commitment. The process has become very user friendly and simple by making free calls from your computer whenever you have a little time. And it's an important contribution to our organization, as the size of our membership directly affects our level of influence.
To be part of the investigation, send an email to Vice-Chair Peter Butterfield ([email protected]) and he'll get you started.