News

Post Election Views - Déjà vu? Change the View!

Déjà vu? Change the View!

November 2000. Gore gets 500,000+ more popular votes than Bush, but is denied a recount of flawed ‘hanging chads’ and ‘butterfly ballots’ in Florida. Florida’s Electoral College votes go to Bush. We are terribly disappointed, but good sports about it. Touch-screen digital voting machines are mandated by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) with subsidies for their purchase. 

November 2004. The new touch screen machines are in use across the country. Most provide no printout of the vote. Kerry is projected as winner in the first few hours after polls close. At about 11 p.m., some observers claim they noticed the score in Ohio abruptly flip from 51-49 to 49-51. Amid some confusion in the US and utter disbelief abroad, Bush is elected to a 2nd term. Vote integrity groups spring up and identify other anomalies in the count vs prior and exit polls. The Greens and Libertarians chip in and call for a recount, but again, there’s no ‘paper trail.’ We are terribly disappointed, but Kerry, his staffers and the Dem party are gracious losers.

November 2008. Obama amplifies an inspired campaign with innovative use of online resources and sweeps into office with a Democratic House and Senate. He inherits a gutted economy and the seeds of a backlash coalition of racist, socially conservative, anti-government forces. But, with Dems also in office at the state level, some of the voting machine ‘glitches’ are corrected. We pass what laws we can. We are happy.

November 2012. Founded by Kerry’s nemesis, the Swiftboaters, and funded by oil billionaires, the backlash has become the Tea Party movement. It‘s pulled off a major 2010 midterm win at all levels and set about gerrymandering House districts. Congress is in gridlock and slow economic recovery unsettles working class voters. Obama squeaks by into his 2nd term. We are relieved.

November 2016. The Tea Party tries to look respectable and fields a remarkable number of candidates for the GOP nomination. Last man standing is tyro Trump, whose uninhibited use of hate-the-other rhetoric rivals the Tea Party’s and is envied by the unsettled. On the Dem side, Sanders talks issues, taps into the unsettled anger and brings a growing coterie of enthusiastic progressives. Polls say he’d trounce Trump, but the Dem establishment still holds the reins and plays it ‘safe’ with Clinton. Clinton runs a stand-up campaign and is predicted to win. Trump wins and overnight retracts his hair and his worst divisive rhetoric. We are confused, devastated, gob-stopped, but still hopeful when Podesta tells us to come back for news in the morning. In the morning, Clinton gives an eloquent concession speech. She’s a gracious loser. Déjà vu.

At first, most of us tried to process what had happened. We reached out to each other by phone and social media. We scanned the newsfeeds for some clue that would explain the void we felt. Some were heart-broken, some were scared. Some were heckled and worse by Trumpeters. Others admitted that they were really, really pissed off. In the US, they took to the streets in protest.

But next the day dawned, and it was still surreal. Party leaders sent out brave emails, graciously extolling inclusiveness and unity, calm heads and forgiving hearts. You hear Gandhi in those words. But Gandhi also marched to the sea. Shouldn’t we?

If you, like many of us, are tired of déjà vu, let’s talk about changing the view! Acting now, employing the remedies built into the US body of law, we can take our minds off the disappointment and set positive change in motion. – K. Lee, DAGR Chair, 2015-17


“Don’t agonize; organize” – PDA

Hillary Clinton Concession Speech

http://edition.cnn.com/videos/politics/2016/11/09/hillary-clinton-concession-full-speech.cnn

President Obama Full Speech on Trump Election Win

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wr2USTE3L98

Trump Victory Speech w/into by Mike Pence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qsvy10D5rtc


 [articles following or to come]

  1. Secure the Vote

  2. Count Every Vote

  3. Petition the Electoral College to Use its Mandate

  4. Revise Electoral College Selection

  5. Prepare for a Tussle Ahead

  6. Get Involved in Democratic Activity


Post election Views - Count the Vote

Count the Vote

What’s the most popular come-back of the week?

“The election’s a done deal! Get over it!”

