Europe, Middle East & Africa

Welcome to the Europe, Middle East, and Africa Region!

Who We Are 

Democrats Abroad is the official arm of the Democratic Party representing Americans who live outside the US. Our mission is to provide Americans living abroad a voice in our government and to elect Democrats by mobilizing the overseas vote.

Where We Are

The EMEA region has active committees in 26 countries (see below) and members in dozens of other countries. You can benefit from all Democrats Abroad has to offer regardless of where you live!

Our Activities

Our organisation is 100% volunteer-run and membership is free! Organisers in your area would love to get in touch with you to connect you to other members, share our local and global (online) events, and help you vote from abroadDo you want to get more involved? There are so many ways to make a difference—from individual tiny actions, to get out the vote drives, to social events—the EMEA regional team is here to help. We're always looking for more volunteers. Why not you? Contact us at [email protected]

 

DA COUNTRY COMMITTEES IN THE EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA REGION

Austria

Belgium

Denmark

Czech Republic

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Kenya

Luxembourg

Netherlands

Norway

Portugal

Romania

Russia

South Africa

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

Don't live in one of these countries but want to get involved? 
Please send a message to Regional Vice-Chair for EMEA, Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, [email protected] or click HERE to check out news from our non-country committee countries!

If you would like to help develop a new Country Committee, we can also help. Just get in touch! 

DA Europe, Middle East & Africa Leadership:

Jen Rakow-Stepper
| Regional Vice Chair–EMEA, Member-at-Large–DA Austria
Caroline Ruchonnet
| DPCA Representative, UK ExCom, UK Scotland Chapter Vice Chair, EMEA Deputy RVC
Jim Mercereau
| GSC GOTV, DPCA Voting Rep, EMEA Deputy RVC
Michelle Taube
| Voting Representative Denmark, EMEA Deputy RVC
See all Leaders


  • News

    2022 Midterms – Vote from EMEA!


     

    This is a midterm election year — all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 35 of the 100 Senate seats, and 39 gubernatorial seats are up for grabs in November. U.S. citizens have the right to vote in primary and general elections, no matter where in the world they live! If you're a U.S. citizen, dual-national, or will be 18 on November 8, 2022, you have the right to vote from abroad in US elections — including in the November 2022 midterms!

    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., how long you’ve lived outside the U.S., or if you've never resided in the U.S. at all. You have the right to vote!

    The U.S. State Department recommends, “all U.S. citizens living abroad complete and submit a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) annually, to ensure you remain on your state’s voter rolls and to ensure your local election office has your up-to-date contact information.” Vote From Abroad provides all the information, forms, and support help in one place to make voting easy!

     

    📌  Please note that there is NO IN-PERSON VOTING for the November midterm elections! 📌

     

    ✭ ✭ In 2022, these States must mail in the ballot. Vote as soon as you get your ballot! Don't wait to return your ballot! ✭  ✭

     Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

    Go to www.votefromabroad.org/states for specific  details


    KEY POINTS FOR VOTING

    • Request your overseas ballot now!  www.votefromabroad.org 
    • Ask on the request form (FPCA) that your ballot be sent to you by email
    • Submit your request form by email, if your state allows  
    • Return your voted ballot electronically (email, upload or fax), if your state allows 
    • If your state requires you to mail back your ballot:
      • Request your ballot NOW, so you’ll receive it on Sept 24 when counties start sending overseas ballots out (45 days before the election)
      • Download and vote your ballot as soon as you receive it
      • Use the diplomatic pouch (by Oct 2nd) or use a courier service to sent it back
    • Track your request form and your ballot
    • Questions?  [email protected]

     

    ✭ ✭ ✭  ✭  ✭  ✭  ✭  ✭  ✭

    What's covered on this page: 

