With the Democratic National Convention (DNC) drawing to an end, Democrats around the world are reminded of how many talented, competent, and diverse candidates the Democratic Party has to offer — officials at all levels of government who are eager to repair the damage the current administration has done and to help create policies that work for all. We're reminded that things don't have to be the way they are. But we must show up on November 3 to get Democrats elected. As President Obama so bluntly stated last night, we cannot let them take away our democracy. For overseas voters especially, this means making a plan NOW to ensure that you're registered to vote and that your ballot will make it to the United States on time. Right here in Germany, we're gearing up for the biggest election of our lifetimes and doing everything we can to help Americans in Germany vote. But we need your help and engagement!
Read below for important updates on voting, how you can get involved, developments within DA Germany (like the founding of our 14th chapter, DA Saxony!), upcoming events (like a post-DNC conversation with DA's three delegates from Germany!), and how you can order Biden-Harris and DA merchandise (pictures below).
- If you haven't yet requested your ballot, please don't wait any longer. Complete your request in 5-10 minutes NOW at www.votefromabroad.org. Please mark to have your ballot sent to you via email.
- If you have requested your ballot, now's the time to confirm with your local election office that your request was accepted and that you will receive an absentee ballot this fall. As per federal law, official state ballots must be sent to overseas voters on September 19th — mark this date on your calendar and plan to return your ballot immediately. All state deadlines and accepted delivery methods can be found here: www.votefromabroad.org/states.
- Democrats Abroad is also now encouraging voters — especially those from states that only allow postal mail ballot return (which includes many swing states like MI, OH, PA, TX, and WI) — to already submit an emergency backup ballot (Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, FWAB) given the real concern that official state ballots may not arrive in time to send in by the deadline. And you can mail the FWAB in TODAY!
There's no downside to using the FWAB. When you receive your official state ballot, you mail that in as well. If both arrive in time, the FWAB will be discarded and only your official state ballot will be counted. But, if your official state ballot is delayed and misses the deadline, your FWAB will be counted as your VOTE.
For detailed information how to fill out and submit a FWAB, go to www.votefromabroad.org/fwab.
- We understand that voting from abroad can get confusing — that's why we're here to help. We'll be offering live voter assistance on Zoom every Sunday through Election Day from midnight to midnight U.S. Eastern time to answer questions you have about voting from abroad.
You're also welcome to submit your question via our Direct Voter Assistance form or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out the details on our in-person German-wide voter assistance drive happening on September 5 below!
We have worked relentlessly since January 2017 to put the US back on track, and we can't stop now! We've got tons of different projects that cater to your skills, availability, and interest. Here are some ways you can help us make sure the 120,000 Americans in Germany vote:
- Distribute materials, like Vote from Abroad business cards and tear-off sheets, in your community. Request yours here today.
- Become a phonebanker and make calls to fellow DA members reminding them to request and return their absentee ballot. We've got a series of phonebanking training sessions in August and September. Check out all training dates here. Can't make a training but want to get started? Here's a link to some helpful phonebanking resources.
Added bonus: Call between August 23-29 as part of our Caller Appreciation Week and earn a variety of prizes! Details here.
- If you're from a state that allows postal ballot return only (check your state here), write to your governor and as him/her to take a stand for email-returned ballots! More details, including a sample text, here.
- Help save the United States Postal Service (USPS) by writing to the six men on the Board of Directors. The have the authority to fire Trump-appointee Louis DeJoy, the Postmaster General; roll back Trump's hobbling of the USPS; and save a free and fair election! Here are their emails, and here's a sample text:
Dear Mr. [insert name],
I am a US citizen currently living in Germany. The budget cuts to the USPS are troubling to me on many levels, but as a citizen abroad, it is imperative to me that we are able to safely mail in our ballots for the election this November.
I am calling on you to roll back President Trump’s hobbling of the USPS and ensure that, especially during a global pandemic, our country can have a safe, free and fair election.
- Become a voter assistance volunteer yourself! We need help staffing our Sunday voter assistance sessions. Consider attending a voter registration training tonight, August 20 at 6:00pm or on Wednesday, September 2 at 6:00pm.
- Engage with us on social media! Our Vote from Abroad team is putting out helpful shareable graphics daily. Like and share our posts to help reach new overseas voters!