Get over the shock, yes! But, remember that the election didn’t end when polls closed Tuesday night. Whether anything changes or not, the process goes on until the Inauguration.

At the local/state level:

Absentee ballots

... are still accepted and counted by several states. Rules vary widely from state to state, but some accept mailed ballots up to 10 days after the election. Mailed ballots are hard copies, so envelopes must be matched to the voter rolls, then opened and the ballots counted (usually) by hand. Absentee ballots can and have affected the final count.

Provisional ballots

… are cast at a polling station on Election Day if the voter’s eligibility is in question. Questions arise from a simple error or illegible handwriting. Or because the voter has been caught in a vote purging effort.

Challenges and recounts

… may take place. Some states fund an automatic recount in a very close race (1 point or less difference).  In most, voters or a political party may challenge the vote, call for a recount, and pay the expense. Such challenges arise when vote tampering or hacking of electronic systems is suspected.

The deadline for finishing the count, then, may be even later, up to December 19, this year. As the states finish their job, the process connects to the federal level. It’s dull reading that glosses over a lot of potential drama.

Mid-November through December 19, 2016

The governor of each state prepares Certificates of Ascertainment and, as soon as “practicable,” sends one to the Archivist of the United States (head of the National Archives). This should happen by the time of the Electoral College elector’s meeting.

December 13, 2016

States must make final decisions in any controversies over the appointment of their electors at least six days before the meeting of the Electors. Decisions by states’ courts are conclusive, if decided under laws enacted before Election Day.

December 19, 2016

The Electors meet in their state and vote for President and Vice President. They send the result on a Certificate of Vote, which goes with their state’s Certificate of Ascertainment to the President of the Senate, et al.

December 28, 2016

Electoral votes (the Certificates of Vote) must be received by the President of the Senate and the Archivist no later than nine days after the meeting of the electors.

On or Before January 3, 2017

The Archivist and/or representatives from the Office of the Federal Register meet with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House in late December or early January.

January 6, 2017

The Congress meets in joint session to count the electoral votes. The Vice President, as President of the Senate, presides over the count, announces the results of the Electoral College vote, and then declares which persons, if any, have been elected President and Vice President of the United States.

If no Presidential candidate has won 270 or more electoral votes, a majority, the House of Representatives elects the President, choosing from the three candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes. The vote is taken by state, with each state having one vote. The process is repeated for Vice President, but with the Senate voting.

Objections to the Electoral College vote must be submitted in writing and be signed by at least one member of the House and one Senator, with the House and Senate then considering the merits under procedures set out in federal law. (See 2004!)

January 20, 2017 at Noon—Inauguration Day

The President-elect takes the Oath of Office and becomes the President of the United States.


 Key Dates in the 2016 General Election

Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration

https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/key-dates.html

National Association of Secretaries of State

Explore a little, visit your state’s SOS site, linked to NASS.

(Hint: tons of details in training materials for precinct election officials)

http://www.nass.org/elections-voting/election-ready-2016/


Post Election Views - Sins of Our Fathers....

“Our fathers sinned, and are no more; It is we who have borne their iniquities.”

Lamentations 5:7

Today it was announced that one of the architects of Bush’s torture policy, Jose Rodriquez1, is being considered for head of the CIA in the Trump administration. Waterboarding is considered illegal by the UN and most nations and yet we may have it returned to the CIA arsenal.

During the first days of the Obama Administration I thoroughly expected an investigation to be called for to bring to justice Bush and Co for their lies and deceit in the run up to the Iraq War and for the runaway spending that gave us a HUGE deficit along with the untold numbers of Americans dead and injured not to speak of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Bush and Co pushed the limits of Presidential power but Obama did nothing to rein it in. Obama saw a much divided nation and wanted to mend fences between the parties. Commendable, maybe? Litigation and investigation was NOT on the table and we will be reaping this lack of oversight with the Trump administration and extreme policies.

