Election of New Officers for San Miguel de Allende!

Currently, we are in the process of election new officers for the San Miguel de Allende Chapter!

Click here to vote if you are member of DA SMA.

The following are the bios of members that are running for office:

Chair -  Laura Kuykendall

Laura is a retired trial lawyer. She and her husband have been homeowners and part time residents of San Miguel for 13 years. A life long Democrat, she was part of a group in a conservative suburb of Columbus Ohio that formed their own grassroots organization to campaign for John Kerry. She was a neighborhood team leader for Obama and opened a GOTV headquarters in a largely Somalian and Hispanic neighborhood. She has registered voters, run phone banks and canvasses for federal, state and local candidates and issues since that time. Most recently, she trained canvassers and was canvass leader in a GOTV headquarters in Ohio for the 2018 midterms. And has continued to participate in Ohio elections. She has been involved in Dems Abroad San Miguel for several years , serving as Secretary of the group, actively participating in voter registration here, and as parliamentarian.

Vice Chair - John Bradberry

John is married to the Chairman of the San Miguel Chapter for Dems Abroad and decided that volunteering was the least he could do given all the effort his wife was putting forth. He considers himself an ardent Democrat. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, retired portfolio manager and long-time member of the New York Mercantile Exchange.  Recently retired, John is adjusting to the good life in San Miguel.  

Secretary - Alicia Rodriguez-Guerra

I have been involved with Democrats Abroad since I moved to San Miguel 5 years ago volunteering to register voters and sending absentee ballots. I’m bilingual and have both Mexican and US citizenship . 

Treasurer - Carol Graham

I have been a full time resident of San Miguel de Allende for more than eight years. Prior to moving to San Miguel de Allende, I held various senior management positions at JCPenney and QVC. Those positions included full P&L responsibility for a Retail Stores and Catalog in addition to International Development, ECommerce and Emerging Businesses, Brand Development, and Broadcasting. I served on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross, Northwest Arkansas Chapter for three years. I currently do some consulting in website management and digital marketing and enjoy a semi-retired lifestyle in beautiful Bajío of Mexico. 

Parliamentarian - Samuel T. Crockett, III, Ed.D. (Sam)

Prior to moving abroad, Sam served in many functions and offices within the Democratic Party of Virginia over 45 years, including as Democratic Chair for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District and member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia. Moving to Ecuador, Sam served on the committee establishing Democrats Abroad Ecuador Chapter, wrote the draft for the original country By-Laws, and served as the Chapter´s first Executive Vice-Chair. Sam has lived in Mexico for 7 years and served 2 terms as Parliamentarian of the Banderas Bay Chapter. He gets great satisfaction from helping to elect Democrats.

Members at Large

Anita Forsman

After growing up in the Air Force and living in such diverse locations as Paris, France and Grand Forks, ND, Anita has a bit of wanderlust in her blood. A career in marketing was just as diverse and included the entertainment industry, luxury jewelers, and then retirement communications.  Mexico had been on her radar for some time, and she moved to SMA in 2018 becoming a permanent resident in 2022.  She loves to travel, plays mahjong and continues to do extensive research on her family’s genealogy.  She has been involved in DA for several years assisting with voter registration and GOTV. She assists with scheduled social events and, most recently, has taken on handling the membership database.

Jim Chase 

Jim Chase currently serves as a Member at Large. Jim and his wife Chris have lived in San Miguel de Allende for three years, punctuated by occasional visits to their other home in San Diego.  They enjoy, along with their fellow U.S. expats, the art, music, theater and literary  festivals in San Miguel, as well as trying to learn Spanish and exploring Mexico and its culture.  Jim finds that supporting Democrats Abroad both in San Miguel and in all of Mexico gives him a sense of accomplishment and of giving back to the local, national and worldwide efforts of Democrats Abroad.

Susan Chisena

Suzi Chisena has lived in San Miguel since 2017 having hailed from Portland, OR.  Currently retired , she comes from a background in high tech solutions sales having worked for one of the first women owed companies that pioneered the use of foreign national expertise in the Bay Area; electronic media sales for Syndicast Services in New York known for having developed/marketed the Nixon/Frost Tapes; and political experience as a legislative assistant in government affairs in Washington, DC for Ralston Purina, The National Association of REALTORS and Senator Howard Baker ranking minority member of the Senate Watergate Committee and potential juror for any impeachment trial if President Nixon hadn't resigned.

