News

Don't Stop with Your Own Ballot; Help Register a Friend!

After you have followed these three easy steps, pay it forward and help your friends, family, and colleagues who are eligible to vote in the election, register as well!

Democrats Abroad sets up Voter Registration events all over the world to help overseas voters make sure they will get their ballots and VOTE!

Overseas voters need to send in their Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) form to request their ballot every calendar year in which they wish to vote. Our website, www.votefromabroad.org, makes it easy for overseas voters to fill in and submit their form.

To volunteer at a Democrats Abroad Voter Registration event near you, please contact your local chapter of Democrats Abroad. Go to: www.democratsabroad.org and click on "Countries" for contact information; or email us at: [email protected].

These training materials will provide the background you'll need to volunteer at a voter registration event and help your friends, family, and other overseas voters register to vote and request their ballots. (For your convenience, the training materials are offered either in a training deck OR video format):


Request Your Ballot and be Prepared to Vote

Step 1:
If you have not already registered and/or requested your ballot from your Local Election Office, please go to VoteFromAbroad.org and do so now, and please request to receive your ballot via email! This is vital. Local Election Offices (LEO) in the USA are swamped with requests and therefore they may need extra time this year to process your request. Plus, receiving mail in Switzerland from the USA has been delayed for months and therefore requesting a ballot via regular mail may mean that you don’t receive it until AFTER the election! While we can help those who do not receive their ballots, the law requires that every state allows overseas voters to request and receive their ballot via email, and all states need to send the email ballots by September 20th, so then you will have time to send ballots back via the Swiss Post (for states which require mail in ballots). If you need further assistance, please contact the Vote From Abroad Help Desk at [email protected].

And, we have you covered for a quick reference guide to the requirements in your state! See our handy dandy reference guide by clicking here to see all of the information for your voting state.

If you need help with VoteFromAbroad.org, there will be 24-hour Zoom Help Desks available every Sunday starting on July 19th! See this post for more details.

Step 2:
Mark your calendars for September 20th. That is 45 days before election day, and all states are required by law to send out email ballots by that date. If you don’t receive your email ballot on that date, check your spam folder. And if you still can’t find it by September 21st (Monday when the offices are open in the USA) then it is time to call your LEO and ask for the status of your ballot.

Step 3:
After receiving your ballot, vote online or via printing/marking (see state requirements) and follow the instructions for how to return your ballot. Please make sure to pay attention to the date by which you have to return your ballot and also the method (email, fax, post/mail).

Don’t wait until November.
Did you know that almost 20% of expat ballots were not counted in 2016 because they had some type of error? The most common error was not returning the ballot on time.

For the most recent information on FAQs about your 2020 ballot, please visit this post.

Congratulations on being prepared for voting in 2020!


A Very Special Snapshot

If you haven't been following our Suffrage Snapshots, now is a great time to catch up! But please also enjoy this special snapshot celebrating Kamala Harris!


Contest Alert! Let's Get Visible!

Yes, we are having a contest! We want all of our members (as well as Swiss friends and youngsters!) to help to create visibility for VoteFromAbroad.org and DemocratsAbroad.org. So we are having a “Let’s Get Visible” contest via Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram where you can use your creativity to make videos highlighting our website and the election. It is quite simple. Just create a quick video in which you show some part of life in Switzerland (alps, lakes, meadows, cows, cheese, castles, vineyards, chocolate, skis, snowboards, etc.) and then talk about VoteFromAbroad.org. The video with most “likes” will win a prize! The official contest rules are outlined on our Facebook and YouTube pages or you can simply click here to access the rules PDF. 

Have fun and create awareness all over Switzerland! Help us reach the approximately 11,000 American expats in CH who have not registered to vote via VoteFromAbroad.org.


A (Virtual) Conversation with European Ambassadors for Biden

We are now a mere four months away from presidential and congressional elections which will decide whether the American experiment in democratic governance perishes from this earth, or whether, to the contrary, with Joe Biden as President and Democratic control of the Senate and House, sanity, competence, and elemental fairness and justice can be restored to our country after these nightmarish past four years. It is time for us Americans Abroad, 8 million strong, to stand up and be counted in this stark choice, both with our votes and with our material support for the Democratic cause.

In the prevailing pandemic circumstances, the Democratic campaign has existed thus far almost exclusively in the virtual realm, much to the frustration of those of us here in Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe who see our U.S. political engagement more as an opportunity for convivial congregation and fellowship with like-minded compatriots than as an act of collective contribution to the war-chest of our candidates.