- DA Germany is excited to have three talented members — Ty Cofield (Frankfurt/Warsaw), Anya Leonhard (Leipzig), and Diego Rivas (Berlin) — acting as delegates and representing overseas voters this week at the DNC! Read more about our delegates here and be sure to catch Saturday's convention recap with them.
- We're excited to announce the founding of a 14th chapter of DA Germany, the Saxony Chapter, which includes all of Saxony as well as part of eastern Thuringia. If you're in the area and looking to get involved, please contact Acting Saxony Chair Kaitlyn Kennedy at email@example.com.
- Our postcards to voters project is drawing to an end. If you have postcards, please color and return them by September 8. You should have received the return address in the original instructions. If you forget it, please respond to this email. In total, we've completed more than 9,000 postcards that are landing in overseas voters' mailboxes — perhaps you event received on yourself! To everyone who's contributed to this project, we say:
Thursday, August 20, 3:00pm (TODAY!)
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, & Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist join us to talk about swing state races and our election challenges
Saturday, August 22, 1:30pm
Convention Recap with Delegates from DA Germany speak with us about their experience at the Convention and the path to November
Sunday, August 23 to Sunday, August 29, times vary
A series of exciting events, including a call-a-thon, screening of "Capturing the Flag", and guest speakers, presented by the Global Women's Caucus to Commemorate 100 Years of Women's Suffrage
Sunday, August 30, 3:30pm
DA Germany Online Meet & Greet to discuss our organization and it's work, as well as connect Democrats across Germany
Saturday, September 5, times vary
Register Together: A Germany-wide U.S. Voter Registration Campaign with voter registration tables in over 20 cities — add yours to the list today! Please note that all precautions will be taken to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Tuesday, September 8, 7:30pm
Progressive Palates: Wine Tasting with DA to meet like-minded Dems, raise your glass to taking back the White House, and help support DA (suggested €10 donation)
Get all your Biden-Harris gear here and help get out the vote! We're excited to offer new Biden-Harris t-shirts (expected delivery: mid-September), as well as all your favorite DA and Vote from Abroad classics like face masks, tote bags, beer steins, and much more!
If you are already stocked with plenty of Democrats Abroad gear, you can still show your support by donating directly to DA Germany:
Account name: Democrats Abroad Germany
IBAN: DE04 5405 0220 0140 2702 99
On behalf of our entire team, we thank you for your continued support and for passionately getting out the vote in such a critical election year. We look forward to working together with you through November and beyond to put our country back on track.
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!
Last updated: September 23, 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 absentee ballot
2. how to confirm your request has been accepted
3. how and when you should receive your ballot
4. how to return your absentee ballot, and
5. what to do if you encounter difficulties.
1.) Register to vote and request your absentee 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.
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). 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 an absentee 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 absentee 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). If you requested it by fax or email, it should be in your inbox (don't forget to check you spam folder!). If you requested it by postal mail, expect to see it in your mailbox in the coming week. If you do not receive your ballot by the end of September, you will want to contact your LEO and contact Democrats Abroad for help, if necessary.
4.) Return your absentee 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.
If your state requires postal mail ballot return, we recommend using the Deutsche Post until October 5. 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 DHL Express.
After October 5, we recommend using a private courier, like DHL Express (different from DHL), FedEx, or UPS, if financially feasible. All states that require postal mail return have confirmed that they will accept ballots sent with such couriers.
In either case, 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.
We do NOT recommend using the diplomatic pouch at U.S. embassies or consulates as return times are currently highly unpredictable.
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.) Having trouble? Need help? 😕
We understand that the process of voting from abroad can be confusing — that's why we're here to help. We're available all day every Sunday through Election Day for one-on-one support (login info available by clicking on links).
** Important note to voters from Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Your state requires overseas voters' ballots to be returned by postal mail. Due to concerns about postal delays, we are urging voters from these states to already 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 Fall 2020.
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 requires 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!
YOUR VOTE MATTERS!
Democrats Abroad Germany sends three Delegates to the Democratic National Convention
Drei Delegierten von Democrats Abroad Germany nehmen an der Democratic National Convention teil
Tyler Cofield, Anya Leonhard and Diego Rivas are responsible for representing Democrats Abroad, probably the most diverse “state party” as well as the campaign of the candidate they are pledged to at this unconventional DNC Convention.
Meet the young sovereign delegates.
Tyler Cofield, Anya Leonhard und Diego Rivas vertreten Democrats Abroad, der wohl vielfältigsten "Staatspartei", sowie den Wahlkampf des Kandidaten, dem sie bei diesem unkonventionellen DNC-Kongress verpflichtet sind.