Larry Barber

Larry Barber is an award-winning television writer-producer. In film, he wrote scripts for Francis Coppola, Oliver Stone, and Michael Mann.  Larry wrote the book An Unlikely Strength: Tourette Syndrome and the Search for Happiness in 60 Voices. Sixty adults and children tell their stories of Tourette syndrome, how it affects their lives and self-image and how, despite it all, they persevere with strength and hope. He and his wife live in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Lea Rege

Lea Rege previously served as Secretary and has lived in San Miguel de Allende for the past 14 years.  Her husband, Ricardo Romo, wanted to retire to Mexico and both have been here since retiring as teachers from Sonoma, California in 2007. Lea paints, studies spanish, and supports girls pursuing college degrees. She has been active with Democrats Abroad for the past five years helping Barbara Erickson with getting out the vote.

Vote from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico!

If you're a U.S. citizen or dual-national abroad, you have the right to vote from abroad in the 2022 midterm elections and every election. If you are or will be 18 on November 8, 2022, you can vote in the upcoming elections.

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. or how long you have lived outside the U.S. (including if you've never resided there).

Below you'll find an overview of the entire process of voting from abroad, including:

  1. how to register to vote and request your ballot
  2. how to confirm your request has been accepted
  3. how and when should you receive your ballot
  4. vote your ballot
  5. how to return your ballot
  6. confirm your ballot's arrival
  7. what to do if you encounter difficulties
  8. get your "I Voted from Germany" stickers


Please note that there is NO IN-PERSON VOTING in Mexico for the November election!


1.) Register to vote and request your ballot 📝

Visit to fill out your FPCA absentee ballot request — it only takes 5-10 minutes! If you're not registered to vote, the FPCA also serves as a voter registration form. Given the uncertainty surrounding the United States Postal Service (USPS), we strongly encourage you to request that your absentee ballot be sent via email.


Once you've filled out the form on, you must submit it to your local election office in the United States. Most states allow you to submit your FPCA directly from without the need to print out the form. But some states do require that you print out your completed form to submit by email attachment, by fax, or by mail. If your state requires that you submit your FPCA by postal mail, please use expedited delivery with a courier. State deadlines and submission methods can be found here.

If you have any questions while filling out the form, you can also always refer to Vote from Abroad's FAQ section, type your question in the website's chatbox (red circle in the bottom right-hand corner), or send an email to [email protected].

2.) Confirm your request has been accepted and that you will receive a ballot ☑️

You should always verify with your local election official (LEO) that you will be receiving a ballot. After you send in your FPCA request form, call or email your LEO to verify they received it and will be sending a blank ballot to you. Your LEO's contact information is listed in the instructions generated when you complete the FPCA on Vote from Abroad. You can also look up their contact info here. Alternatively, most states provide a website where you can verify your voter status, although these sites can sometimes be outdated. You can find it by searching for "[state] verify voter registration."

3.) Receive your ballot 📧

Under the MOVE Act, all states must send absentee ballots to overseas voters no later than 45 days before a federal election (this year: September 24, 2022).

But you don't need to wait for ballots to come out on September 24. If you must mail back your ballot, we recommend you send in a Backup Ballot NOW. The Backup Ballot (the 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.

When it's time for ballots to come and you don't see yours, check your spam folder -- ballots can hide in there! If you still don't see it, please contact your LEO and confirm they sent your ballot out. You can look up their contact info here. You may need to send in a new ballot request form, just go to

If you don't have your ballot by October 1 and you must mail it back, 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.

4.) Information about candidates, ballot initiatives, and judicial candidates 🗳️

It’s very important to vote your ballot completely. The simplest way is to vote for Democrats straight down the ballot. Some elected positions do not have a party affiliation directly associated with the party, 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
  • League of Women Voters offers a personalized ballot service at You can learn where candidates running for office in your community stand on the issues. You can print or email the information to use as a reference when you vote. 
  • Google: Ballotpedia "your state" elections 2022 - Example: Ballotpedia Florida elections 2022
  • You can Google the candidate's name to find their campaign website and information about each person.


5.) Return your ballot 🗳️

Once you've received your ballot, fill it out and return it immediately. Ballot return methods vary by state (online, email, postal mail, fax). Especially if your state only allows postal mail return — which is the case in many swing states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin — you must return your ballot as quickly as possible.

Check your state's exact ballot return methods here.