In the meantime, however, the campaign is intensifying, and our help is needed now. Our members have been invited to participate in a very special virtual happening on Wednesday, July 15 at 7:00 p.m. CEST, a “Conversation with European Ambassadors for Biden,” featuring Samantha Power, Ambassador to the United Nations in the Obama Administration; Charles C. Adams, Jr., former Ambassador to Finland; Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles; and Rufus Gifford, Deputy Campaign Manager for Vice-President Biden, former Ambassador to Denmark. The conversation promises to be lively, informative, and interactive, and you will be able to catch a glimpse of many of the same friends and fellow American expatriates with whom we have gathered in the past and will gather again in the future in support of a cause which we hold dear. Here is the link through which to sign up for this exceptional event:

https://secure.joebiden.com/a/0715-conversation?attr=100558195


This event is not organized or sponsored by Democrats Abroad Switzerland, but we thought it would be of interest to our members.


The Road to Suffrage

In the United States, the right for all to vote and to participate in political life came not from the Constitution itself but from a series of hard-fought amendments and ground-breaking legislation.

To commemorate two major achievements in this march towards full democracy—the Centennial of the 19th Amendment and the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act—Democrats Abroad Switzerland is launching a series of social media posts that present key aspects of the narrative leading to the ratification of the 19th amendment and the struggles to enfranchise people of color.

The posts will run from 19 July to 26 August 2020. They will be posted daily to Democrats Abroad Switzerland’s Facebook and Instagram feeds as well as our website. Please like, comment on, and share the steps of this still-incomplete journey to universal suffrage. Most importantly, request your ballot now and mobilize your personal community of expats to do so, too!

Democrats Abroad Switzerland thanks Dr. Maura Doherty for her assistance with this project. Dr. Maura Doherty is a historian who has taught in Higher Education for decades in the United States and in Switzerland. She recently appeared as the guest historian in the BBC celebrity genealogy series "Who Do You Think You Are?" alongside Sharon Osbourne. She is currently writing a book about the history of her hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts.

Design talent came from working in coordination with Vote Like a Woman, a nonpartisan campaign honoring the first 100 years since the ratification of the 19th amendment by getting more Americans who identify as women to vote.


AGM 2020 Wrap-Up: New Bylaws and More

We held our AGM via WebEx on Wednesday, June 24. It was very productive!

Our new bylaws were accepted unanimously and you can read those here.

Our agenda included:

Here are our AGM materials for your review and education:

Please let us know if you are interested in volunteering with us in the coming months! Either way, we look forward to seeing you soon!


DACH Needs A New Secretary; Could it be You?

DA Switzerland needs a new ExCom Secretary ASAP! Liz Voss, our previous secretary, is still on the ExCom but as Vice Chair; she will be available to train you and guide you through the secretarial duties! If you think you might be interested, please contact her at [email protected].

A PDF version of this job description is available here.

ExCom_Secretary_Job_Description_page-0001.jpg

Read more

DA Discussions: Looking Local

 
While the world watches the US presidential election closely, and to a lesser extent Congress, most elections in the US on November 3rd will be for local offices. The consequences of these elections are tremendous. Not only will local results determine congressional district lines for the next ten years, but with reduced federal spending on a social safety net, Americans increasingly turn to local government programs for basic needs.
 
Several members joined us for a Democrats Abroad Virtual Discussion of the advantages and limitations each Party has when it comes to winning these crucial local seats. Tory Mallett, a political sociology PhD student at the London School of Economics, lead us in a discussion of both ideological and institutional strategy for finding progressive success all the way down the ballot. The Zoom meeting was recorded; the YouTube link can be provided upon request.
 
Theory:

Cases:


DACH Revised Bylaws - Final Draft for Review

Hello Fellow Voters!

We are now just shy of one week before our Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will be held via WebEx next Wednesday evening (24.06.2020). All members are encouraged to attend as we review the last year and sharpen our focus on the elections for November. We have a lot of exciting news to share.

In addition to the regular topics of the AGM, we will also vote on the "revised bylaws." The current DACH bylaws were approved in 2014 and there were some updates needed in order to meet current Democrats Abroad global requirements. The revised bylaws include updates about technologies used for member communications and meetings, updates to privacy of your data, updates to gender specific wording, and updates to some financial requirements.

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the update process and those who spent hours to review, comment, question, or make suggestions so that we have a comprehensive yet inclusive set of bylaws that are reflective of our membership. Those who exercised their rights to comment on the draft versions were proactive and quite helpful for all of us as members.

I am pleased to attach the final version of the "revised bylaws" via PDF. This is the final version after the public comments have all been incorporated and this is the result after the WebEx review/comment meeting which took place on Wednesday evening, 17.June.2020.

I encourage you to read through these "revised bylaws" so that you are prepared to vote on them next week during the AGM.

Please note that voting will take place in the WebEx "chat box" and we have volunteers who will count the votes. If you are not familiar with WebEx or the use of the "chat box," we will have one more training session this coming Sunday (21.06.2020) at 13:00 CEDT. The link to this training is HERE.

I am very much looking forward to seeing you online for the AGM next week!

Vance White
DA Switzerland Chair