Lernen Sie die jungen souveränen Delegierten kennen.
Tyler Cofield is a 26-year-old dancer from the great state of Texas! He moved from the US to Frankfurt last summer, but is currently working in Warsaw. He is passionate about socioeconomics, politics, and of course the arts. Tyler started getting involved with Democrats Abroad because he believes in the civic responsibility of every citizen to participate in how they are governed. He is thrilled to be representing Senator Bernie Sanders at this year's Democratic National Convention and hopes to "get in good trouble" and make positive contributions to this democratic process.
“We are seeing increased hatred and police brutality towards the LGBT community world-wide. November 3, 2020, will be a deciding factor on if the US will join other “democratic” nations in a shift towards authoritarian governments favoring right-wing “strongmen” and their egos over the health and wellbeing of all of their citizens.”
Tyler Cofield ist ein 26-jähriger Tänzer aus dem großartigen Bundesstaat Texas! Er zog letzten Sommer von den USA nach Frankfurt, arbeitet aber derzeit in Warschau. Seine Leidenschaft gilt der Sozioökonomie, der Politik und natürlich der Kunst. Tyler begann, sich für die Democrats Abroad zu engagieren, weil er an die staatsbürgerliche Verantwortung eines jeden Bürgers glaubt, an der Art und Weise, wie er regiert wird, teilzuhaben. Er ist begeistert, Senator Bernie Sanders auf dem diesjährigen Nationalkonvent der Demokraten zu vertreten und hofft, "in gute Schwierigkeiten zu geraten" und positive Beiträge zu diesem demokratischen Prozess zu leisten.
"Wir beobachten weltweit zunehmenden Hass und Polizeibrutalität gegenüber der LGBT-Gemeinschaft. Der 3. November 2020 wird ein entscheidender Faktor dafür sein, ob sich die USA zusammen mit anderen "demokratischen" Nationen zu autoritären Regierungen hinwenden werden, die rechte "starke Männer" und ihre Egos gegenüber der Gesundheit und dem Wohlergehen aller ihrer Bürger bevorzugen.
Anya Leonhard, 22, is a medical student at Leipzig University and originally hails from New Orleans, Louisiana. She has lived in Leipzig since 2016. Through her work in German hospitals and her experience in the German education system, she has seen the necessity of Senator Sanders’s policies, especially universal healthcare and the cancellation of student debt.
“This election will be a turning point for America and the world. In 2016, many Democrats didn't truly appreciate the potential consequences of a Trump presidency. Now, for almost four years, we have witnessed time and time again the damage he can do to our democracy. The President we elect will decide the balance of the Supreme Court, the outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and our relationship to foreign countries.”
Anya Leonhard, 22, studiert an der Universität Leipzig im 10. Fachsemester Medizin und kommt ursprünglich auch New Orleans, Louisiana. Sie lebt seit 2016 in Deutschland. Das deutsche Gesundheitssystem und ihre Erfahrungen als Studentin in Deutschland haben die Notwendigkeit der Politik Bernie Sanders’ für sie demonstriert, insbesondere die Reformierung des US-Amerikanischen Gesundheitssystems und den Erlass von studienbedingten Schulden.
"Diese Wahl wird ein Wendepunkt für Amerika und die Welt sein. Im Jahr 2016 wussten viele Demokraten die möglichen Folgen einer Trump-Präsidentschaft nicht wirklich zu schätzen. Jetzt, seit fast vier Jahren, haben wir immer wieder erlebt, welchen Schaden er unserer Demokratie zufügen kann. Der von uns gewählte Präsident wird über die Ausgewogenheit des Obersten Gerichtshofs, den Ausgang der COVID-19-Pandemie in den Vereinigten Staaten und unser Verhältnis zum Ausland entscheiden".
Diego Rivas has lived in Berlin since 2014 and votes in California. He is the Chair of the Berlin Chapter - the largest and probably the most progressive group of Americans in Germany. He is also a Democratic Party Committee Abroad Voting Member for Germany, and a Bernie Sanders Delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention. During the day, he works on transatlantic relations with the think tank Das Progressive Zentrum.
“As someone from the United States living in Germany, it is difficult to watch as millions lose their jobs - and as a result their healthcare, during the middle of a public health crisis. This is unacceptable and as a nation, we must come together to guarantee health care as a right, not a privilege. The proposed Medicare for All would guarantee this human right to all in our country.”