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

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

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

Need help scanning? 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

If your state requires postal mail ballot return, the best option at this point is to book DHL Express

We do not recommend booking or paying online with any courier service. You will not receive a postmark if you book or pay online.

Even with expedited courier services, ballots still take several days to get to the United States. You must send it as soon as possible! Do not wait. Too much is on the line!

Returning your ballot via diplomatic pouch: Voters in Mexico can drop their ballots off at the U.S. Embassy, or local Consulate. 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. Therefore, we do not recommend using the diplomatic pouch after October 2nd. More information on drop-off locations and times is available here. (link Mexican consulate page)

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.

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



6.) Confirm your ballot arrival at your local election office in the United States

Once you've mailed 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! Nearly all states have online tracking services. To find your state's website, click here and scroll down to "Track Your Ballot". You can also look up your local election office's contact details here and try contacting them directly. They are experiencing an influx of calls, so you will likely need to remain persistent to get through to someone. 


7.) Having trouble? Need help? 😕

We understand that the voting process from abroad can be confusing — that's why we're here to help.

Send an email to [email protected].


We are The Democracy Party!

By Larry Barber, DA SMA Executive Board Member

We’re Democrats, yes, but in this unprecedented time for our country, we are also, nearly alone, the party of democracy. That’s why it’s important to vote and help other overseas Democrats vote. We’re activists. We’re Democrats Abroad.

Make no mistake: this mid-term is the first of two elections that will determine whether the United States of America is a country in which each citizen gets a vote or a country which has fallen into fascism and minority rule. Those are the stakes this November and in 2024. “A dagger at the throat of democracy,” said President Biden on the anniversary of the January 6 attempted coup. 

Look at facts on the ground. Republicans in the US Senate just voted down the John Lewis Voting Rights bill. According to a Washington Post analysis, the GOP’s national push to enact hundreds of new election restrictions could constrain every available method of voting for tens of millions of Americans. This is potentially the most sweeping contraction of ballot access in the United States since the end of Reconstruction, when Southern states curtailed the voting rights of formerly enslaved Black men. In 43 states across the country, Republican lawmakers have proposed at least 250 laws that would limit mail, early in-person, and Election Day voting. The plan involves stricter ID requirements, limited voting hours, eliminating ballot drop-boxes, closing polling places in Democratic areas, or narrower eligibility to vote absentee. Republican state legislators, echoing Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen from him, are pushing hard to cheat their way to victory. Aside from the “former guy” not admitting his electoral defeat by President Biden, a number of GOP candidates around the country are also refusing to concede defeat in races where a winner has been declared or they’ll clearly lose. Again, as President Biden said on January 6, “You cannot love your country only when you win.”

There is more: Republican limits to early or absentee voting are the most common measures among this year’s batch of proposed restrictions, with such bills on the table in 33 states. Nearly 85 million voters used one of those methods to cast their ballots in those states last year — more than half of all Americans who voted in the Nov. 3 election. 

Hyper-gerrymandered district maps are more distorted in 2022, more disjointed, and more gerrymandered than any since the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. Both Florida and Georgia have proposed a special police agency to monitor elections (to protect against non-existent voter fraud). These troops will be used to intimidate and challenge Democratic voters.  

The Republican party—at national, state, and local levels—is refusing to accept the fundamental agreements of representative government. There are fake electors—Republicans—who tried to bluff their way into a victory in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin. In this crisis for voting rights, Republican-led state legislatures have rewritten their laws since the 2020 election to suppress Democratic votes and hand election counting over to partisan Republicans.

And in a direct threat to Democrats Abroad, states like Texas are flagging mail-in ballots for rejection. Understand this: overseas votes can be the margin of victory in a close election. From 2016 to 2020 there was a 15% increase among all domestic US voters. For US citizens abroad, this increase was 40%. And overseas voters were the margin of victory for Biden in Arizona and Georgia.  

As responsible citizens, we Dems Abroad must vote in every election. Remember that we each have to reregister every year. If you haven’t re-registered yet, do it right away. If you need help registering or voting, email us or stop by our office on the Ancha de San Antonio #10 on Saturdays between 11:00 am & 3:00 pm.  

We are also looking members who want to do Phone Banking. You can help other DAs re-register to receive their ballots and you can help them fill out the ballots when they arrive. You can help them return their ballots so their vote is counted. This year, and in 2024, it is absolutely crucial that each US citizen abroad make their voice heard. Our voices have to be extra loud because the Republican party is trying to smother us, and our democracy with us.