    1. Registering to vote and requesting your ballot

    2. Confirming your request has been accepted

    3. Receiving your ballot

    4. Oct 1 and the ballot hasn’t arrived? 

    5. Voting your ballot

    6. Returning your ballot

    7. Checking twice to prevent mistakes

    8. Confirming your ballot's arrival

    9. What to do if you encounter difficulties

    10. Getting your "I Voted from EMEA" Stickers 

    ✭ ✭ ✭  ✭  ✭  ✭  ✭  ✭  ✭

     

    1. Registering to vote and requesting your ballot for the 2022 midterm elections

    The first step is to request your ballot, and if need be, register to vote from abroad. You should do this every election year to ensure you remain on your state’s overseas voter rolls and to ensure your local election office has your up-to-date contact information. It’s important to register as an absentee voter from abroad because the ballots of US citizens voting from abroad have special protections and are different from the standard absentee ballot. 

    Go to votefromabroad.org to fill out your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) absentee ballot request — it takes 5-10 minutes! If you're not registered to vote, the FPCA also serves as a voter registration form. Choose the option to receive ballots by email.

    The second step is to submit the FPCA absentee ballot request form to your local election office in the United States. Most states allow you to submit your FPCA directly from votefromabroad.org without the need to print it out. But some states require that you submit your completed form by email attachment, fax, or postal mail. State deadlines and submission methods can be found here.

    If you have any questions while filling out your request form, go to the Vote from Abroad FAQ section or type your question in the website's chatbox (red circle in the bottom right-hand corner of each screen). Or you can email us at [email protected] 

     


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




    2. Confirming your request has been accepted 

    After submitting your FPCA absentee ballot request form, call or email your Local Election Official (LEO) to confirm they have received it and will be sending your ballot. Your LEO's contact information is listed in the instructions generated when you fill out your FPCA form at Vote from Abroad. You can also look up their contact info here

    Most states provide a website where you can verify your voter status. To find your state's website, click here and scroll down to “Where Is My Ballot?"

     

    3. Receiving your ballot 📬

    Your overseas absentee ballot is not your standard absentee ballot back home! Thanks to the MOVE Act, all states must send FPCA-requested  absentee ballots to overseas voters no later than 45 days before a federal election — this year that’s September 24, 2022

    And, if requested, all states must send overseas voters their ballot by email.

    You don't need to wait for ballots to arrive on September 24. If you're worried your ballot won't arrive on time, send in a Backup Ballot NOW. The Backup Ballot (Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot or FWAB) is specifically for overseas voters who are concerned they won't receive their official ballot in time to return it by the deadline. All details about the Backup Ballot can be found here.

     

    4. Your ballot hasn’t arrived? 📭

    Check your spam folder. Still no ballot? Contact your local election official here and confirm they’ve sent your ballot to you. Go to votefromabroad.org if you need to send in a new FPCA absentee ballot request form.

    If you haven’t received your ballot by October 1 and your state requires postal mail return, we recommend you send in a Backup Ballot to make sure your vote gets to your state in time. All details about the Backup Ballot can be found here.

     

    5. Voting your ballot 🗳️

    It’s easy to get informed about candidates, ballot initiatives, and judicial candidates and important to vote your ballot completely. State and local races are critical in 2022! 

    The simplest way is to vote for Democrats straight down the ballot. Some elected positions do not list a party affiliation, like school boards, judges, and others. To determine who to vote for in those cases, you can do the following: 

    • Google your county's local Democratic Party
    • Go to the League of Women Voters personalized ballot service 
    • Go to Ballotpedia - Example: google “Ballotpedia Arizona elections 2022”
    • Google the candidate's name to find their campaign website

     

    6. There are lots of ways to return your ballot! 

    📌 Remember! Only use a mail service if you cannot return your ballot electronically 📌

    Ballot return methods – by email, online, postal mail, fax – vary by state. Always return your ballot as quickly as possible, but especially if your state only allows postal mail return. Find your state's exact ballot return methods here.

    If your state allows email, online upload or fax  for ballot return, please use these options as they’re not subject to delay! Here is more information on fax submission.

