News

Our Vote from Abroad table in Stuttgart yesterday

We had lively conversations, answered questions and helped US citizens register to vote. Thank you to all the volunteers who made the day such a success, despite the rain and cold!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/189916450@N02/shares/4T4AR1

http://www.flickr.com/photos/189916450@N02/shares/4T4AR1


RBG passed away Friday, September 18, 2020

RGB, an iconic trailblazer, fighter for justice and voice for the unheard, passed away yesterday. May she live on in our deeds, as we continue her fight for equality and justice.

http://flic.kr/p/2jJ4vku


Vote From Abroad in Stuttgart-Vaihingen

Thank you to all the volunteers on Saturday! You helped make our event a success!


Our Vote From Abroad table in Böblingen today

Are you registered to vote? If not, join us next Saturday, September 12, 2020 at the Marktplatz in Stuttgart-Vaihingen!

 


September 2020 Newsletter

Dear Members,

To ensure the US doesn’t continue down the current path of authoritarianism, to halt the murder of more innocent and unarmed people of color, to stop the disregard of rules and laws by the Trump family and those in their orbit, we as Democrats Abroad must do what is in our power: request our absentee ballots and vote from abroad! Every vote is important; together we have the power to turn our country in the right direction.

If you’re wondering what you can do to get the word out, there are a lot of options! First and foremost, make sure to vote! Remind your family members, friends and colleagues to vote. You can also become a phone banker, distribute material for Democrats Abroad and Vote From Abroad, you can assist at voter information tables, attend events and support our cause by donating or ordering merchandise. Your support makes a difference!

Anyone with postcards for the “Coloring for Democracy” campaign, please send these back by Tuesday, September 8, so they will reach potential voters in time.

Events:

• September 5: Join us in Böblingen from 12-3 pm tomorrow for a Vote From Abroad table 

• September 8: Women’s Caucus is hosting Women to Win, with a Michigan & Ohio Candidate Forum

• September 10: the Black Caucus is holding a conversation with Malcolm Nance

• September 11: our Chapter Meeting in the Amadeus beer garden, Charlottenplatz 17, at 7 pm.

• September 12: Vote From Abroad stand in Stuttgart-Vaihingen at the Marktplatz from 12-3 pm

• September 20: join the virtual “Coffee & Voting” from 12-2 pm

• September 29: voter assistance event at the Carl-Schurz-Haus in Freiburg from 3-6 pm

If you would like to help at any of these events, please reach out to us. Thank you to all our helpers, without whom this would not be possible!

Democratically yours,

Sasha Arrington 

 

 

 


Does my individual vote matter, especially if I come from a “blue” state?

A member asked a very good question, wondering if her vote is necessary since she votes in a “blue” state. The following article explains why yes, you absolutely should vote! No matter which state you are from, every individual vote makes an impact! 

Thank you for your question!

 

THE INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF GOUCHER COLLEGE

 
 

Yes, Voting in a Blue State Still Matters

by

By Grace Reno

With the 2020 election less than a year away, there is nothing else in the United States that causes as much tension or is quite as polarized as American politics. I suspect that even my mentioning the word ‘politics’ has caused some strong opinions to come to mind. Coming from Atlanta, which is seen as the Democrats’ safe haven in the notoriously conservative state of Georgia, the importance of voting has long been instilled in me. It has always been the residents of Atlanta against the rest of the state, making it a largely polarized state. With the 2020 election fast approaching, it is more important than ever for individuals who ‘don’t care’ about voting or are not registered to take action. Moving from Atlanta to Goucher College, located outside of Baltimore, has only strengthened my belief that voting in elections is not only a privilege of being a U.S. citizen, but is necessary.

            One of our fundamental rights and ideals as a U.S. citizen is the right to vote for who we as a nation want to lead us. It is a right that is not available to individuals in numerous other countries (Powell). In the 1960’s and 70’s voting had a lot more enthusiasm connotated with it, whereas now a lot of people see it as less important, putting things such as errands above making sure they can vote a priority (Woodard). In 1964, sixty-four percent of Americans were voting in the presidential elections. However, by the 1988 election that percentage dropped to fifty-seven percent (American Voter…). The question is, what is to account for the decline in American voting? One popular theory is the “alienation” theory (Reinhold). Before the ‘64 election voter turnout was at an all time high.  This could be due to the fact that at that time, American citizens wholeheartedly believed in the democratic political system, and that it would yield the results that the people wanted. However, that all changed after “Vietnam and years of Watergate scandal and other political rot, the electorate is turned off, cynical, distrustful of government, uncertain that their votes make much difference” (Reinhold). Thus, the alienation theory. If the government can foster a more trusting relationship with the American public, instilling the belief that one’s individual vote does matter, then an increase in voter turnout may result.