“One of two major political parties in America has said that it is their policy to win elections by keeping American citizens from voting,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren. I say one party is fascist and one party is for representative government. This is the future for the United States unless every Democrat, at home or abroad, votes their conscience, and gets that vote counted.  

Replaceable as a Light Bulb

By Larry Barber, DA SMA Executive Board Member

Picture in your mind 22,000 striking workers. Remember strikes and picket lines, food kitchens and fund raisers? Around the United States there is now bubbling and boiling what used to be called “labor unrest.” Low pay and pauper raises, backbreaking work schedules, stolen overtime wages, pensions in jeopardy (if they exist at all), health care cuts, no time for a private life with friends and family. Some companies are now trying to loosen child labor laws; agriculture is still exempt from these laws and kids currently work in the fields, exposed to toxic chemicals. So, yeah—labor unrest.

“They don’t care about our home life,” said a striking worker on the John Deere picket line. “They care about our work life. We’re as replaceable as a light bulb.”

Twenty-two thousand U.S. union members are currently out on strike. Ten thousand at John Deere in Iowa, three thousand at Columbia University, two thousand at Buffalo’s Mercy Hospital, 1.4 thousand at Kellogg’s, 1.1 thousand Alabama miners for 8 months now, 1 thousand West Virginia hospital workers, 800 Pennsylvania educators, 700 Massachusetts nurses, 700 Kaiser engineers (with the strike threat of 37,000 Kaiser health care workers in Oregon, California, and Hawaii), 500 Ohio steelworkers, 450 West Virginia steelworkers, 300 New York machinists. 

The list grows: Amazon workers battling Bezos for a union, New York cab drivers on a hunger strike, a one-day walk-off of two thousand telecommunications workers in California, 200 bus drivers strike in Nevada, 400 whiskey makers in Kentucky, two thousand carpenters in Washington, 600 Frito-Lay workers in Kansas, one thousand Nabisco workers at five plants around the country (they often work 30 days in a row on 12-hour shifts). In my own (former) industry, because more than 60,000 film and television workers voted to strike, their threatened work stoppage helped them negotiate a favorable contract. 

Younger folks are quitting their jobs at an unprecedented rate. In April the number of workers who left in a single month broke an all-time U.S. record. In May, even more people quit. In June, even more. In August, again even more. 

Many front line workers who risked their lives during the pandemic feel they deserve fair raises. “Essential workers” deserve essential pay. 

Workers are taking back their power as agents of change by bringing the fight to employers. For Democrats Abroad, this is an encouraging time. The Democratic Party is once again the Party of the working woman and man. It lost its way in the late-20th century, but under President Biden the Democrats have once again taken up the banner of Labor. Biden has put unions at the center of his policy. He sees them as a way to rebuild middle-class jobs and families and to combat climate change, and racial and gender inequity. 

“It’s not labor—it’s union,” Biden said last month during an event at a Ford factory in Michigan. “Because what you allow people to do is hold their heads up, make a decent living, and have pride in what they do — pride in what you build, pride in what you give this nation.” 

For Democrats Abroad in Mexico, we can take pride in this pro-labor, pro-family stance from our President. That’s why it’s increasingly important for us to do whatever we can to help elect Democrats in the states where we vote and around the country. The Get-Out-The-Vote drive for the 2022 elections will be coming up and we all can contribute in one form or another. Please consider becoming a phone banker, joining one of our caucuses, or contacting your local chapter chair to become a Get Out the Vote volunteer. There is always work to do!





Phoning for Democrats Abroad is like Talking to Friends

by Larry Barber, DA SMA Executive Committee Member

I’ve worked phone banks for fifty years: calling on behalf of elected representatives on state and federal levels, and for Cesar Chavez and the UFW, lots of efforts in support of democracy in Central and South America, for voting and immigrant rights, against the San Onofre nuclear plant in Southern California, against the George Bush-Dick Cheney-Donald Rumsfeld war in Iraq, for a woman’s right to choose, and most recently for the Biden-Harris presidential election. That was my first time phoning for Democrats Abroad in Mexico.

I’ve phoned registered Democrats and also the dreaded “general voter” lists, sometimes speaking with Republicans who were not interested and sometimes not polite. I’ve phoned Democrats who were not interested or polite, too. I was a television writer/producer and can sit for long periods of time, focused on a project. But I admit, there have been times—looking at the phone list printout, names and numbers swimming before my eyes—when I had to psych myself up to dial the next seven digits and wait to hear what kind of reception I’d get when someone answered. The way you do it is just plow ahead. 

