DA International Chair; Immediate Past DA Germany Chair

  • December 6 Georgia Runoff Election Information

    Attention Georgia Voters Abroad!

    DA Data Privacy Policy

    There will be a runoff election for the U.S. Senate seat in Georgia between Reverend Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) on December 6, 2022. The winner will serve a six-year term, so the outcome of this race will have a lasting impact on Democrats’ ability to keep fighting for issues that just can’t wait, from a woman’s right to choose to racial justice to environmental protection!

    The good news: You can vote from abroad in the December 6 runoff election, as long as you were registered to vote in Georgia before November 7, 2022. But you will need to act quickly!

    As we just saw in the November 8 midterm elections, every single vote really does count. 

    Thank you for voting from abroad in the December 6 runoff election!

    Read more

  • URGENT Ballot Curing Resources for AZ, CA, CO, NV, OR, and WA Voters

    We urge all voters who voted in the November 8 midterm elections in AZ, CA, CO, NV, OR, or WA to confirm that your ballot arrived and was counted without issue. Control of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate will be decided by just a handful of votes in these states. Please act now and double check!

    If there are issues preventing your ballot from being counted, these states allow you to "cure" you ballot. This essentially means fixing issues such as mismatched or missing signatures or dates on the ballot materials you returned (note that the issues that can be "cured" do vary by state). Deadlines and processes to remedy issues vary by state. Details are listed below alphabetically by state. 

    If there are issues with your ballot, please immediately get in touch with your local election office!

    If you have any questions or require help, please write to [email protected].

    We have teams standing by to make sure that your vote gets counted!

     

    Arizona 

    Deadline to fix ballot issue: November 16, 5:00pm US Mountain Time

    Link to look up ballot status online:* https://my.arizona.vote/AbsenteeTracker.aspx 

    Look up contact information for local election office: www.votefromabroad.org/states/az 


    California

    Deadline to fix ballot issue: December 6, 5:00pm US Pacific Time

    Link to look up ballot status online:* https://california.ballottrax.net/voter/ 

    Look up contact information for local election office: www.votefromabroad.org/states/ca  


    Colorado

    Deadline to fix ballot issue: November 16

    Link to look up ballot status online:* https://colorado.ballottrax.net/voter/

    Look up contact information for local election office: www.votefromabroad.org/states/co 

    New! You can also fix ballot issues by text: Txt2Cure FAQs (will likely only work cell phones that have US number)


    Nevada

    Deadline to fix ballot issue: November 14, 5:00pm US Pacific Time

    Link to look up ballot status online:* https://www.nvsos.gov/votersearch/

    Look up contact information for local election office: www.votefromabroad.org/states/nv

    Some Nevada counties have online signature curing resources, see www.nvsos.gov/sos/elections/voters/cure

     

    Oregon

    Deadline to fix ballot issue: November 22

    Link to look up ballot status online:* https://secure.sos.state.or.us/orestar/vr/showVoterSearch.do

    Look up contact information for local election office: www.votefromabroad.org/states/or


    Washington

    Deadline to fix ballot issue: November 28

    Link to look up ballot status online:* https://voter.votewa.gov/WhereToVote.aspx

    Look up contact information for local election office: www.votefromabroad.org/states/wa

     

    *If accessing this page outside of the United States, you may need to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). More on using a VPN here: https://www.votefromabroad.org/faqs/TI1 


  • published Statement on November 8 Midterm Elections in News 2022-11-09 09:55:47 -0500

    Statement on November 8 Midterm Elections

    November 9, 2022, 10:00am Washington — U.S. and dual citizens watching election returns around the world are celebrating a historic midterm performance for the Democratic Party, the only party fighting for women’s rights, gun safety, racial and environmental justice, and democracy itself.  Americans both at home and abroad have made it clear that they will not sit back while MAGA Republicans sow division and hate at the expense of our fellow citizens and our democracy.