Diego Rivas lebt seit 2014 in Berlin und wählt in Kalifornien. Er ist der Vorsitzende des Berliner Chapters. Darüber hinaus ist er ein stimmberechtigtes Mitglied des Ausschusses der Democrats Abroad für Deutschland und Delegierter von Bernie Sanders auf der Democratic National Convention 2020. Tagsüber arbeitet er mit dem Think Tank Das Progressive Zentrum an den transatlantischen Beziehungen.
"Als jemand aus den Vereinigten Staaten, der in Deutschland lebt, kann man nur schwer zusehen, wie Millionen Menschen mitten in einer Krise der öffentlichen Gesundheit ihren Arbeitsplatz verlieren - und infolgedessen auch ihre Gesundheitsversorgung. Das ist inakzeptabel, und als Nation müssen wir uns zusammenschließen, um die Gesundheitsversorgung als ein Recht und nicht als ein Privileg zu garantieren. Die vorgeschlagene "Medicare for All" würde dieses Menschenrecht für alle in unserem Land garantieren"
There are an estimated 120,000 U.S. citizens living in Germany, all of whom we want to remind to request their absentee ballots (request yours here). During these times of social distancing, this 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!Read more
Solidarity with International Students - Statement from DA Germany Student Outreach Team & Youth Caucus
As members of the DA Germany Student Outreach Team and Youth Caucus, we stand in solidarity with international students pursuing their education at U.S. institutions and call for the immediate retraction of the proposed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policies that unjustly target them.
On July 6, 2020, ICE released a statement that announced holders of certain student visas (F-1 and M-1) would be denied entry, extensions or targeted for deportation if they were not enrolled in in-person courses. The changes limit the amount of online credit hours students can take, at a time when more universities are switching to full-time online teaching in face of the CoVid-19 pandemic. This is a direct attack on the physical and mental well-being of students and local communities.
At a moment when the political and social demands of Black, Indigenous and people of color are being elevated and fought for in the streets, we understand that the proposed changes disproportionally affect international students from lower economic backgrounds or global spaces with limited technology, making online courses increasingly difficult. It similarly denies students who left the USA at the beginning of the pandemic an opportunity to return to the lives they have built. We find this unacceptable and in-line with other condemnable ICE policies that target migrant communities throughout the United States.
From our own experiences studying abroad in Germany (and various other places), we know that the denial of a visa does not only mean refused access to education but it also means the upheaval of personal lives and connections that are built every day, for some it may even mean a loss of livelihood. International students are a crucial part of the lives of universities and colleges not only in the US but worldwide, and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We appreciate initiatives at the state-level aimed at protecting students and stopping the regulations from being implemented.
We therefore stand in solidarity with all international students in the United States and globally.
Links to support:
Make a video letting people know why you vote from abroad.
Your video will be used to make a compilation video of members of Democrats Abroad saying “I vote from abroad because” and then their reason
You can make a partisan video. Or you can make a non-partisan which refers to general issues such as the environment, health care, etc. with mentioning anyone in particular.
Here is a sample video to use as a template
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
Prefer to make a donation in US Dollars? Please send cash or checks to:
Democrats Abroad Germany
Postfach 34 02 58
Thank you for your support!
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.
- Get involved in phone banking: We need you to help us reach Americans in Germany and beyond!
Sign up for phone banking: https://www.democratsabroad.org/de_phonebanking
Sign up for an online training class here. Please RSVP to receive the link to connect to the training:Read more
Please fill out our contact form. We will do our best to have a volunteer respond to you within 48 hours.
Attend an online in-person help session
Click any of the links below, RSVP to the event and you will receive an email with a Zoom link to connect to our voter help desk.
Office Hours (Voter Assistance) Thursday, June 25, 6:30 PM. More Info/RSVP
Office Hours (Voter Assistance) Tuesday, July 7, 7:00 PM. More Info/RSVP
Office Hours (Voter Assistance) Wednesday, July 15, 5:00 PM. More Info/RSVP
Office Hours (Voter Assistance) Sunday, July 26, 5:30 PM. More Info/RSVP
*All of our voter assistance is non-partisan, and we will help any U.S. citizen register to vote regardless of where they live, where they vote, or what party they support.*
Request your absentee ballot for the November election at https://www.votefromabroad.org/