To me, this was always a serious tactical mistake. Our example of holding officials accountable is found with what happened with Watergate2. Democrats AND Republicans came together setting aside partisan politics for the investigation. Why, because they considered upholding the Constitution and its tenants more important to the health of the country than holding onto their partisan turf, taking the high road even at a cost. Watergate and its operatives were investigated and tried. Many in the administration went to jail, Nixon resigned and laws were created and passed to try and avoid these excesses of power in the future. This legacy made it much more difficult to play the same game again and allowed the wounds inflicted on the country to heal.  If Obama had heeded history he would have at least had an investigation. But he and Eric Holder turned the other cheek and didn’t, so today we have the distinct possibility that we will reap what we sowed. The Constitution should ALWAYS trump partisan politics, ALWAYS!

1 https://theintercept.com/2016/11/11/trump-cia-torture/

2 http://billmoyers.com/2013/03/29/watergate%E2%80%99s-lessons-washed-away/


AHI Publishes Hillary Clinton's Position Paper on Greece - US Relations

 

Growing Together: Hillary Clinton’s Vision for Advancing Opportunity

for Greek Americans & Immigrants of Greek Descent

Hillary believes the U.S.-Greece relationship is underpinned by shared interests and values, as well as strong bonds created by the large Greek American community. The United States is home to an estimated three million people who identify as Greek Americans. Their numerous ties to Greece – both business and personal – enhance the bilateral relationship and serve as a bridge of understanding between Greece and the United States. From adding rich diversity, to spurring small businesses and economic growth, Greek Americans and Greek immigrants have helped build this country and strengthen our communities.

 Hillary has a record of standing by Greece and the Greek American community:

● As First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary regularly engaged with leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church. She visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate three times, highlighting its importance: once as First Lady in 1996, again in 1999 when she returned with President Bill Clinton – the first sitting US President ever to visit – and again in 2011 as Secretary of State. Hillary is a long-time advocate of religious freedom. And she was proud to represent the vibrant Greek American community in New York as Senator.

● As Secretary of State, Hillary visited Greece in 2011 and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen collaboration and reduce looting and trafficking of Greek antiquities, and provide for their return to Greece to preserve its cultural heritage. During this visit, she also reinforced the U.S.-Greece partnership in the NATO alliance and reiterated the U.S.’s support of the Greek government to make the necessary reforms to put Greece back on sound financial footing.

As President, Hillary will continue to fight for issues that are important to the Greek American Community.

On issues of importance around the world, she will:

• Stand with our allies and strengthen NATO: Hillary knows that the world is too complex and too complicated for the U.S. to go it alone. Greece is a historic friend and ally of the United States and the bilateral relationship is critical in promoting regional stability and security, trade and investment, and the diversification of energy resources for Europe. Hillary recognizes Greece’s important role as a NATO ally. Greece hosts the U.S. Naval Support Activity at Souda Bay in Crete, whose deep protected harbor provides a strategically important location for supporting U.S. and allied military activities in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. As President, Hillary will ensure that we support Greece and work together on important issues such as climate change, fighting terrorism, and economic security. Above all, this is an alliance of values, rooted in a deep commitment to liberty and democracy.

Support economic security for Greece and Europe: The economic crisis that struck Greece in 2009 caused its economy to contract by about 25 percent and, resulted in dramatic increases in unemployment and poverty. Hillary supports Greece’s efforts to restore fiscal stability, implement structural reforms, recover competitiveness and restart growth. And she strongly believes that the Eurozone should continue to take the necessary steps to keep its monetary union intact. Hillary will continue to support efforts by Greece and its creditors to find solutions for Greece to meet its financial obligations, while providing a path forward for economic recovery through debt relief.

Call for a robust international response to the European migration crisis: Hillary recognizes the tremendous efforts made by the Greek people to offer humanitarian aid and assistance to the hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants who have entered the country since 2015. The generosity and compassion they have demonstrated set an important example for Europe and the world. Hillary will continue to call for a more robust international response to the European migration crisis. She will also ensure the U.S. maintains its role as the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to displaced persons and refugees.

