September 21, 2023

DASA News Sept 2023 - Gearing up for the 2023 & 2024 Elections

I hope you're well and happy that Spring has arrived in SA! We're just about 45 days from the 2023 elections taking place in several states and 14 months from the 2024 elections. It's time to gear up! 

I've just spent two months in the US, and one thing that stood out clearly is that Trump dominates the news. He gets all the airtime. It would be interesting to see stats on this. While this news should decrease his chances of becoming president again, it means that time is not going to positive news about our country or how the achievements of the Biden-Harris administration / Democratic leadership across the country are impacting the economy and daily lives of Americans. They spend hour upon hour covering the details of the various indictments and highlighting anything inflammatory that will gain clicks online. Trump uses this as a strategy and the media houses play along. It's no wonder Americans think the country is in a terrible state - terrible is the only thing that makes the news and gets views. Yes, I watched Congresswoman Boebert's theatre antics too. Sigh (and vote!). 

So-called liberal media companies are hiring (paying!) former Trump staff/advisors to give commentary – empowering their voices, and providing Trump with town halls and interviews. Journalists and TV producers should be able to find ways of covering positive aspects of politics and American society as well as the negative. My dad keeps mentioning that the Biden-Harris administration and Democrats are not doing enough to get our messages out there. We can definitely improve on that but I also challenged him to do his part in that too. We individuals can also take initiative on this. Americans are living in information bubbles that impact what we see/hear/read…and believe. Personally, I think we should encourage the larger media entities (and perhaps their advertisers) to change their airtime priorities, but I also think we need to take it upon ourselves to spread the word on the good things that are happening through the work of Democrats in the White House, Congress, states and towns across the country. 

WE are democracy. We have the responsibility, agency and means to spread the message. Are you willing to make a concerted effort to share positive Democratic news? We have a year – let’s do this!  

Let me know if you’d like to help collect info/news or if you have creative ideas for sharing it! 

One bit of positive DASA news to share is that Tiffany Jackson-Zunker will be joining our Exco as a Member at Large, bringing extensive Communications experience with her! More on that next time! Tiffany’s been actively involved the past few years but we’re happy to have her on our Exco now.

With Love and Solidarity, Liz O’Leary
DASA Chair 
[email protected]



As you’ll see in this newsletter, we are gearing up for the critical 14 months ahead! Here are some Highlights from Democrats Abroad Global:  

  • We have new leadership at the International Exco level (2023-2025) and are excited by the organisational experience they bring to DA! Read more about our global leaders HERE
  • The Democrats Abroad Website has been getting a refresh. Take a look around
  • The Democrats Abroad Blue Vote Café podcast is now available on YouTube HERE
  • Martha McDevitt-Pugh, our International Chair, and Steve Nardi, International Vice-Chair, were recently in Chicago with DNC Chair Jaime Harrison and other state party leaders touring the DNC location. The 2024 Democratic National Convention will be held August 19 to 22, 2024, at the United Center in Chicago.


2023 Elections are around the corner in several states! 

Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Virginia all have important elections coming up! So, we need to show up! Have you requested your ballot? 

Saturday 23 September is Ballot Day – 45 days before the 7 Nov elections - when officials are required to send out the overseas ballots requested to date. If you vote in one of these states and haven’t requested your ballot yet, do that today at

Visit for state-specific voting info and to request your absentee ballot (FPCA). Also check out this critical information about voting in your state's elections. Republicans are targeting state and local legislators to enact major changes. Be heard and vote down ballot! Please also encourage friends and family in these states to vote!

**HELP IS AVAILABLE** - Voter assistance is available from Sat 23 Sept via Zoom, by email [email protected] or you can use the chat tool at Vote from Abroad  Experienced volunteers from around the world are ready to help! 

Here’s a nonpartisan resource to help you get to know your candidates and their positions on specific issues



Help Us Update Our DASA Membership Database! 

Courtney Jeanpierre, DASA Secretary, will be leading a project to update our member database. We know some of our members have moved back to the US or to other countries, and some of your contact details have changed. 

As we prepare for next year’s elections, it’s important that we know who is still in SA and that we have your current details. In the coming months we’d also like to know more about you and how you’d like to be involved with DASA! 

Can you take 3 minutes now to update your profile?

  • Log in to
  • In the top right corner click on your photo (or the empty circle) then  Account Settings. 
  • Update the info in the Public and Private drop downs and Email Preferences Tabs
  • Please provide a South African cell number if you have one 
  • Even if all of your details are correct, please click SAVE PROFILE SETTINGS as this updates a time stamp on your profile so we'll know its current :) 

If you’ve left South Africa you can either unsubscribe/delete my profile (with the option of staying on Global mailing lists as an Alum) or update your details to move your membership to another country. 



We all have a part to play in protecting our democracy, pushing for progress and ensuring Democrats win in upcoming elections, both those ahead this year in several states, and next year at all levels! Democrats Abroad is a volunteer-driven organisation and we encourage you get involved in SA and globally. 

Let’s Build our Team and our Momentum in SA 

We’re looking for volunteers around the country with a wide range of skills, interests and availability. Keen to get involved? Please complete our DASA Volunteer Interest Form (HERE)  or email [email protected]

Global Caucuses 

There are 11 Democrats Abroad Causes to get involved in and several task teams! This is a great way to engage with other members in your specific areas of interest. Take a look and join a caucus. Let us know if you’d like to volunteer as a DASA liaison to one of the caucuses. 