Regardless of which state one lives in, if you waive your right to vote, you are waiving one of your most important rights as a citizen. Additionally, according to Gladu, since the 2016 election, Donald Trump has divided several groups of voters. Trump, as the perfect populist package, attempts to appeal to so many different voter pools, that his philosophies as a whole are never cohesive (Schneider). As Schneider says, “He’s conservative on social issues (immigration). Liberal on economic issues (trade). And isolationist on foreign policy (military intervention).” Thus, in recent elections many states became more ‘purple’ (a mix of democrat and republican) rather than strictly ‘red’ or ‘blue’ making it more important than ever to vote if one is voting blue. In addition, voter turnout in the United States is significantly lower than other developed countries, and the idea that if one lives in a blue state they don’t have to vote could be even more detrimental to United States voter turnout (Gladu).

A large percent of individuals living in notoriously blue states such as California and Washington state believe that their votes are simply a raindrop in the ocean, and that whether they vote or not, the outcome will not change. Woodard states that “the average chronic nonvoter is a married, nonreligious white woman between 56 and 73 who works full time but makes less than $50,000 a year. She is most likely to identify as a moderate, lean toward the Democratic Party, get her news from television and to have a very unfavorable impression of both political parties and President Donald Trump. She has a 77 percent chance of being registered to vote and says she doesn’t because she doesn’t like the candidates but claims to be certain she will vote in November.” Simply put, these people are not voting because they have the privilege not to need to. According to the LA Times,California has been a historically blue state since the 1992 election in which the state voted in favor of Bill Clinton. Ever since that 1992 election, the state has stayed blue, by a large margin, as 62% of the state voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election (PPIC). Therefore, why should one more democratic vote even matter?

It is extremely important for candidates to target these ‘chronic non-voters,’ as if one does motivate this group of people, they may have the power to swing the election. Which is how Trump was able to break through the “blue wall” in the eastern United States and win the election (Woodard). This is because he appealed to rural America, which is not typically done. This is also how Obama won the 2008 election, flipping North Carolina, Florida, and Indiana (Woodard). These blocs of people are going to be extremely important in the 2020 election, as they could be a deciding factor.

Additionally, throughout my time at Goucher thus far, I have met far more people than ever before who don’t see the importance in casting their ballots during election season. In my experience, the majority of people I’ve encountered at Goucher lean towards the more liberal side of politics, similar to those in the older (age) demographic mentioned previously, who are typically the non-voters. There are constantly events being organized by the school which relate to current societal and political issues, such as climate change walks and democratic debate watching parties. That being said, because many students enrolled at Goucher come from blue states, the importance of voting was never emphasized, as the odds were typically in their favor in the first place.

In summation, although one individual vote might not make the difference in an election, it is when this mentality takes over an entire population that it becomes dangerous. Because the idea that one vote doesn’t matter is so common in the United States, it has led to millions of people abstaining from voting, which does make a difference. Though voting democratic now is not guaranteed to yield a democratic president, there is still a cumulative impact, making the number of democrats higher and higher each year. It is important to recognize that voting is a building energy and more about the practice than the outcome, as, if more Americans continue to vote every year, the overall impact will be extremely beneficial. Furthermore, if Americans encourage and foster voter enthusiasm, similar to trends in the 1970s, voter turnout could skyrocket. Even in states like California, which has the largest number of electoral college votes, if the chronic non-voters of this country start casting their ballots, there is no telling what the outcome of the upcoming election could be.

Works Cited

“After Decades of Republican Victories, Here’s How California Became a Blue State Again.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, www.latimes.com/projects/la-pol-ca-california-voting-history/.

“California’s Political Geography 2020.” Public Policy Institute of California, www.ppic.org/publication/californias-political-geography/.