    “Overseas voters knew just how much was at stake this Novemberand they also knew that their ballots could make the difference in close elections,” says Candice Kerestan, International Chair of Democrats Abroad who cast her Pennsylvania ballot from Munich, Germany. In 2020, the number of overseas ballots returned was well within the margin of victory in two key states: in Georgia, 11,779 votes decided the outcome with 27,252 Georgians returning their ballots from outside the United States; in Arizona, 10,457 votes decided the outcome with 21,661 Arizonans abroad sending their ballots home.

    As ballot counting continues in some states – including in Georgia and Arizona – the votes from abroad will likely play a decisive role. “We knew that many of these races would be tight. That’s why we worked relentlessly all year to get out the overseas vote,” Kerestan continued. In just the last week alone, Democrats Abroad volunteers phonebanked over 45,000 battleground voters around the world. 

    In this vein, we’d like to extend our deepest gratitude to our incredible volunteers, as well as the Democratic National Committee, especially Chair Jaime Harrison, for his vision, persistence, and unwavering support to ensure no stone was left unturned this November.


  • published Overseas Voting Resources For Election Day in News 2022-11-07 16:57:53 -0500

    Overseas Voting Resources For Election Day

    **Press inquiries should be directed to [email protected]**

    Dear Overseas Voter,

    We have compiled a list of overseas voting resources to help you – and any other U.S. or dual citizen you know living abroad to vote in the November 8 midterm elections. There is still time to vote in most states, but the clock is ticking!

    Check each state’s registration, ballot request, and ballot return deadlines for overseas voters at https://www.votefromabroad.org/states/.

    • AL, AZ, CO, DC, DE, HI, IN, KS, MA, ME, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NV, OR, RI, SC, UT, WA, and WV allow ballots to be returned by email and/or online upload.
    • AR, CT, GA, IA, ID, IL, KY, MD, MI, MN, MO, NH, NY, OH, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, and WY require voted ballots from civilians abroad to be returned by postal mail or express courier (at this point we strongly recommend express courier for all states except OH!).
    • AK, CA, FL, LA, and OK allow voted ballots to be returned by fax. How to email-to-fax here: https://www.votefromabroad.org/faqs/BL7.

    IF your state allows voted ballots to be returned by email, fax, or online upload, please use that option! It’s quick, easy, and secure!

    Details are listed below for each step of the process of voting from abroad. If you need any help, please look at our FAQs, write to [email protected], or

    Join us on Zoom for free, live voter help

    Our teams are working ‘round the clock through the close of polls to make sure every eligible voter abroad can and does vote! Please share this with any other U.S. or dual citizen you know who’s currently outside of the United States.

    And lastly, don’t forget to remind your friends and family in the United States to vote! Domestic voters can find their polling place at www.iwillvote.com.

    Thank YOU!!

    Democrats Abroad

    Read more

  • Two Weeks To Go: Return Your Ballot & Help Us Fight For Every Last Overseas Vote

    With just two weeks left until the November 8 midterm elections, it’s all hands on deck!

     

    Read more

  • published We're Hiring! in News 2022-10-26 08:45:17 -0400

    We're Hiring!

    As we look to learn from 2022 and plan for 2024, we are excited to grow our team with the addition of a Financial Compliance Director and an Executive Director.

    Read more

  • Democrats Deliver: Student Loan Relief is Here!

    Last week, President Biden delivered on his 2020 campaign promise to provide welcome relief to the estimated 43 million Americans weighed down by the twin burdens of predatory student loan practices and the Covid-19 pandemic. 

    The plan provides for debt cancellation of up to $10,000 for borrowers making under $125,000 a year, with recipients of Pell Grants qualifying for up to $20,000. Nearly 90% of relief dollars will go to individuals earning less than $75,000 a year. In parallel, the ongoing pause on federal loan repayment has been extended through the end of 2022. 