But never, not ever, have I found such an easy and happy task as calling my fellow Democrats Abroad. It is, to coin a phrase, a piece of cake. I like cake, especially chocolate cake.

The distinguishing feature of making phone calls for Dems Abroad is that we are unique. We live outside the United States, which links us by an attitude that is, it seems to me, more open to meeting new people, more available to new ideas. We share the experience of being ex-pats. So when I call a member of Dems Abroad it is most often like talking to a friendly person at a party. We already have a lot in common. And we’re a self-selected group of Democrats who want to be engaged.

So here’s how I do it, understanding that I’ll always (well… almost always) get a friendly response. When someone answers, I say, “Hi, I’m Larry Barber with Democrats Abroad. How are you?” I know supplied texts often then dictate: “Is this so-and-so?” I don’t do that. I just wait for the person to pause a beat, then say, “Democrats Abroad? Well, hi!” Remember, as Dems Abroad, we’re in this together, this out-of-the-country thing. So I don’t bother asking right off the bat if the person who answers is the name on my list. I just identify myself, say Dems Abroad, and wait for a friendly response. It always (well.. almost always) comes. Then I ask, “Is this ___?” 

That, for me, has been the simplest and most effective way to engage people. Everyone you call is a member of Democrats Abroad so we’re all in the same club. And it works like a charm. Instant rapport. Immediate eye-to-eye (phone-wise) agreement. It is easy, it has led to wonderful conversations, and I’ve helped lots and lots of motivated Democrats request their absentee ballots, fill them out, and return them to their county and state registrar. Also, these days for Dems Abroad there are no printed phone lists. You don’t have to travel to a campaign office; you phone from home. This isn’t the Dark Ages! Phone bankers for Dems Abroad use a simple computer program that dials for you, and lets you record the response. I would phone for an hour a day, but you can set your own schedule. Easy-peasy.

Absentee ballots remain an important part of efforts to win state and federal elections. In the all-important 2020 election, absentee ballots made the difference in several states. In Georgia: we estimate 20,000 ballots from overseas were counted—Biden won Georgia by 11,779 votes. In Arizona: we estimate between 17,200 to 19,500 voters abroad cast ballots—Biden won Arizona by 10,457 votes. In Wisconsin: we don’t have solid numbers yet but Democrats Abroad make up roughly 1% of vote totals—Biden won Wisconsin by less than 1% (20,682). Partly as a result of our group’s work, civilian overseas votes in 2020 increased by 62% from 2016. 

Voting from outside the United States can be tricky and I’ve found many folks want and need our help. We can be a welcome source of information and a relief from nagging, perplexing, and frustrating issues for folks who want to vote but can’t figure out how to do it. 

So sign up for Democrats Abroad phone banking—you’ll enjoy it and you will make a difference in the all-important mid-term election coming up in 2022.  








Protecting the Right to Vote!

by Larry Barber

News media will not use the word proto-fascist to describe the current Republican Party but the label fits like a fist in a glove. Did any of us imagine in our lifetimes we would see bold and successful efforts to deny voting rights to people in the United States? Did we anticipate actions to subvert the legitimacy of the entire U.S. election system? Did we envision hundreds of members of Congress categorically refusing to participate in our democracy? 

And yet… January 6, 2021. Trump’s Big Lie convinced a large majority of Republicans that President Biden stole the election from The Former Guy. Voter suppression laws of variety and cunning are already in place, with more coming. Republican state legislatures are planning to delegitimize any election that doesn’t give them the win. In Florida, Republicans now require a survey of political views of students and faculty in state colleges and universities. One-quarter of Republicans are reported to believe “the government, media, and financial institutions are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex-trafficking operation.” And Trump himself said it: Republicans cannot win a fair election. 

They are willing to destroy our democracy in order to take power. In Spanish we call them Fachos. In English it’s Fascist. 

The life of our republic is at stake and we have only a few tools with which to defend it. When the Senate returns on July 20th, we must continue to put pressure on passage of some form of the For the People Act. We must let them know we still care deeply about this issue and expect action. Call them! And if you are in the United States, consider joining the “March On for Voting Rights” set for August 28th.