Support a comprehensive settlement to reunify Cyprus as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. Hillary strongly supports efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement to reunify Cyprus as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. She supports Cypriot-led, UN-facilitated negotiations as the best process to achieve a fair and lasting settlement. Hillary views Cyprus as a strategic partner of the United States, and she values our close cooperation with Cyprus and the European Union in advancing our shared transatlantic priorities.

And on issues of importance here at home, she will fight to:

Ensure quality education: Hillary will champion new opportunities in education to ensure nothing stands in the way of all Americans achieving their full potential. Hillary will increase our investment in Early Head Start and the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program. She also has a plan to make pre-K universal for all 4 year-olds in America, and will fight for strong public schools in every community across the country. Like too many Americans, Greek Americans and Greek immigrants face difficulty in paying for college and paying off their student debt. Through her New College Compact, Hillary will fight to ensure that cost is not a barrier for anyone who wants to attend college—and that debt won’t hold them back when they do.

Keep families together through comprehensive immigration reform: As president, Hillary will fight for comprehensive immigration reform that provides a full and equal path to citizenship, treats every person with dignity, upholds the rule of law, protects our borders and national security, and brings millions of hardworking people into the formal economy.

Hillary Clinton is committed to building an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. In her first 100 days in office, Hillary will break through Washington gridlock to make the biggest investment in good paying jobs since World War II. That plan includes: first, making the boldest investments in American infrastructure since Eisenhower built the interstate highway system to spur economic growth. Second, she will also invest in American manufacturing and crack down on trade abuses that hurt working Americans. Third, she will make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. Fourth, she will cut taxes and reduce red tape so that small businesses can grow and hire. Fifth, she will support scientific research and technological innovation. In fact, an independent analysis by Mark Zandi, a former economic advisor to John McCain, recently calculated that under Hillary’s plans the economy would create 10.4 million jobs in her first term alone—and we think it could create even more than that.

Expand access to affordable health care to all families: Hillary has been fighting her entire life to ensure that families have access to affordable health care. She will stand up to Republican attempts to roll back the Affordable Care Act and will protect the progress we have made. She will work to lower out-of-pocket health care costs, reduce the cost of prescription drugs and transform our health care system to reward value and quality. She believes we should let families—regardless of immigration status—buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges. As president, Hillary will fight to defend Medicare and Social Security as well as expand benefits for widows and women who have taken time out of the workforce—so that all American families can retire with dignity

Paid for by Hillary for America


Election Watch Party

Yes, Virginia, there IS an Election Watch party, Tuesday Nov 8th till dawn!

And you won’t want to miss it. Share the suspense among like-minded friends.

Democrats Abroad Greece Election Watch 2016
Divani Caravel Hotel, Ilissos Room
Vassileos Alexandrou 2, Athens
9:30 p.m. (21:30) till dawn
€25 at the door

RSVP required - https://goo.gl/forms/21ieiVatqrlkr3tF3

FREE TICKET to 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 100th RSVP received by Nov. 1!

NOT TO BE MISSED:

The 2nd ceiling-shattering election in a row! An 80+%  chance Democrats will retain the White House. A good bet we’ll retake the Senate. A growing likelihood we’ll regain the House and state majorities. BUT down-ballot, it’s going to be a cliff-hanger!

TIMING:

Doors open at 9:30 for those who can’t stay out late. Anyone who hopes to stay till the results are fairly final can come later. Our reception desk will stay open till everyone’s in.

TRANSPORT: 

Our ride-share desk will be open from 11:30 onwards. Carpool and taxi-share interest is in the RSVP form to get it rolling. We’ll connect you to arrange transport TO the event. Then broker rides to home area or public transport when a car/taxi is about to LEAVE.

STAY-OVER OPTION: 

A group from Mykonos learned a double room at the hotel is €125. They’re sailing in and staying over. Check out this option with Divani Caravel if you like. Tell them you’re with Dems Abroad. Tel: 210 720 7000 or online at http://divanicaravelhotel.com/

PROGRAM:

Welcome drink on arrival. First buffet at 10 p.m. with streaming pundits and predictions, plus info on what’s at stake besides the White House. Buffet replenished as exit polls come in. Polls start closing in the US at 2 a.m. Athens time. Substantial results about 4 a.m.  And possibly a small group of hardy souls will stumble to breakfast when it’s all done.

