Chair, Germany

Born and raised in Central Pennsylvania, Ms. Kerestan has lived in Germany permanently since 2014. She first found Democrats Abroad in 2015 and served as a regional leader in the Cologne-Bonn area from 2016 to 2019. In February 2019, she was elected as Country Chair of DA Germany. Her role focuses on finding Americans in Germany, educating them about the process of voting from abroad, and getting Democrats elected. She leads an extensive team of volunteers in over 35+ German cities to do just this.

Ms. Kerestan holds a BA in Politics and German from Juniata College and a MA in Politikwissenschaften from the University of Bonn. In addition to her volunteer role with Democrats Abroad, Ms. Kerestan is an academic editor and German-English translator at the University of Bonn. She is also pursuing her PhD there with a dissertation focused on overseas absentee voting policy.

Ms. Kerestan is currently based in Munich.


  • is hosting Germany-wide Post-Election Discussion 2020-10-24 16:37:10 -0400

    Germany-wide Post-Election Discussion

    Join Democrats across Germany on November 4 to discuss where things stand 24 hours after the polls have closed. We'll take a look at current situation, especially in swing states like Pennsylvania where mail-in ballots couldn't be counted until Election Day, and hear from YOU! How are you experiencing the election? What "take aways" can already be identified from the 2020 election season?

    Login information will be sent to RSVPs on November 3. Please note that prioritized entry will be given to Democrats Abroad Germany members (join here).

    If you are a member of the press and would like to attend our Watch Party, please write to Ms. Beverly Seebach (press@democratsabroad.de). Wenn Sie PressevertreterIn sind und an unserer Watch Party teilnehmen möchten, bitte melden Sie sich an bei Frau Beverly Seebach (press@democratsabroad.de). 

    WHEN
    November 04, 2020 at 7pm
    WHERE
    Online (Login Info Sent 24h Before Event)
    Online
    Online Online
    Germany
    Google map and directions
    32 rsvps rsvp

  • is hosting Germany-wide Election Night Watch Party 2020-10-24 06:25:15 -0400

    Germany-wide Election Night Watch Party

    Join us on Election Night to discuss the current situation on the ground in the US, share how you’re experiencing the election, and connect with other Democrats across Germany. The event will begin at 7:00pm on November 3 and run through 9:00am on November 4. We will not be broadcasting any news program, but you are welcome to have this on elsewhere and participate in our discussion in parallel.

    Login information will be sent to RSVPs on November 2. Please note that prioritized entry will be given to Democrats Abroad Germany members (join here).

    Agenda

    7:00pm-9:00pm – Open discussion with members of the DA Germany Executive Committee

    9:00pm-11:00pmElection Night 2020, an online theater performance by Julia Hart, director of Neuland

    Tickets must be purchased separately here: https://www.democratsabroad.org/vincienzo/election_night_2020_a_digital_party

    11:00pm-5:00am – Pajama Party, sponsored by DA Germany’s Saxony Chapter

    5:00am-9:00am – Open discussion with members of the DA Germany Executive Committee, including a look at the current legal situation with legal scholar Dr. Matt LeMieux (Münster)

    Election Night Party Packs

    Why not get in the election night spirit by decorating your place with some Biden-Harris gear?! We have election night party packs available starting at €10. They include Biden-Harris signage, reusable cups, flags, balloons, and buttons. Other Biden-Harris gear, like shirts and tote bags, are also available for a donation. Please note that we can only accept donations from U.S. citizens!

    ORDER HERE

                 

    Press

    If you are a member of the press and would like to attend our Watch Party, please write to Ms. Beverly Seebach (press@democratsabroad.de). Wenn Sie PressevertreterIn sind und an unserer Watch Party teilnehmen möchten, bitte melden Sie sich an bei Frau Beverly Seebach (press@democratsabroad.de). 

    WHEN
    November 03, 2020 at 7pm - November 04, 2020 at 9am
    WHERE
    Online (Login Info Sent 24h Before Event)
    Online
    Online Online
    Germany
    Google map and directions
    135 rsvps rsvp

  • Statement on Tina Chittom's Racist Remarks on Markus Lanz (de/en)

    Democrats Abroad Germany ist zutiefst empört über die hasserfüllten und rassistischen Kommentare, die Tina Chittom von Republicans Overseas Germany wiederholt im Rahmen der gestern ausgestrahlten Talkshow mit Markus Lanz getätigt hat. Denkweisen, die die Menschenwürde in irgendeiner Form missachten und fremdenfeindlichen Verschwörungstheorien dienen, lehnen wir strikt ab.