    The effects for individual recipients are expected to be life-changing and the advancement in racial equity significant. In addition to immediate relief, the three-part plan also changes the terms of federal student loans going forward. Among other measures, monthly payments will be capped at 5% of a borrower’s discretionary income (down from 10%), and institutions of higher education will be held to new standards of accountability for rising tuition costs.

    Democrats Abroad is thrilled with this most recent example of Democrats delivering real, material improvement to the lives of the American people. Overseas U.S. citizens who want to find out more about the plan and how they might qualify for debt relief are encouraged to attend our webinar on Thursday, September 15. And don’t forget to request your ballot for November’s midterm elections at www.votefromabroad.org today so that we can keep moving our country forward!


  • Statement Celebrating the Inflation Reduction Act

    Democrats Abroad is grateful to Democratic U.S. Senators for passing the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a bill that will have a positive impact on our world for generations to come. This legislation – a historic achievement and true cause for celebration – will ensure that big corporations and the wealthiest 1% pay their fair share, lower the cost of Medicare drug prices, and authorize an unprecedented investment of $369 billion in measures to promote renewable energy and mitigate climate change. Not a single Republican U.S. Senator voted for the bill

    With this legislation, Democrats have risen to the moment and brought hope to our planet. The United States, the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases globally, is now on its way to meeting our climate commitments and leading by example.  

    As another summer of devastating climate catastrophes rages around the globe, the Inflation Reduction Act will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by utilizing renewable and clean energy sources to replace fossil fuels, significantly lowering production costs of wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries for electric cars and incentivizing the private sector to employ wind, solar, and geothermally generated energy. The bill also provides tax incentives for private citizens to install solar panels and heat pumps in their homes and to buy electric vehicles. In coordination with President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill, the construction of charging stations will be ramped up across the entire country, including rural areas.  

    The Inflation Reduction Act allocates $27 billion for a “green bank” to invest in public-private partnerships that cut emissions. $8 billion will specifically be directed to disadvantaged communities, to further the cause of environmental justice, and $2 billion has been allocated for further research (e.g. fusion and high-energy physics). Most emissions reductions are anticipated in the power and infrastructure sectors, with carbon capture expected to increase 13-fold. 

    It is hard to overstate the magnitude of this legislative achievement. We must continue this work – to bridge the remaining 10% gap in emissions commitments made by the Biden administration, to address environmental justice issues more broadly, to completely phase out fossil fuels, to block drilling on federal lands and waters, and to continue healthcare and economic reform. There is only one way to do it: by (re-)electing Democratic leaders in November. Please register and request your ballot at www.votefromabroad.org – and make sure your friends and family, at home and abroad, have a plan to vote as well. 

    To keep up to date and active with Democrats Abroad efforts to tackle climate change, please join our Environment and Climate Crisis Council by clicking here. If you are not able to donate your time, please consider donating to Democrats Abroad today. $20.22 will help keep Congress – and the planet – blue. Thank you very much for your continued support of our organization. 

    In solidarity and hope,  

    Dana Freling, Environment & Climate Crisis Council Chair

    Candice Kerestan, International Chair


  • published Write Your Alma Mater Campaign in News 2022-08-11 08:11:19 -0400

    Write Your Alma Mater Campaign

    Democrats Abroad invites YOU to participate in an alumni outreach campaign to help encourage democratic participation by students studying abroad during the Fall 2022 semester. Our goal is to have members reach out to their alma mater(s) and make sure they’re providing accurate and current information about registering to vote to students while they're abroad.

    Here’s How to Get Started

    • Find your alma mater's study abroad office 

    The easiest way to do this is simply search “[name of university] + Study Abroad Office” – there will be a contact person or email listed on the website; this will be your target! 

    • Personalize the email template (see below)

    We encourage participants to personalize the introductory portion of the email template below. It is important that we show the universities that it is personally important to their alumni that students studying abroad exercise their democratic rights. The more personal, the more likely a response!

    • Send the email from a personal email account and wait for a response!