    If your state requires postal mail return, see info below on options from Austria.

    New Jersey Voters: Please note that New Jersey allows for email or fax returns, but requires that the ballot ALSO be sent by postal mail.

    New York Voters: Here are instructions on How to fold the New York State General Election ballot.


    Need help scanning your ballot?

     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


    International Postal Service:  

    If your state requires postal mail ballot return, one option is to use express international mail from your country's postal service. Please remember mail service can be slow and send your ballot as soon as possible!

    You should – and some states require you – to ask for a postmark or date stamp to be placed on the outer envelope. Find out your state’s requirements here

     

     The U.S. Embassy/Consulate diplomatic pouch: The U.S. Consulate requests that ballots sent by the diplomatic post be dropped off no later than four weeks before the ballot due date. You will need to place your ballots in a U.S. postage paid return envelopes (usually provided with your ballot) or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage. You can download a free U.S. postage-paid return envelope template at FVAP.gov.

    Please be aware that using the diplomatic pouch does not mean your ballot will arrive faster. It can take up to four weeks for the mail to reach its final destination. Use a Back-up Ballot to make the diplomatic pouch deadline if your regular ballot hasn’t arrived. Find out more here.

    In Africa? Find country specific Consulate information compiled by the DA Africa Committee here

    Find the U.S. Consulate address near you on the on the usembassy.gov website  

     

     Courier Service:

    If your state requires postal mail ballot return, the quickest option is to use a courier service.

    Democrats Abroad is working to arrange with DHL a discount for ballots to be returned to the U.S. We'll share the specific details here as soon as they've been set. Stay tuned!

    Even with expedited courier services though, ballots still take several days to get to the United States. Please send your ballot as soon as possible! Do not wait! You should – and some states require you – ask for a postmark or date stamp to be placed on the outer envelope. Find out your state’s requirements here. We do not recommend booking or paying online with any courier service. You will not receive a postmark if you book or pay online.

    Do you reside in Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, or Turkey? Discounts are also available for Austria, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Romania and Spain. please check the country committee page for specific information democratsabroad.org/emea

    DHL is offering a discount to send mail (including your ballot) from these countries to the US. The discount availability varies by country. Please check bit.ly/USA2022DHL for the offer dates and booking code. Please confirm with your local DHL provider whether or not packages can be sent from DHL Express Flagship Stores and Service Points or must be booked online.

    DHL cannot send to a P.O. Box! Be sure to confirm a street address with your local election official if a P.O. Box is the return address on your ballot. 

    Please do not use an online booking service if your state requires a postmark to be on the outside envelope AND your ballot might arrive close to or after Nov 8! Find out your state’s requirements here.

    📌 Remember! Only use a mail service if you cannot return your ballot electronically 📌

    7. Checking twice to prevent mistakes 👀

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

    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. Unsure? Find out your state’s requirements here

     

    8. Confirming your ballot's arrival at your local election office in the United States ✓✓

    Once you've sent 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! 

    The easiest way to ensure your ballot has arrived is to go to "Track Your Ballot" on your state’s website. You can also look up your local election office's contact details here and contact them directly. They may be experiencing a high volume of calls, so you may need to be persistent to get through to someone.

     

    9. Having trouble? Need help? 😕

    We understand that the voting process to some states can be confusing — that's why we're here to help! Send us an email at  [email protected] 

     

    10. Get your "I Voted from XX" sticker

    Thank you for voting!  If you would like to print an “I Voted from XX” sticker with your country's name go here.

     


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    Upcoming Events

    Thursday, December 01, 2022 at 03:00 AM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
    Video launch via YouTube

    American Women Need Your Help Now!

     

    The GWC Reproductive Justice Team is launching a project to promote voter registration under the theme Reproductive Justice for ALL.