This is what all the emails, phone calls, and events of the past 10 months have led up to. We’re looking forward to a marathon of political fun and suspense, and … we’re pretty sure … celebration.

It wouldn’t be the same without YOU!

See you there!

RSVP - https://goo.gl/forms/21ieiVatqrlkr3tF3


DebateWatch 3 – Presidential: Clinton vs Trump

Tempting as it is to say “No, not one more minute of DT’s trash-talk,” this IS the 3rd and last debate. It may be Hillary’s best yet. After that, we turn to the folks at home, with that last pitch to get them out to the polls.

Whatever the tone of DW3, you won’t want to miss it. So join us at the Hard Rock!

DEBATE WATCH 3 – Details

Thursday, October 20 - 07:00 pm - €10

Hard Rock Café, Adrianou 52, Athens, Greece

Just behind the Monastiraki train station - Park and ride!

RSVP here by Wednesday:

https://goo.gl/forms/7YGWzpxrPZdgLyyN2

Mark your menu choice(s)!

Cheeseburger, Caesar Salad w/Chicken or Veggie Leggie Burger – with fries and your choice of a beer, glass of wine, or soft drink.

Pay at the door.
Order more from the waiter if you like; pay as served.

Upper room at HRC. Take the stairs from the entrance, or, if you’re stair-challenged, just ask the staff for help. They’ve got us covered so everyone can enjoy the evening.

€10 per person

Tips jar will be passed for the wait staff!

See you there!


DebateWatch 2 – Presidential: Clinton vs Trump

If you missed DW1, may we confess that we got slammed!

Hard Rock set up for our guest list and then had to bring in 7 more tables. The wait staff smiled through it all, bless ‘em … and WE had a great time!

Incidentally, Secretary Clinton mopped the floor with Mr. Unhinged. The cherry on the cake!

Ready for Round Two?

DEBATE WATCH 2 – Details

Monday, October 10 - 07:00 pm - €10

Hard Rock Café, Adrianou 52, Athens, Greece

Just behind the Monastiraki train station - Park and ride!

We promised we’d stick to the guest limit this time. So, first booked, first confirmed!

RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/hyrq9p9J7ScM6iWb2

Presidential Debate #2 between our issues-talking candidate and that guy whose gas could replace 10 coal-fired power plants.

Will this be the knock-out punch?


Menu adjustment by popular demand!

Choose from – Cheeseburger, Caesar Salad w/Chicken or Veggie Leggie Burger – with fries and your choice of a beer, glass of wine, or soft drink.

We learned from last week’s deluge:
Pay at the door.
Order more from the waiter if you like; pay as served.

Upper room at HRC. Take the stairs from the entrance, or, if you’re stair-challenged, just ask the staff for help. They’ve got us covered so everyone can enjoy the evening.

€10 per person

Tips jar will be passed for the wait staff!

See you there!


US Embassy’s 2016 Voting Party – RSVP Deadline Extended!

If you want to attend the Embassy’s party on Oct 14th, you still can! Guest list is growing but …

the deadline for RSVPs is extended to Monday, Oct 10.

There will be music, games, and refreshments to celebrate casting our absentee ballots for this year’s Presidential Election.  

Trained voting assistance representatives will be on hand to help you with the mechanics of preparing your ballot for mailing. 

After you drop your voted ballot in a giant ballot box, the Embassy will ship ballots to the United States in time to meet all jurisdictions’ deadlines.

Friday, October 14, 2016 - 5:30 to 8 pm

American Community Schools of Athens

U.S. Citizens and Guests

Registrations close on Oct. 10

Register today at EventBrite ….
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-athens-voting-party-tickets-27598744588

All guests, regardless of nationality and age, must register with EventBrite  (see above) with their passport or Greek ID numbers.  Only registered guests will be permitted entry.