    Should you have any questions that you don’t feel comfortable answering, please forward them to [email protected] and a voter assistance volunteer will help.

    • Let us know what happens next! 

    Please record whatever you hear back at www.democratsabroad.org/almamaterfeedback. If you don’t hear anything after a week has passed, please reach out to the contact again. If you still do not receive a reply, let us know that, too!

     

    Email Template

    Dear [Contact Name/Study Abroad Office],

    I am [author’s name], an [alumnus/alumna] of [UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE, Class of XXXX], currently living in [CITY, COUNTRY]. From my own experience, I know how difficult it can be for U.S. citizens to vote while living or studying abroad, which is why I work with a group of trained volunteers who help U.S. citizens abroad register to vote and request and submit their absentee ballots.

    As an [alumnus/alumna], I want to do all I can to support current students participating in our democracy wherever they may be in the world. Could you tell me what information, if any, students going abroad receive about voting while outside the country?

    I’ve added a brief informative statement below, in case it is of any use! We are also happy to provide posters in a PDF format that can be printed out for distribution.

    Thank you for your support of our democracy.

    With kind regards,

    [author’s name]

     

    Useful Information on Voting from Abroad

    Voting while studying abroad can seem like a challenge, but there are several ways to ensure that students are able to exercise their democratic rights by being registered and able to vote in federal, state, and local elections!

    Registering or updating your registration to vote from abroad differs from voting as an in-state absentee voter. Registering to vote from abroad guarantees the right to receive ballots 45 days before elections and via email rather than by post (a requirement in many states). This greatly eases the return process and any potential delays due to the international postal system.

    Requesting an overseas ballot only takes a few minutes. Voters simply need to fill out the one page Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). We encourage voters to use our platform https://students.votefromabroad.org, a user-friendly English and Spanish language non-partisan service that offers FAQs as well as state-by-state registration guides. The site also offers a photo signature option that allows most voters to submit the form via their phone or computer without having to print it out. Alternatively, students can fill out the FPCA at www.fvap.gov and then print, sign and email or mail a copy of the form to their local election official.

    Volunteers at https://students.votefromabroad.org are encouraged to train as Voting Assistance Officers through the Federal Voting Assistance Program, run by the U.S. government. This is the same training that military officers and members of the Foreign Service undergo, ensuring that our volunteers are well-equipped to assist students studying abroad with their questions or any problems that may arise.

    For questions regarding voting from abroad or about the Vote From Abroad platform, please do not hesitate to contact us at: [email protected].


  • published We Can & We Must Fight Back in News 2022-06-24 12:30:53 -0400

    We Can & We Must Fight Back

    MUNICH–The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is an abhorrent and unprecedented assault on our fundamental human rights. Today is a dark day, a hard day in American history. 

    Stripped of protections and freedoms the past 50 years had granted us, we now confront a new, grim reality where our health, marriages, and basic bodily autonomy are on the chopping block. Make no mistake: the radical Republican Party has no intention of stopping with Roe

    We can and we must fight back. We must show up to the polls this November — and make sure that every single American we know has a plan to vote, too.  

    In this moment of despair, let us not forget that the power still resides with us – and that the overwhelming majority of Americans support the freedoms Roe upheld. A net gain of only two more U.S. Senators will allow for abortion rights to be codified at the federal level. The America we want, need, and deserve is within reach, and Democrats Abroad is committed to making it a reality.

    We still have each other — and our resolve to fight for our basic rights. Let’s do this.


  • published Enough Is Enough in News 2022-05-25 15:07:36 -0400

    Enough Is Enough

    Democrats Abroad joins our nation as it grieves the latest round of senseless shootings with innocent lives taken. We extend our deepest sympathy to all those impacted by these tragic events and resolve to fight every day for a country where everyone feels safe. However, it is not enough to be horrified by these events. We must act.

    In the past ten days, the United States has had 17 mass shootings with 43 killed and 79 injured. Two of them – in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas – made global headlines. In both cases, the 18-year-old suspects were able to acquire assault weapons – legally.

