Democrats Abroad Austria in September
In this Issue –
- Vote Across Austria: Bludenz, Bregenz, Dornbirn, Feldkirch, Graz, Linz, Salzburg, & Vienna!
- Drag Queen Bingo — The Sequel
- Young Dems Pub Night
- Fax you Ballot Back
- Solidarity Sundays #36
- Democrats Abroad Welcomes Malcolm Nance
- Democrats Abroad Welcomes London Breed
Issues & Actions:
Gearing up for 2020: Voting & Returning Your Ballot — FAQ's
- Get In-Person Voting Help
- Get Online Voting Help
- Should I Submit a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot?
- Should I use the Diplomatic Pouch?
- Help Make Trump a One Term President
- 4th of July in the Park – Vienna & Graz
- Recap of the Democratic National Convention
- Metropole Business Subscription
- From Vienna to the USA with Steven Scheschareg
- Liebe Ohne Grenzen – Ehe Ohne Grenzen
Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held on: Wednesday, September 9, 2020, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Jennifer at [email protected] to join.
DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date in order to avoid the flood of emails that occurs in an election year. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Thanks for reading!
September 5, 10:00 AM
September 5, 9:00 AM
September 5, 5:00 PM
September 5, 8:00 PM
September 8, 7:30 PM
September 10, 3:00 PM
September 10, 6:00 PM
September 11, 5:00 PM
September 11, 2:00 PM
September 12, 9:00 AM
September 18, 5:00 PM
September 19, 9:00 AM
September 21, 5:00 PM
September 22-24, all day
Sunday, September 27, 4 PM
September 10, 3:00 PM (CET)
September 24, 8:00 PM (CET)
ISSUES & ACTIONS:
Gearing up for 2020
This is the spot where we answer your frequently asked questions and make sure you, your family, friends, and colleagues have the voter information you need to be an enfranchised voter and make your vote count. Please share!
Americans living overseas must request their ballot in every calendar year they want to vote — yes, even if it’s normally sent to you automatically. Go to Vote From Abroad and request your ballot to be sent to you by email! Don’t procrastinate — blank ballots will be sent September 19. The time to request is now!
When you receive your ballot by email on or before September 19, be sure to immediately vote it and return it by the fastest method your state allows — help election officials at home by getting your ballot in early and flattening the curve.
Why Use the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA)?
- All states will send you your blank ballot by email on or before September 19, if you requested one. Not sure? Check with your local election official or re-submit an FPCA form and request to receive your ballot by email
- Some states give more time to return a ballot
- An up-to-date FPCA form could protect your ballot in case of a recount
- You may have the option to return your ballot electronically (fax, email, web portal)
- You may use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if your ballot doesn’t arrive on time — you can only use an FWAB if you have sent in the FPCA!
- You’ll receive ballots for all the elections in which you are eligible to vote for the calendar year, including run-offs and special elections
Why use Vote from Abroad (VFA) vs other FPCA-generating websites like FVAP or Overseas Vote Foundation?
- Vote from Abroad has a photo signature option that allows voters from most states (excluding CA and NY) to sign their completed FPCA and email it directly without needing to print, sign, and scan it
- VFA has an online help desk to answer individual voter questions
- VFA has volunteers who contact states to ensure that voting information is correct and up to date in the State Voting Guide
- VFA has the option to receive non-partisan voting reminders tailored to your state
Where can I get in-person help?
Come to one of our Voter Registration Help Tables in Graz, Innsbruck, Linz, Salzburg, Vorarlberg & Vienna*!
We’ve been helping Americans to register to vote, request their ballot, and fill out their Federal Absentee Write-in Ballot at various farmers' markets and other venues during the summer and we’ll continue over the next couple of months. Please be sure to stop by and say hello to our fantastic volunteers and make sure you are ready for November’s election. Bring a friend!
For voters who need to return their ballot by fax, we’ll help you on September 21st.
*Help tables in Vienna have a printer, envelopes, and stamps available.
Where can I get online help?
Every Sunday, volunteers at the Global Voter Help Desk are ready to answer your questions in a one-on-one session. Just go to democratsabroad.org/global_voter_assistance.
Should I submit a Federal Absentee Write-in Ballot (FWAB)?
This year, like no other, the fate of your ballot depends on which state you vote in. Currently* AR, CT, GA, ID, IL, KY, MD, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT**, WI, will only allow voters to return their ballot by postal mail. All US Citizens who vote in one of these states should immediately fill out and return a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). It’s not the year to put your ballot in jeopardy!
Even if you sent in a FWAB you can still send the regular ballot if and when you receive it. “If they both arrive before the deadline — which for most states is Election Day — the election office will count only the official ballot, so there’s no need to worry your vote will be double-counted or disqualified.” (Are You an American Voting From Abroad? Here’s How to Do It, NYT August 28, 2020). After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by your election office.
Get more information on how to submit your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot.
* States are constantly realising that postal-only ballot return will disenfranchise tens of thousands of overseas voters and are updating the regulations daily. Please check the State Voting Guide at votefromabroad.org for up to date information for your state.
** Voters in Vermont need to check with their local election official.
Where’s my ballot?
Your ballot should be in your inbox on or before September 19 (check your spam folder).
If you didn’t request to receive your ballot by email, you can still do so. Just resubmit your FPCA form or go online to your state’s voter status website — google “Am I registered” and your state. Some states ask for an ID or a driver’s license with the online form. In this case contact your local election official directly. You can find yours under “Find your election office” at votefromabroad.org.
How should I return my ballot?