    Leider sind solche Denkweisen innerhalb der Republicans Overseas Germany weit verbreitet. Schon eine kurze Onlinerecherche der Organisation macht deutlich, dass diese nicht nur als Fundraising Super-PAC für Donald Trump fungiert, sondern auch, dass verschiedene Mitglieder der Gruppe nicht davor zurückschrecken, Minderheiten bewusst zu erniedrigen und menschenfeindliche eugenische Theorien zu verbreiten, indem sie beispielsweise Afro-AmerikanerInnen wiederholt als Kriminelle sowie Drogenabhängige diffamieren. Diese Tatsache hätte den ZDF-Redakteuren bewusst sein müssen, bevor sie sich dazu entschieden haben, Frau Chittom als Gast einzuladen.

    In diesem Zusammenhang müssen wir ebenfalls unsere Enttäuschung darüber ausdrücken, dass zahlreiche deutsche Medien den Republicans Overseas Germany trotz derartiger Ausfälle immer wieder eine Plattform bieten, um ihre abstoßenden Denkweisen zu verbreiten – und das häufig ohne VertreterInnen der Demokratischen Partei als argumentatives Gegenüber einzuladen. 

    Wir betrachten es als höchst inakzeptabel, Diskussionsrunden über Themen wie Rassismus in den Vereinigten Staaten zusammenzustellen, ohne dabei auf eine ausgewogene Gästeliste zu achten, die vor allem den Perspektiven von betroffenen Personengruppen Rechnung trägt. Als offizielles Organ der U.S.-Demokratischen Partei im Ausland vertritt Democrats Abroad Germany mehr als 16.000 U.S.-BürgerInnen in der Bundesrepublik, darunter viele deutschsprachige People of Color, die gerne bereit wären, über die politische Lage in den USA vor der Wahl zu diskutieren.


    Democrats Abroad Germany is disgusted by the hateful and racist comments that Tina Chittom of Republicans Overseas Germany repeatedly made during yesterday's talk show with Markus Lanz. We strictly reject ways of thinking that disregard human dignity in any form and advance xenophobic conspiracy theories.

    Unfortunately, such ideologies are widespread within Republicans Overseas Germany. A quick online search of the organization reveals that it not only functions as a fundraising Super PAC for Donald Trump, but that many members of the group do not shy away from consciously humiliating minorities and spreading hostile eugenic theories, for example by repeatedly defaming African Americans as criminals and drug addicts. It is unlikely that ZDF researchers and producers missed this before they decided to invite Ms. Chittom as a guest.

    In this context, we must also express our disappointment that, despite openly embracing such offensive views, numerous German news outlets continue to provide Republicans Overseas Germany with a platform to spread their repulsive ways of thinking – often without inviting representatives of the Democratic Party as an argumentative counterpart.

    We consider it highly unacceptable to host discussion panels on topics such as racism in the United States without paying attention to a balanced guest list – one that includes the perspectives of the people affected. As the official organ of the U.S. Democratic Party for Americans living overseas, Democrats Abroad Germany represents more than 16,000 U.S. citizens in the Federal Republic, including many German-speaking People of Color who would be willing to discuss the political situation in the United States before the election.

     


  • published Donate to DA Germany in News 2020-09-02 15:30:31 -0400

    Donate to DA Germany

    We are 100% volunteer-run — we have no paid staff or consultants and no offices. Our mission is to find and mobilize the more than 120,000 Americans living in Germany to vote. In 2016, it is estimated that only 17% of Americans in Germany actually voted. In that election year, we calculated that every Euro spent resulted in 3 new members/voters. Awareness of DA Germany and our mission is key!

    The 2020 US elections are a pivotal moment in our nation’s history that will have long-lasting impacts, not just in the United States, but globally. We are mobilizing to win back the White House, and to take back the Senate as well - so we can stop the craven policies of the Trump Administration. While we have little overhead, we do have costs for activities like mailings, phone banking, advertising, software, etc.

    Please join us and donate to turn out the American vote in Germany for Democrats!

     

    Become a Sustaining Monthly Donor

    For as little as €5.00 per month, you can ensure that DA Germany has the foundation we need to stay focused on our mission instead of spending our time fundraising to pay our bills. To schedule a direct deposit donation, please set up a “Dauerauftrag” from your German bank account using our account information below. We gladly accept donations in greater amounts - for example €20.20/month!


    Make a One-Time Donation

    To make a one-time donation, please use our bank information (Euros) or mailing address (US Dollars) below to do so. If you are donating to a specific campaign (for example, Dialing for Democracy), please indicate that under "Verwendungszweck".


    Donate for Merchandise

    We have swag! Our merchandise program also helps fund our voter outreach and education programs.

    Account Name: Democrats Abroad Germany
    IBAN: DE04 5405 0220 0140 2702 99
    BIC: MALADE51KLK


    Prefer to make a donation in US Dollars? Please send cash or checks to:
    Democrats Abroad Germany
    Postfach 34 02 58
    80099 München


    Thank you for your support!