Gladu, Alex. “Blue-State Voters Must Turn Out On Election Day.” Bustle, Bustle, 24 Oct. 2016, www.bustle.com/articles/191165-does-my-vote-matter-if-im-in-a-blue-state-your-states-political-alignment-shouldnt-deter.

Powell, G. Bingham. “American Voter Turnout in Comparative Perspective.” American Political Science Review, vol. 80, no. 1, 1986, pp. 17–43., doi:10.2307/1957082.

Reinhold, Robert. “Voter Turnout Has Been Declining Steadily Since 1960.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 26 Sept. 1976, www.nytimes.com/1976/09/26/archives/voter-turnout-has-been-declining-steadily-since-1960-just-half-an.html.

“What Democracy and Voting Rights Look Like Around the World.” Global Citizen, www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/its-2016-here-is-the-state-of-voting-rights-around/.


Coloring for Democracy

If anyone would like to join our cause, blank postcards are available to color at your heart’s desire! They will be sent to potential voters in the US and overseas.

 

Read more

August 2020 Newsletter


DA & VFA Merchandise Available!

 During these times of social distancing, reaching the estimated 120,000 U.S. citizens in Germany has become a more challenging task, but there is an easy way for you to help us reach voters: Get some Democrats Abroad and Vote From Abroad merchandise! By wearing a t-shirt or face mask, carrying a tote bag, or displaying a sign in your window, you can also catch people’s attention and send a reminder to vote in November. It’s an easy and painless way to show your support and spread the word about voting from abroad!
 
The deadline for orders is currently set for July 31st.
 
 
Sasha Arrington 
DAG Stuttgart Interim Chair

July 2020 Newsletter

DA Stuttgart Chapter July Newsletter

 

Dear Members,

I hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July weekend!

This year is certainly going to go down in the books as a “unique” year—social distancing, home office, schools holding online courses, countries barring travel from hard-hit countries (the US) and wearing a mask to protect others is seen by some as showing your party affiliation.

There are many reasons that come to mind to vote blue in the fall, many of which circle around the sitting President and his personal “swamp”. Not only did DT not drain this alleged swamp, but he fed the alligators lurking in the murky depths very well. By trying to keep his personal finances a secret, we do not know who may be holding the strings to the current resident of the White House. Due to a lack of transparency, we do not know who received bailout payments that were meant to help small business owners; we also don’t have oversight on the billions spent to fight COVID-19. Judges have been appointed that will form the future of many generations to come in an ultra-conservative manner (the Supreme Court mandate on birth control is just one example of this). 

The rhetoric of the WH is not one of unity and inclusion, it is a “we” versus “them” attitude. When atrocities like the death of a POC due to police brutality occurs, there is not compassion and understanding of the anger that ensues. Instead, phrases like “law and order” are heard from the President, who is more interested in looking like a tough guy instead of working on the problems at hand.

As we continue into the summer of social distancing, there are numerous online events, voter assistance days, volunteer opportunities, book clubs, meet-and-greets and social events to participate in. We invite you to join us in some of the many fun and interesting events hosted by us and other German chapters. Some of these include:

A)     The Great American Quiz Night, held on July 15, 2020 from 7-9 pm

contact: berlin@democrats abroad

B)     Phone Banking Training , held on July 18, 2020

Event host: DAUK Phonebanking

Contact: phonebanking@democratsabroad.org.uk

C)     Meet & Greet for Baden-Württemberg, held on Sunday, July 19, 2020 from 7-9 pm.

Contact: Sasha Arrington, DAG Stuttgart 

 

Shockingly, only 10% of US citizens living abroad that were eligible to vote actually voted in 2016! Here are 5 ways for you to help improve this horrible statistic:

1.      Request your ballot at www.vote fromabroad.org

2.      Help us color postcards to send to US voters in “battleground” states like FL, GA, MI & PA

3.      Phone banking 

4.      Donate! If you don’t have much time, but would like to support us, please do! DA is run entirely on donations and lots of dedicated volunteer work

If you have questions or would like to help with Democrats Abroad Stuttgart, please get in touch! Wishing you a pleasant, safe July!

Sasha Arrington

 

Stuttgart Chapter Interim Chair