    As you certainly know, the rights of all women to choose when and if to start a family are being taken away with over 26 States prohibiting or restricting the right to abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy even in the cases of rape, incest and the mother’s and/or the  fetus’ health. Texas has empowered vigilantes to sue everyone and anyone aiding and abetting abortion once the fetal heartbeat can be heard (eg at approximately 6 weeks and before most women know they are pregnant).

    We cannot allow this to continue particularly with Roe v Wade in peril and the Women’s Health Protection Act stuck in the Senate.

    Our project is a video launch via YouTube. We are asking all DA members to make a short (60 sec) video explaining why the right to abortion is absolutely necessary. If you come from a State where it is practically impossible to obtain an abortion, you can speak about the discrimination against minority and poor women whose lives are in jeopardy and who cannot travel. If you come from “good States” such as MA, CA, NY for example, you can speak to the injustice of access depending upon where you live. Make sure you mention in the video VotefromAbroad.org for expat voter registration and vote.gov for non expat voter registration.

    We believe that many of our voters will be motivated to register when we roll out the videos.

    Here are a few subjects that you could choose for your video:

    • If you live/vote in a country that has “good” reproductive freedom laws, you could refer to the country and the liberal law(s) and how lucky you are to be in that country and how unfair it is for American women LIVING IN THE US who can’t benefit from such laws
    • If you live/vote in a US State that has good reproductive freedom laws, see above. And you can say that living in a “bad” State is  discriminatory since women in “good “US States have rights that you are denied.
    • You can share a personal experience. You don’t have to use your name or even mention where you live. The videos will be anonymous unless you do give details.
    • You can make a statement about women should have the right to control their bodies. Period. There is no justification for the government to decide when, how  or even if women should have children.

    If you can’t think of anything to say but still want to make a video, feel free to contact Salli at [email protected]. She will set up a call and walk you through some ideas and we can help you make the video.

    Here is a link on how to make a video:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1O7wGPrZmmXocOuMI5zZutc1w62nHlQWZOat8Srq_bFQ/edit?usp=sharing

    For more information, visit our blog space here:

    https://www.democratsabroad.org/wc_reproductive_justice_action_team

    All videos should be sent to Salli Swartz at [email protected]

    THANKS FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN


    Disclaimer: By submitting your video, you grant to Democrats Abroad a nonexclusive rights to use your video and your image only for the 2022 GWC Reproductive Justice Get Out the Vote video project. 

    You therefore hereby waive all rights to any claims arising out of or in connection with Democrats Abroad GWC’s use of your video  and image in connection with the 2022 Reproductive Justice video project.


     

    Tuesday, December 13, 2022 at 11:00 AM Paris Time · 5 rsvps
    Zoom (Online Webinar) in Washington, DC

    DA Taxation Task Force Volunteer Info Session (APAC/EMEA Friendly Time)


    Are you passionate about American abroad tax issues and have the skills or time to help?
    The DA Taxation Task Force is hosting this volunteer information session to explain what's involved in being a volunteer and to answer any questions you might have about volunteering. Click here for an outline of volunteering opportunities for the TTF.

    The DA TTF is a group of dedicated volunteers working towards fixing the tax code for Americans living abroad. We are under new leadership for 2022 and in preparation, we are currently looking to restructure the team as well as inviting new volunteers to join us.

    We have a number of volunteer positions available, from people with no experience who want to help out with social media, to subject matter experts that can help us lobby Congress - everyone and anyone is welcome to contribute!

    Once you attend the info session, we encourage you to complete this application to the best of your ability. You will then be invited to a follow-up one-to-one 30 minute Zoom call to figure out which teams you fit into and to get you started.

    Note: Attending an info session is optional, you do not need to attend to express interest in volunteering. Feel free to go ahead and fill in the application form here.

    You can also express interest in volunteering by emailing [email protected] and including as much information as possible about your background and how you think you can help.

    Please feel free to forward this event page to friends or family that you think might be interested in getting involved!

     

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