Global State Teams

DA’s State Teams focus on voter education, voter participation and advocacy in crucial states, and are open to all members of Democrats Abroad who vote in or want to mobilize voters in the states represented. We’ll share our experiences, our knowledge of the process of voting from abroad and other election information that has a real and measurable impact in crucial elections up and down the ballot.

Want to play a role in your voting state (or one you adopt)? Join one of the teams HERE.

Voter Assistance Volunteers Needed

Interested in helping other Americans vote from abroad? Volunteers are needed locally and globally. Let us know at [email protected]  CLICK HERE for more info and to sign up for upcoming training with the global team and volunteers from around the world   

Video Stars and Filmmakers 

Are you interested in making (and/or appearing in) videos encouraging other Americans abroad to vote? Add your voice and help represent voters from the continent. Please contact Angela Fobbs  [email protected]

Social Media Training 

Field Team 6 is a Dem GOTV organization that offers free training. Check out their upcoming social media training here and get ready to use your platforms!



Contact your Representatives in the House and encourage them to support legislation that is in our direct interest as citizens living abroad.

You can find your Representative’s contact details here: 


The Commission on Americans Living Abroad Bill H.R. 2729 (CLICK FOR MORE INFO)

The legislation reintroduced by Congresswoman Titus would establish a bipartisan commission to examine the concerns of the 9 million U.S. citizens living and working abroad. 

Ask your House Representative to support the legislation – CLICK HERE


The Tax Simplification for Americans Abroad Act H.R. 5432 (CLICK FOR MORE INFO)

We are excited to announce that H.R. 5432 Tax Simplification for Americans Abroad Act has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Join the Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force for a webinar with the sponsor of the bill, Congressman Don Beyer (D VA-08) on Wednesday, September 27 at 12pm ET (6pm SAST) to find out more!

Please also contact your House Representatives and ask them to support the legislation!

The Tax Simplification for Americans Abroad Act will:

  • Create a simplified tax return form to help make it easier for Americans filing from abroad who owe no U.S. tax
  • Eliminate double taxation for pensions and retirement distributions (including Social Security benefits), scholarships, fellowship grants, disability benefits, childcare expenses, family medical leave, and unemployment benefits
  • Consolidate the FBAR into FATCA, increase the filing threshold, and eliminate the requirement to report separately to FinCEN



We’ll be scheduling more events in SA soon. In the meantime, visit the Democrats Abroad Event Page for events happening around the world.

Interested in hosting an event or have an idea on finding American voters in SA? Let us know [email protected]



A few articles, data and research...

  • Youth are ready to change the country but need more support and opportunities to participate in politics. This CIRCLE (Tufts) survey reveals youth’s concerns, hopes, and actions for the future.  READ HERE
  • It’s Not Polling, It’s Real: Dems overperform in 24 of 30 special elections so far in 2023 WATCH HERE
  • Democrats Abroad Statement in Support of Unions on Strike: UAW, SAG-AFTRA, and WGA READ HERE 
  • Mississippi just elected its first-ever out gay state legislator: Fabian Nelson READ HERE 
  • Biden cancels Trump drilling leases in Alaska's largest wildlife refuge READ HERE
  • One year out, here’s what we know about how the presidential race will look on Labor Day 2024  READ HERE
  • The complicated reality of voting as an American abroad READ HERE
  • The US Election Assistance Commission (EAC) report on the 2022 election was released recently:

    The UOCAVA (overseas voters) section is at Chapter 4 (pp. 193-226), with charts on pp. 211-226.

    A few headline numbers from the Executive Summary (at page iv):
    • Number of UOCAVA Ballots sent out in 2022: more than 650,000
    • Percentage of ballots returned: slightly more than 40% (approximately 260,000)
    • Percentage of ballots counted: over 96%
    • Most common reason for rejection: Received after the deadline



Americans in South Africa are invited to get in touch and get involved, contact us at [email protected]



Join our WhatsApp group



Do you know other Americans in SA or living abroad? Ask them if they vote and encourage them to go to for info on voting in their state. 

Please also invite them to become members of Democrats Abroad at  


The Power of Ten - Split Donation Sustaining Donor Drive 

Democrats Abroad is volunteer driven but we encourage you to support our work with a donation.  South Africa is still in the early stages of re-establishing ourselves as a formal Country Committee and we need your support as we gear up ahead of the 2024 elections! While raising funds for our local Get Out the Vote initiatives is essential, we also benefit immeasurably from the rapidly growing work of the global Democrats Abroad body and recognise the need to support their work, so we don’t have to duplicate efforts in each country. Can you contribute?  

Donations can be split evenly between DA Global and Democrats Abroad South Africa (DASA) on our split donation page. Are you able to make a monthly contribution? Once off contributions are also welcome! 


You don’t have to give big amounts to make an impact. A $10.00/month contribution from 10 people can get us where we need to go! (PS – larger amounts are welcome too!)

Donating can be a great way to support the work of the organisation on behalf of all Americans living abroad and an opportunity to play your part in supporting Democracy at home.

Would you rather donate 100% to DASA? Your contribution is welcome via this page: 



Thank you and enjoy your Heritage Day weekend! 

Democrats Abroad South Africa