    Democrats Abroad deplores Republican lawmakers’ failure to enact legislation that would protect the people of America. Why do we continue to allow opponents of gun control to stand in the way of legislation that would prevent innocent lives being taken during their daily routines? Americans need to break that cycle – and legislators who will prioritize our children’s lives over money from the gun lobby. It’s time we acknowledge that what we are doing isn’t working.

    Americans around the globe can do more than offering heartache, thoughts and prayers. We owe families more than condolences. Globally, we are more than six million strong, and we must vote to change the laws that allow these attacks to happen. We must elect Democrats who will stand up for the American people, against the gun lobby, and for sensible gun legislation.

    Stand together. Take action. 

    • Call your Congressional Representative and US Senators to demand they take action on guns and gun violence. Look up their contact details here.
    • Commit to asking five Americans living abroad to request their ballot at VoteFromAbroad.org.
    • Show your support on National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange Weekend on June 3-5. Find out more at wearorange.org.
    • Like and share our voting information on social media, including on our Democrats Abroad Facebook page and Vote from Abroad Facebook page.
    • Be the margin of victory! Our record of bringing home the overseas vote has proven to make the difference in close races. Consider a donation to support our efforts at democratsabroad.org/donate.

    Press inquiries can be directed to [email protected].


  • published The Path Forward in News 2022-05-03 11:16:35 -0400

    The Path Forward

    The Supreme Court’s draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, leaked late last night by Politico, makes unmistakably clear what the Republican agenda is: an unprecedented assault on women and families in the United States. 

    For more than a generation, the right to reproductive freedom has been the law of the land. When a far-right administration took office in 2016, we knew that this right was in grave danger. Fast forward to 2022, and we now have three more ultra-conservative, anti-choice justices on the Supreme Court. The looming fate of Roe is the direct consequence of the 2016 election.

    That many of us saw this coming does not make the blow less painful or severe. But we can fight back2022 is also a decisive election year. Together, we must put in place both federal and state legislatures that fairly represent the will of the majority. This cannot wait.  

    Let us not forget in this dark moment that we have the power to elect legislators who will respect the law of the land and the will of the people this November. We must wield it. 34 U.S. Senate seats, all 435 U.S. Representative seats, 46 state legislatures, and 36 state governorships are on the ballot. These are the offices that will determine access to abortion and reproductive health care in the absence of Roe.

    REQUEST YOUR BALLOT FOR 2022

    What you feel right now: do not forget it. Instead, resolve to turn this moment into collective action. Ways to fight back can be found in this statement from DA's Global Women's Caucus.

    Raise your voice. Vote. And bring other people with you. 

    In Solidarity,

    Ann HesseDA Global Women's Caucus Chair

    Candice KerestanDA International Chair


  • Global Women's Caucus Statement on the Right to an Abortion

    Dear fellow DA members,

    Today’s news concerning the Supreme Court’s expected decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade is absolutely chilling.

    We’re devastated. But, as Democrats Abroad we need to recognize that this is not a threat exclusively against women. It is an attack on all of us.

    This attack on reproductive rights rings a shrill warning bell. We need to be aware that all the hard won legal victories to preserve basic rights and freedoms and to protect marginalized  populations from racism, homophobia, sexual harassment are at risk. The 14th Amendment, the right to privacy, in our doctor’s office, our marriages, our homes, is weakened by this decision. 

    What immediately springs to mind is the prescient warning by Martin Niemöller, World War II freedom fighter: “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out- Because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists...and then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak for me.” 

    We, in the GWC leadership, understand that this issue has always been about more than controlling women. It’s  about authoritarian control of all aspects of society.  

    The admitted goal of these authoritarians is to roll back generations of progress in civil rights for the many and to consolidate power among the few. 

    If you are not a wealthy white cis male, they are coming for you next.