  • published Vote from Germany in News 2020-09-02 09:17:47 -0400

    Vote from Germany

    If you're a U.S. citizen or dual-national, you have the right to vote from abroad in federal elections — don't let anyone tell you otherwise, especially in this critical election year!

    Wenn Du die U.S.-amerikanische oder doppelte Staatsbürgerschaft besitzt, hast Du das Recht darauf, bei U.S-Wahlen auf Bundesebene zu wählen — lass Dir nichts anderes einreden, vor allem nicht in diesem kristischen Wahljahr!

    Join Democrats Abroad Here

    Last updated: October 27, 2020

    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. or how long you have lived outside the U.S. (including if you've never resided there).

    Below you'll find an overview of the entire process of voting from abroad, including:

    1. how to register to vote and request your ballot

    2. how to confirm your request has been accepted

    3. how and when you should receive your ballot

    4. how to return your ballot

    5. confirm your ballot's arrival

    6. what to do if you encounter difficulties,

    7. and how to get an "I voted from Germany" sticker!

    Please note that there is NO IN-PERSON VOTING in Germany for the November election!

    1.) Register to vote and request your ballot 📝

    Visit www.votefromabroad.org to fill out your FPCA absentee ballot request — it only takes 5-10 minutes! If you're not registered to vote, the FPCA also serves as a voter registration form. Given the uncertainty surrounding the United States Postal Service (USPS), we strongly encourage you to request that your absentee ballot is sent to you via email.

    Watch a video on how to use www.votefromabroad.org in English or auf Deutsch.

    Once you've filled out the form on www.votefromabroad.org, you will need to submit it to your local election office in the United States. While some states allow the FPCA to be submitted online via Vote from Abroad, others require a scanned or hard copy (the website will provide instructions based on the state you're voting in). If your state requires that you submit your FPCA by postal mail, please use expedited delivery with a courier (read about our discount with FedEx below). State deadlines and submission methods can be found here.

    If you have any questions while filling out the form, you can also always refer to Vote from Abroad's FAQ section or type your question in the website's chatbox (red circle in the bottom right-hand corner).

    2.) Confirm your request has been accepted and that you will receive a ballot ☑️

    You should always verify with your local election official (LEO) that you will be receiving a ballot. After you send in your FPCA request form, call or email your LEO to verify they received it and will be sending a blank ballot to you. Your LEO's contact information is listed in the instructions generated when you complete the FPCA on Vote from Abroad. You can also look up their contact info here.

    Alternatively, most states provide a website where you can verify your voter status, although these sites can sometimes be outdated. You can find it by searching for "[state] verify voter registration."

    3.) Receive your ballot 📬

    As required under the MOVE Act, all states must send absentee ballots to overseas voters no later than 45 days before a federal election (this year: September 19, 2020). You should have received your ballot by now. If you requested it and have not received it, please contact your LEO and submit a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). You can also contact Democrats Abroad if you need help. There's no downside to submitting a FWAB. But you should also mail in your official ballot as soon as you receive it. All details about the FWAB can be found at the bottom of this page.*

    4.) Return your ballot 🗳️

    Once you've received your ballot, fill it out and return it immediately. Ballot return methods vary by state (online, email, postal mail, fax). Especially if your state only allows postal mail return — which is the case in many swing states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin — it is imperative that you return your ballot as quickly as possible. Try to return your ballot within 48 hours of receiving it.

    Check your state's exact ballot return methods here.

    If your state allows email or fax ballot return, please use these options as they’re not subject to delay. Here is more information on fax submission. Please note that some states that allow email or fax return require that the ballot be sent by postal mail, too.

    Need help scanning? 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

    If your state requires postal mail ballot return, we recommend using a courier service at this point (if financially feasible). 

    If you still send with Deutsche Post, we do NOT recommend sending your ballot as registered mail ("Einschreiben"), as this may actually prevent your ballot from being delivered (ex. if your county clerk isn't there to sign, your ballot can end up being sent back to you). If you want to have a tracking feature without sending as registered mail, you will need to use a courier. 

    We strongly recommend looking into this discounted rate from FedEx:

    FedEx Express is kindly offering Americans abroad a discount to send ballots home reliably. US voters living in 10 European countries can now take advantage of a special rate for overnight return of their absentee ballot. From now through November, FedEx International Priority service for envelopes up to 500g sent to the USA costs just €25 from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Denmark (kr.186), Poland (112 zł), Sweden (260 kr), and the United Kingdom (£23). This special is only bookable online — discounts will not be given if booking at a FedEx store or on the phone. Feel free to privately tell your friends and family, but please do not post about this on social media.

    Please note that some DA Germany members have reported that FedEx delivery has taken longer than one day (sometimes upwards of four to five work days).

    Download a step-by-step guide on how to book the FedEx deal HERE.

    Please take your ballot to the post office / private courier's store to ensure it receives the correct postage.

    Don't forget to write USA at the bottom of the address field.