Historically the party in power loses seats in Congress in mid-term elections. Our margins in both  chambers are equally thin and we cannot afford to lose that small edge. Votes from overseas voters were the margin of victory in many tight races in 2020, including in Georgia; they can be again in 2022. United States democracy depends on our efforts to fairly elect men and women who represent our ideals and desires for a better country. The most successful rebuke of the current Republican Party will be for us to double down on our efforts to Get Out the Vote, and increase voter turnout to elect those men and women. We hope you will join our effort to do so by joining Democrats Abroad to continue this good work and protect our country from afar. 




Be Prepared For Your Ballot!

Time to make a plan! Do not delay!

Hundreds of U.S. Citizens in San Miguel should be receiving their ballots for the general election in their email in-boxes. If you haven’t yet requested your ballot, please go to to do so. 

Every Sunday, Democrats Abroad volunteers are available for personalized help on Zoom. CLICK HERE for more information.

VERIFY! VERIFY! VERIFY! Contact your local election official today to be sure they have processed your FPCA form and are planning to email you your ballot. Look up the contact info. at this website:

Voters need to have a plan this year to return their ballots.

When you receive your ballot by email, you will need to download it, print it, vote it and follow the instructions carefully to return it. For all states, you will need to have a plan to print your ballot. If you do not have a printer, reach out to your friends and/or neighbors to see if they can print your ballot for you or use a nearby papelaria where they can print it for you from your device or a flash drive. 

States that require ballots to be mailed - most urgent:

As of Aug. 29th, these states require ballots to be returned by postal mail:AR, CT, GA, ID, IL*, KY, MD, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, and WI.  

It is now time to send your ballot back by private courier! DA Mexico has a special 30% coupon to use with DHL. Please email [email protected] to get your coupon certificate.

* Please check your instructions and local election official to see if you can return by fax or electronically!

States that allow electronic submission of ballots:

All voters that can return their ballot electronically should do so. These states have electronic options:  AL, AZ, CO, DE, DC, HI, IA, IN, KS, ME, MA, MO, MS, MT, NE (requires permission from local election official), NV, NJ (also send by mail), NM, NC, ND, OR (with special forms) RI, SC, UT, WA, WV, and WY.Please reach out to [email protected] for support and further explanation. 

States that allow faxing of ballots:

The above states and the following allow ballot return by fax: AK (if requested ballot to be emailed), CA, FL, LA, NM, and OK. We have partnered with Smart Space Hub, Salida a Celaya #34. All faxing and scanning of your ballot will be underwritten by SmartSpace. If this is an option for your state, you are strongly advised to utilize it. There is also a website, where you can fax these documents for free, or for a small fee on larger ballots.

Our headquarters at Ancha de San Antonio #19 is now only open by appointment for ballot assistance. We will be available on October 14th & 15th by appointment.  Please email [email protected]. We have a printer available, and Federal Post Card Application forms for states that require they be mailed. All safety protocols are followed.

Voters should act with the utmost urgency when they receive their ballots. Do not delay. If you do not receive your ballot contact your local election official and be prepared to utilize the Federal Emergency Write-in Ballot, contact [email protected] for assistance.  Be alert to news features from our local sites, Civil List, SMA FAQ, Discover SMA and Facebook for other options. 

Please, please reach out to us if you need any assistance! We are here to help you!

New DA SMA Bylaws! Please Vote!

On February 10, 2020, the Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad San Miguel de Allende approved a motion to adopt a set of significant reforms to its bylaws. This was done in order to conform to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (“DPCA”) and the Bylaws of Democrats Abroad Mexico (“DAMX”), and to innovate in a manner that will make us a more effective and efficient organization in furthering Democratic goals and getting Democrats elected. Consequently, the Bylaws are now submitted to the general membership of San Miguel de Allende for final approval at the Annual General Meeting to be held on March 13, 2020.

You can see the proposed set of new Bylaws HERE.

We invite you to study the Bylaws and let us know if you have any questions, and either vote at our annual meeting on March 13th or vote electronically (due by March 12,2020) by completing and submitting the ballot linked HERE.

What’s new? What’s different?

There are some boring technical minutiae, but there are also some large structural and operational changes. Notable changes include:

  1. Article 3 goes into great detail on the protection of membership data that had not been previously addressed.

  2. Greater articulation of the duties and responsibilities of the Officers and Members-at-Large, and articulation of the duties of the Standing Committees.

  3. Articulation of Chapter responsibilities.

  4. Extensive language on the nominations and elections of officers from procedures established by the DPCA.

Please also find for your consideration, the candidates proposed to fill the respective vacancies left in the Executive Committee for the term 2019 - 2020.