 

More details:

 

If you haven’t registered, do it now! State registration deadlines begin falling Oct 8.
Dems Abroad site www.votefromabroad.org or the federal site at www.fvap.gov

 

Ask to have your ballot sent by email. Your local election official will send it as soon as they receive and process your registration.

 

Check your state’s deadlines on the VFA site at:
https://www.votefromabroad.org/vote/svid.htm?submission=true

 

If you wait till the 14th to register at the party, you should also get a Federal Write-in Ballot, and send both back via the Embassy. Just in case!

 

If you’ve got your ballot and want to drop it in the box at the party, be sure it’s got enough US postage. The Embassy will get it to the US, but it has to be mailed on to your local election official.

 

If you’ve already sent your ballot, the Embassy staff say they’ll be happy to have you come anyway. Drop an empty envelope in the ballot box, with “I already voted!” written on it. And listen for the drum roll as you drop it in!

 

+

Happy Birthday, Margarita!

Happy Birthday, Margarita!

DAGR extends warm wishes to Margarita Papandreou on the occasion of her 93rd birthday, today!

Just one year ago, Ms Papandreou consented to serve as Honorary Chair of the just-forming-up DAGR Women’s Caucus. It was a role waiting for her to fill.

As wife of the Prime Minister, she lent her drive and public profile to the effort of modern Greek women to gain equal rights. The controversial six-year effort culminated in Law 1329/1983, passed in the Greek Parliament on December 31, 1982.

“The Greek Family Law of 1982” brought sweeping changes to a society in which patriarchy and gender inequality had been codified in law. Among its key provisions were the introduction of civil marriage, joint decision-making by spouses, a woman’s right to use her maiden name after marriage, the abolition of the institution of dowry, equal parental status between spouses and no-fault divorce by mutual consent. It also reduced the age of majority to 18 and equalized rights of children born in and out of wedlock.

In its time, the Law was forward looking, even for Europe. For rigidly conservative families it spelled wrenching changes. For others, it would long be associated with party politics. But for women it meant choice in education, profession and marital status, control of property, legal redress in the courts. For their children, and the men in their lives, it unlocked the future.

So, it is fitting, as we, Democrats Abroad Greece, anticipate the election of our first woman US President, that we celebrate the long struggle for full emancipation, worldwide and here in our host country.

Our ‘card’ – covering a flash drive of DAGR photos and videos – was constructed by DAGR-WC Working Chair, Sarajane Leone. Marion Kavallieros, Athens Chapter Chair, is handling the transfer to Ms Papandreou’s son Nick for delivery. In between, our man at the computer, Nick Loisos, recorded the last segment for the flash drive: attendees at the first Debate Watch this past Tuesday singing an impromptu, possibly off-key, but rousing rendition of the Birthday Song to one of our own!

Happy Birthday, Margarita!


Presidential Debate Watch 1

 
Join us in Athens for Debate Watch 1, on the 27th

DEBATE WATCH 1 – Details

Tuesday, September 27 - 07:00 pm - €10

Hard Rock Café, Adrianou 52, Athens, Greece

Just behind the Monastiraki train station - Park and ride!

DebateWatch 1 – Presidential: Clinton vs Trump

Hot off the ether! Grabbed in the wee hours of the day for our viewing pleasure!

The first of three Presidential debates between our clear-headed, issue-savvy candidate and the other one, who some have dubbed a race-baiting shape-shifter. Just sayin’.

Come casual – Chat up old friends, make new ones – Select a snappy button!

And then settle in to see how this first debate plays out.

Come hungry and chow down on great eats!

Choose from – Cheeseburger, Chicken Tenders or Veggie Leggie Burger – with fries and your choice of a beer, glass of wine, or soft drink. These are ‘normal’ size portions, not mini-burgers. They’re not HRC’s jumbo-size either, but you can order more from the menu if you’re super hungry. We’ve tested our menu and it’s all tasty!

We have the upper room at HRC to ourselves, fully equipped for sound and unobstructed viewing! Take the stairs from the entrance, or, if you’re stair-challenged, just ask the staff for help. They’ve got us covered so everyone can enjoy the evening.

€10 per person

See you there!