    U.S. citizens living around the world have been eyewitnesses to authoritarian power-grabs like this over many decades.  There are many horrific examples of what a “forced birth” society looks like, especially for poor and marginalized communities.  If  Roe falls, America will join these repressive regimes. 

    We have a six-month window to prevent the nightmare of an anti-democratic authoritarian takeover in November.

    Republicans hold almost all the cards now, thanks to their skillful application of voter suppression, fear and disinformation tactics. However, we have the overwhelming number of Democratic votes abroad and at home. They know that the majority of Americans reject their patriarchal white supremacist doctrine and this Supreme Court opinion

    We have a chance to save our democracy and our freedoms with an overwhelming turnout for the November midterms from Democrats Abroad.

    They are betting that we won’t vote in large enough numbers to upset their plans and have done their best to prevent many from doing so which makes our job even more difficult. But we proved them wrong in 2020 and we can do it again. 

    We can do what we have had to do for far too long and out of absolute necessity to ensure a better future. 

    We can fight back. We can persist. We can:

    Let us keep up this fight together in solidarity.

    In unity,

    Ann Hesse, Chair, GWC with Steering Committee members:

    Connie Borde

    Angela Fobbs

    Naomi Ages

    Stayce Camparo

    Marnie Delaney

    Brooke Scott

    Sheila Malovany-Chevallier

    Salli Swartz

    Carol Moore

    Christina Skovsgaard

    Jamie McAfee

    Shari Temple


  • Democrats Abroad Celebrates Confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson

    Today is a momentous day: For the first time in history, a Black woman was confirmed to sit on our nation’s highest court. Throughout her career as a public defender, and most recently during nearly 20 hours of grueling questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson repeatedly demonstrated her competence, level-headedness, and commitment to doing the right thing. 

    At her confirmation hearings, Judge Jackson thoughtfully and thoroughly answered questions, demonstrating the depth and breadth of her decades of experience across the legal system. She also masterfully explained the law in her answers – underscoring her commitment to transparency in her decision-making and demonstrating her true love of the law.

    Democrats Abroad celebrates this moment and is excited by the lived experiences Judge Jackson will bring to the U.S. Supreme Court. She is a brilliant legal mind who will undoubtedly shape our nation’s future for the better for generations to come.

    On this occasion, we would also like to express our gratitude to President Biden for his leadership and nomination of Justice Jackson. Additionally, we are grateful to all overseas voters who cast a ballot in 2020: Your vote helped make this moment possible! 

    By voting from abroad in 2022’s crucial midterm elections, you can help ensure that Democrats grow their majorities and can continue moving our country forward. Request your ballot today at www.votefromabroad.org


  • donated via 2022-11-23 07:23:10 -0500


  • New Year, New Elections! Request Your Ballot NOW for 2022!

    As we enter the new year, Democrats Abroad would like to remind you to (re-)register to vote and request your ballot NOW for 2022 elections at www.votefromabroad.org

    Even if you’ve voted from abroad in the past, we urge all overseas voters to (re-)register and request a ballot at the start of each calendar year. Republicans love to purge voters like you and me from the voter rolls–don’t let this happen to you in such a critical election year!

    34 U.S. Senate seats, all 435 U.S. Representative seats, 46 state legislatures, and 36 state governorships are up for grabs in November 2022. From voting rights to climate protection to access to affordable healthcare and education, too much is at stake to sit this one out!


    HELP NEEDED! 

    Protecting and expanding Democratic majorities across the United States will be an all-hands-on-deck effort. Please help us get out the vote and win critical elections this year by…

    Spreading the Word to Other Americans (including dual citizens!)

    Who else do you know who’s living abroad? Forward them this email and remind them to (re-)register to vote and request their ballot early!

    Phonebanking

    We’re calling overseas voters from battleground states, starting with Texas on January 15, and we need callers! Attend our phonebanking training on January 11 at 1:30pm Eastern to brush up or learn the ropes. All members welcome! RSVP here.