You should return your ballot as soon as you receive it in the fastest way which your state allows.
If you can return your ballot by email, online, or by fax, use this method!
- States that accept email and online ballot returns are: AL, AZ, CO, DC, DE, HI, IA, IN, KS, MA, ME, MS, MT, MO, NC, ND, NE, NM, NV, RI, OR, SC, UT, *VT, WA, WV
- States that accept ballot returns by FAX are: AK, CA, FL, LA, OK
States that only accept postal mail ballot returns (be sure to also immediately send an FWAB) are: AR, CT, GA, ID, IL, KY, MD, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, *VT, WI
If you can only return your ballot by postal mail you have a couple of different options:
- Priority mail with the Austrian Post: As of August 29, the Austrian post office is accepting “Brief Priority”, but is not accepting “Paket Light International” to the US. Use the envelope template provided with your ballot, but be sure to add postage where it says “no postage required.” Expect a two week delivery time.
NOTE: The Austrian postal machines cannot read the envelope template when the return address is in the upper left-hand corner. To avoid this problem, put an X in ballpoint pen across the return address in such a way that it is still legible to the local election official in the US.
- Courier Service: As of August 29, the "mail only" ballot return states have confirmed to Democrats Abroad, in writing, that they will accept overseas ballots that are sent in by courier (Fedex, DHL, etc). All of the states indicated that a date stamp isn't needed if the Ballot/FWAB arrives by close of polls on Election Day, November 3.
A date stamp is only necessary in those states that have a "postmarked by election day" deadline and accept ballots that are received in a specific period after Election Day. If a ballot for one of those states is received after Election Day, then there must be something to prove it was placed in the mail by Election Day. The states that require a date stamp for ballots that arrive after Election Day are: GA, IL, KY, MD, NJ, NY, PA, TX, and VA.
- Diplomatic Pouch: You may drop off your ballot in person at U.S. Consulate Vienna at Parkring 12A (Marriott Hotel building), weekdays from 08:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Ballots sent by Diplomatic Pouch must be placed in a postage-paid envelope for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities once received by the U.S. sorting facility. It can take up to three weeks for mail sent by Diplomatic Pouch to reach your local election office. Therefore, U.S. Consulate Vienna will not accept any ballots after October 2.
Remember, although the diplomatic pouch is free it is also VERY slow. Once your ballot reaches Dulles Airport in DC it then goes into the normal US Postal Service which is currently having huge delays.
Make Trump a One Term President!
Let us know if you can help us for a few hours at a voter registration table by sending me an email at [email protected]. I’ll send you a link and the voter access code to our online sign-up sheet. Or, make a donation of any size and help us pay for social media advertising and postcards to get out the vote amongst swing state voters and other Americans living in Austria who are not (yet) members of Democrats Abroad Austria. Please remember, because of Federal Election laws, DA Austria can only accept donations from US citizens.
July 4 Events in Graz and Vienna
DA Austria members celebrated Independence Day at outdoor tables at the Schankwirtschaft in the Augarten in Vienna’s 2nd district and with a picnic in the park in Graz.
There were about sixty attendees in Vienna. Members and guests enjoyed seeing each other in person, discussing the upcoming elections, and spending a nice afternoon together. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the raffle — your donations will go directly towards our get out the vote efforts!
Recap of the Democratic National Convention
By: Juan Cerda, Joe Biden Delegate for EMEA region
The 2020 Democratic National Convention concluded on August 21st, 2020, for a complete virtual online experience with the nomination of Joe Biden for President and Kamala Harris for Vice-President.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic that continues to wreak havoc in the US, the convention played out unlike any before in that it was entirely virtual. Most speakers' remarks were pre-recorded, and none of the usual crowds, balloons, and fanfare that were standard in previous conventions were to be seen.
Although I would’ve loved to have been in person on the DNC convention floor to witness everything firsthand, it was still a great experience. The DNC was a huge success to pull off in such trying and uncertain times. The powerful speeches showcased the vast coalition of progressive, moderate and conservative voices supporting Joe Biden as our next President of the United States.
In case you missed it, here are the video highlights:
The Benefits of DA Membership
DA Austria members can take part in a special offer for access to Metropole magazine’s print, online, and Metropole Salon invitations with a €30 donation to DAA for a one-year subscription. Send me an email at [email protected] if you want to take part. I’ll contact you to make your donation when we have four other members who want to take advantage of this great deal!
From Vienna to the USA with Steven Scheschareg
DA Austria member and Viennese Austro-American Baritone Steven Scheschareg enjoys a career bridging two worlds. Born to Austrian immigrants in NYC, he presents a program of operetta melodies by composers who were exiled from Austria and moved to the US. The program "From Vienna to the USA" presents songs, arias and Lieder by Viennese composers Korngold, Kalman, Zemlinsky, Jurmann, Leopoldi, Stolz, Spielmann and many others who all came to America. It attempts to answer the questions: what did these composers do and create in the US? Were they successful? Were they homesick? And how did they ever learn English? RSVP at [email protected]
- September 6 Cafe Korb 1010 Brandstätte 9
- September 25 Cafe Amacord 1040 Rechte Wienzeile 15
- Oktober 6 Theater LEO 1030 Ungargase 18
- November 8 Grand Cafe Alsergrund 1090 Lustkandlgasse 4
Liebe Ohne Grenzen – Ehe Ohne Grenzen
Rarely has LOVE WITHOUT BORDERS received so much attention: The media reports about love in times of COVID-19 and the hurdles of seemingly insurmountable national borders which often separate families and deprive children of one parent.
— Michael Wagner