March 11, 2024

Super Sunday in Athens - GPP!

A bit of US swag marks the entrance to the Dems Abroad GPP at the Athens Centre, an oasis of learning and culture not far from Kalimarmara Stadium. The courtyard leads to Centre offices, classrooms and meeting rooms, a perfect setting for exercising the act of voting in the birthplace of democracy.


DAGR Counsel Charity Moschopoulos sets up shop at the first station inside. Beginning with a stint as DAGR Secretary, Charity's an old hand, having handled sign-ins for the 2016 and 2020 Global Presidential Primaries.


We have a few notebooks left over from an earlier Study Abroad registration campaign. Paid for with a grant from the Democratic National Committee that year, the notebooks and matching pens were given to US students who registered. Registration information was printed inside the front cover. Party was no object -- we didn't ask -- though most were likely Democrats.


As the Voting Center opens, Charity goes over the membership roster with DAGR Chair Brady Kiesling. Only members of DAGR can vote in the Greece country committee's part of the GPP. It's parallel to voters participating at their county polling places in the US. Membership is vetted and verified, just as in stateside elections.


DAGR Secretary Jan Sanders is set up and ready to go to help new members register. Like a number of US states, Democrats Abroad allows same-day registration. The person is physically present, has some form of ID, is currently resident in Greece and, in the case of the GPP, is now joining Democrats Abroad.


As the banner says, Democrats Abroad supports the efforts of any American citizen to vote in US elections. Although it's not the only way to register to vote or join Dems Abroad, the Vote From Abroad website is probably the easiest. It generates a federally protected registration application for the home county in the home state and also provides a mechanism for those who wish to join DA.


Secretary Jan and volunteer Margot Peter mark their ballots before the voters arrive.


Margot Peter drops her ballot in the box, as she'll be telling others to do just a bit later.


Ballot box and an old friend, DAGR Treasurer Marion Kavallieros. Marion stood ballot box duty at the 2016 GPP, as well as lining up the video producer who recorded that event.


From lowly Tupper tub, a mighty ballot box grows. It may look lonely in this photo, but the ballot box is never left unattended. There is always at least one pair of eyes, usually more, making sure it's secure.


The Voting Center closes at 5 p.m. Several folks not in the photo are watching as volunteer Nick Loisos, Secretary Jan, and Vice Chair Sarajane Kidd Leone, Athens Voting Center Manager, begin to unfold the ballots and ready for tallying. Votes will be counted, recorded, and reported to global DA supervisors.


Vote counting is always done by a couple of people, each reading out the ballot and verifying it, with others watching as witnesses. Here, from left, Nick Loisos, Marion Kavallieros, Press Coordinator Alkman Granitsas, Jan Sanders and Sarajane Kidd Leone.


Secretary Jan with Vice Chair Sarajane, who's calling in the results to DA's global Vice Chair Steve Nardi in Canada. Because Democrats Abroad live all around the world, the organization has developed leadership and those all-important security systems to allow an electronically connected electorate to exercise their rights and responsibilities.


It's a long day, done well. The team takes a break in the Athens Centre courtyard before heading home. From left front, Nick Loisos, Marion Kavallieros and Regina Tassitano; with Margot Peter, Charity Moschopoulos, Brady Kiesling and Sarajane Leone, standing behind; and Jan Sanders to the far right (geographically speaking!).

A 'short'
message for 2024 from the Athens crew.