    Following Us On Social Media

    Like and share our voting information on social media, including from our Democrats Abroad FacebookDemocrats Abroad TwitterVote from Abroad Facebook, and Vote from Abroad Twitter

    Becoming A Sustaining Donor

    Help us realize our extensive outreach plan for reaching and supporting voters abroad – from social media and phonebanking campaigns to live voter assistance and website maintenance – by signing up to make a monthly donation in 2022. As an entirely volunteer-run and donation-funded organiatzion, every bit helps!


    UPCOMING EVENTS

    Wednesday, January 5 

    1:00pm Eastern – Meet Shelia Cherfilus-McCormick, the Democratic candidate running in the January 11 special election in Florida's 20th Congressional District

    Thursday, January 6

    1:30pm Eastern – Defending Democracy: In Conversation with Malcolm Nance and Ruth Ben-Ghiat

    Friday, January 7

    1:00pm Eastern – The Re-United States: A Documentary Film Screening and Live Q&A with Filmmakers

    Saturday, January 8

    2:00am Eastern – Voting Rights, Swing States, and Justice Inequality: In Conversation with Black Lives Matter Tokyo

    Tuesday, January 11

    1:30pm Eastern – Phonebanking Training

    Saturday, January 15

    All Day – International Voter Registration Day (be sure to share our social media posts about this with your friends and family!)

    Sunday, January 16

    11:30am Eastern – Why We Can't Wait: A Conversation About Reparations With Human Rights Watch


    We’re excited to have you on board during this critical election year and thank you for already (re-)registering and requesting your ballot at www.votefromabroad.org. May you have a peaceful and healthy 2022!

    Yours,

    Candice Kerestan

    International Chair

    Pennsylvania voter in Germany


  • published Help End Prision Gerrymandering! in News 2021-11-27 09:43:06 -0500

    Help End Prison Gerrymandering!

    As states across the US review their maps and plans for redistricting, advocates against prison gerrymandering are hoping to seize a rare opportunity (happening only once every ten years), to put an end to the unjust and discriminatory practice of prison gerrymandering. 

    Democrats Abroad has taken a position against prison gerrymandering as detailed in our 2020 platform and made a commitment to advocate against it in a resolution adopted by unanimous consent in May 2021. 

    Please help elevate this issue and contribute to this advocacy work by finding out where your state stands on prison gerrymandering via Common Cause and ACLU and then calling/writing to your state legislators NOW, and over the next ten days using resist bot. You may wish to use the sample letter below and include detail about why the issue is important to you. Refer to the links in the further reading section below if helpful.

    If you vote in one of the 11 to 16 states who have ended prison gerrymandering, please make a special point of thanking your legislators! 

    Thank you for your activism, and for supporting the push to end prison gerrymandering!


    Sample letter to send to your state legislators

    Headline: Please Stop Prison Gerrymandering!

    Please stop prison gerrymandering within the state of xxxx. 

    The Census Bureau has supplied data allowing states to make their own determinations on whether to count incarcerated individuals as residents of prisons, or as residents of their pre-incarceration, home communities. 

    Counting prisoners as residents of prisons artificially inflates the districts housing prisons and deflates the districts of the prisoners home community. This negatively impacts fair representation and local and state democracy. 

    I urge you to count prisoners as residents in their home community, rather than in prison for the upcoming redistricting process thus stopping prison gerrymandering. 

    Thank you for all that you do and thank you for representing me.


    Further reading

    Prison gerrymandering updates: https://www.prisonersofthecensus.org/news/2021/10/26/state_count/

    Article (Mario Jimenez/NM specific): https://rrobserver.com/ending-prison-gerrymandering-makes-a-fairer-nm-map/

    Article (Samantha Osaki, ACLU):

    https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/news/dismantling-prison-gerrymandering-removing-barriers-to-fair-representation/

    Article, The Intercept (Akela Lacy,  November 6, 2021) As States Prepare for Redistricting, Prison Gerrymandering Will Skew New Lines https://theintercept.com/2021/11/06/prison-gerrymandering-redistricting-census/


  • DA Voter Protection Update: 2021 Issues

    We are in the throes of the 2021 election season, and we wanted to keep you informed of some of the voter protection issues that could crop up, to be aware of and to share with other Americans abroad.