    Do NOT use the diplomatic pouch at U.S. embassies and consulates to return your ballot at this point. It is too late.

      

    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.

    And when filling out your ballot and packaging your ballot, don't forget to carefully review the instructions. Don't let human error spoil your ballot! 

    5.) Confirm your ballot arrival's at your local election office in the United States

    Once you've mailed 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! Nearly all states have online tracking services. You can find these by Googling "[your state] ballot tracking". You can also look up your local election office's contact details here, and try to contact them directly. They are experiencing an influx of calls, so you will likely need to remain persistent to get through to someone. 

    6.) Having trouble? Need help? 😕

    We understand that the process of voting from abroad can be confusing — that's why we're here to help. Check on the link below to get LIVE one-on-one support on Zoom at the times specified.

    Sundays (24hrs)

    Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays (6 pm-10 pm)

    and Saturdays (8 am-4 pm) 

    Access live help here.

    You're also welcome to contact us via this Google form or by writing to info-germany@democratsabroad.org

    7.) "I Voted from Germany" Stickers

    As a small thank you for your civic engagement, Democrats Abroad Germany is happy to send you an "I Voted from Germany" sticker free of charge. Request yours here today: https://fs11.formsite.com/DAGermany/ivotedfromgermany/index.html. Download a digital sticker.

    * Information on the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) 

    If you requested an absentee ballot but have not yet received it, please submit a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB), also known as a "backup" or "emergency" ballot.

    What is the FWAB, and why should I use it?

    The FWAB is a ballot specifically for overseas voters to use to preserve their vote in uncertain circumstances. Mailing in your FWAB now will protect your vote in case mail is curtailed in the coming weeks.

    There's no downside to submitting a FWAB. But you should also mail in your official ballot as soon as you receive it. (Federal law required all states to send ballots to overseas voters by September 19.) If both the FWAB and your official ballot reach your voting jurisdiction by the deadline, only the official ballot will be counted and the FWAB will be discarded. 

    How do I submit a FWAB?

    If you haven't already submitted a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) the absentee ballot request form for overseas voters this is your first step. You can do this at www.votefromabroad.org. If you're unsure, please fill it out again. Multiple submissions are okay, and your local election office must honor the most recent submission. Please note that information from your FPCA must match your information on your FWAB

    To fill out the FWAB, go to www.fvap.gov/fwab-privacy-notice. Keep in mind that it is a ballot so be sure to read the instructions carefully!

    Watch a video on how to do a FWAB here.

    Helpful details can also be found at www.votefromabroad.org/fwab, and for a detailed PowerPoint on how to fill out your FWAB, visit https://bit.ly/3jCPBrb.

    YOUR VOTE MATTERS!


  • signed up on AAPI Signup 2020-07-12 08:15:04 -0400

  • published Dialing for Democracy Recap in News 2020-06-30 01:15:33 -0400

    Dialing for Democracy Recap

    On Flag Day, DA Germany phonebankers, along with volunteers from 11 other countries, came together to participate in Dialing for Democracy, a one-day call-a-thon and fundraiser. Our goal was to reach as many overseas voters as possible to remind them to request their absentee ballots for November, something you can do right now at www.votefromabroad.org. So how did it go?!

    Excellent! Our fantastic phonebankers, who were on the phone from 9am to 9pm, accomplished the following:

    • 8,316 calls were made worldwide
    • 1,171 voters were reached in Germany
    • $18,500 was raised from phonebankers’ generous family and friends who sponsored their calls

    Our top three callers in Germany included Nina T. (319 calls), Renee J. (219 calls), and Bartley G. (213 calls). Here's a picture of two volunteers, Saehee C. (left) and Beverly S. (right), making calls during Dialing for Democracy:

                                                                                         

    We rounded off the event with a live session on Facebook, which can be viewed here: http://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=3620422417974917.

    We were excited that this event struck the perfect combination of activism and fundraising needed for an election year like 2020! To all of our callers and donors, we say THANK YOU! Your efforts are what will keep us going strong through November!

    If you’d like to learn how to phonebank, please visit this page to sign up for upcoming training sessions: http://www.democratsabroad.org/de_phone_banking_and_vfa_training. If you’d like to make a financial contribution to Dialing for Democracy, you can do so here: http://www.democratsabroad.org/d4d_flagday_callathon_fundraiser.


  • donated 2019-05-07 18:52:49 -0400

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  • signed up on Youth Caucus 2019-05-03 06:45:35 -0400

  • signed up on LGBTQ+ Signup 2019-05-03 06:45:17 -0400

  • signed up on Hispanic Caucus Signup 2019-05-03 06:45:01 -0400

  • signed up on Global Black Caucus Signup 2019-05-03 06:44:32 -0400

  • signed up on Women's Caucus 2019-05-03 06:44:12 -0400

     

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