    Signature matching
    Apart from ballots not arriving on time to be counted, signature matching is the second most common issue which stops ballots being counted. If a voter has concerns or is unsure about the signature being held on file for them, they should contact their local election officer (LEO) to check for potential issues now. 

    Misinformation
    Misinformation is common, and LEO’s can give the wrong information to voters from abroad. If you have an issue that you’re concerned about, do check that you’ve been given the correct info by contacting the DA Voter Protection Team ([email protected]) to get up to date info on the UOCAVA laws that protect your vote from abroad.

    Voter Roll Purges
    If a voter has been purged or is unable to verify they are registered to vote, they should send in a new FPCA now to re-register, even if the deadline has passed, so they are registered for other upcoming elections. This is important particularly for Florida voters who had wanted to vote in the special primary election in FL’s 20th Congressional District 20, as this will ensure they are eligible to vote in the special general election on January 11, 2022.

    Geoblocking 
    Geoblocking (voter information websites being blocked to foreign IP addresses).
    Using a VPN often helps like the Opera browser (www.opera.com). If necessary, voters should also contact their LEO to help establish an appropriate workaround. We urge anyone encountering geoblocking to also contact the DA Voter Protection Team so that we can raise it with relevant bodies further up the chain (state voter protection teams, DNC, Board of Elections, FVAP). 

    Nixie Issue (election materials marked ‘return to sender’)
    In some cases, election materials going through the NY International Service Center for inbound international mail are being returned to voters marked ‘return to sender’ with a label which says ‘Nixie’ printed on it. Voters should use email or fax wherever possible to send their ballots. If required to return ballots by mail, do so as early as possible and if it is returned to sender, vote a new ballot by FWAB and use a courier as a workaround. We urge anyone dealing with a Nixie issue to contact the DA Voter Protection Team.

    Other Issues 
    The above are just some of the issues that may be encountered. Others may be election materials and ballots being held up in customs or problems with social security numbers. If you or someone you know is experiencing these or anything else stopping them from voting their ballots, please write to [email protected]. During the 2020 elections, we handled over 500 cases, helping voters abroad to successfully cast their ballots. Most importantly, don’t delay in seeking help if you’re experiencing a problem and always check for confirmation that your voted ballots have been received by the LEO. Voter protection issues usually crop up unexpectedly and addressing them at the last minute risks missing the election deadline. Let’s help ensure that ALL votes are counted in 2021!

    Many thanks and happy voting!

    Maya Buchanan & Martha McDevitt-Pugh
    2021 Voter Protection Team Leads


  • Adrianne George, DA DNC Representative, Elected to DNC Credentials Committee

    In early October, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Jaime Harrison announced the slate of DNC and Executive Committee At-Large Member nominations and Standing Committee appointments, stating that "these nominations have the President’s support and will bring the diversity of experiences and perspectives that we need as a party". During the Fall Meeting of the DNC, which was held from October 7-9, Adrianne George, who resides in Sweden and is one of eight members who represents Democrats Abroad on the DNC, was elected to the Credentials Committee along with the full slate of Chair Harrison's nominees.

    Ms. George is in her second consecutive four-year DNC term and is a founding member of the DNC Environmental and Climate Crisis Council. She proudly serves as the liaison to the DNC Black Caucus for the Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus (GBC) where she is a founding and steering committee member. She also chairs the DA Sweden Black Caucus. Last federal election cycle, she led the GBC GOTV Team and co-hosted the Power To The People Podcast.

    Democrats Abroad would like to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly congratulate Ms. George on her election to the DNC Credentials Committee and thank her for her continued engagement with our organization!