Gary Belkin, Treasurer, replacing Barbara Erickson, who resigned the position.

Barbara Erickson, Member-at-Large, Barbara Erickson assumed the position of Chair of the Get Out the Vote (“GOTV”) committee upon resignation of Nancy Young.

Rebecca Langrall, Member-at-Large, assumed the position upon the resignation of Mike Lambert.

At our Annual General Meeting on March 13th we will hold a vote to ratify the Bylaws and the Executive Committee appointments below. All candidates’ nominations have been approved by the Executive Committee, and the nominees are currently serving in an acting capacity on the board. If approved, the candidates will assume their new charges immediately and the Bylaws will take effect immediately also.

You may find details for attending our Annual Meeting HERE, and help us spread the word among other interested attendees. However, only US citizens who are registered at can vote.

We look forward to seeing you!


Primary Season! Here We Go!

by Gunnar Erickson

The US Presidential Election takes place on November 3, 2020.  Without question and regardless of where you stand on the political divide, it is the most important presidential election since Lincoln ran against McClellan in 1862.  Here is the timeline.

Donald Trump has no serious challenger on the Republican side so he will be renominated and the Republican Convention in Charlotte NC on Aug 24 -27 will be an artfully scripted P.R. event. The Republican presidential primaries will be a steady, heavily promoted triumphant march to the convention.

The Democrats meanwhile are in total flux.  They chose to have an open and inclusive nomination contest that has lead to a circus of debates with no candidate emerging so far as a consensus candidate.  The next Democratic Presidential debate is on January 14.  There will be others on Feb 7, on February 19 (before the Nevada vote on Feb 19), and on February 25 (before South Carolina vote on Feb 29).  The debates will provide the candidates more exposure albeit in a cramped format and the media will report the losers and winners. 

But the only thing that counts is selecting voting delegates to the Democratic National Convention on July 13-16 in Milwaukee, and that begins with the Iowa Caucuses on Feb 3.  The Iowa caucuses are not an open vote of all the Democrats in Iowa.  Instead, it is a count of the people who show up at their local designated spot and vote for their preferred candidate. Generally that is a very motivated activist subset of the Iowa Democrats who may or may not represent the general constituency.  Historically a lower percentage of Iowa Democratic voters attend the caucuses than Democrats who vote in other state primaries, but much depends on how hotly contested the contest is.  But because Iowa is the first actual vote, it gets a lot of press attention (which is why the Iowa Democrats fight to vote first).  In 2008 the winner was Barack Obama with 37.6% followed by John Edwards at 29.7 and Hillary Clinton at 29.4. In 2012 the winner was Bernie Sanders with 49.84%, followed by Hillary Clinton at 49.59%.

The next real vote for delegates takes place in New Hampshire on Feb 11.  It is an actual election.  People go to the polls and cast ballots.  Of the approximately 3979 delegates at the Democratic National Convention, Iowa includes 41 and New Hampshire 24.   But the results of Iowa and New Hampshire historically have created the momentum for Democratic presidential candidates.   

In 2020,  the Democrats have turned Super Tuesday -  which takes place on March 3 - into a truly super and important event.  California, which has 416 delegates, has moved its primary from after-the-fact June to Super Tuesday.  In addition to California, voters from Alabama (52 delegates), Arizona (67), Colorado (67), Minnesota (75), Massachusetts (91), North Carolina (110), Oklahoma (37), Tennessee (64), Texas (228), Utah (29), Vermont (16), and Virginia (99) will go to the polls. In all, 34% of the Democratic Presidential delegates will be selected.

March 5th through 7th Democrats Abroad will be holding a worldwide presidential primary.  Democrats Abroad awards 21 delegates to the convention, holding 17 votes, of which 13 are pledged delegates allocated on the basis of the results of the process.    The San Miguel Democrats Abroad chapter will be running that primary here with voting on March 3 and since Mexico has one of the largest group of Democrat voters in Democrats Abroad and since San Miguel has the largest number of members of Democrats Abroad in the county, those votes will matter.

By the close of Super Tuesday, about 40% of the total votes for the national convention will have been decided.  Other states will have their primaries on a regular basis ending with Washington DC in June.  The biggest of those are March 10 with Idaho (25 delegates), Minnesota (91), Mississippi (41), Missouri (78), Washington (107) and North Dakota (18); March 17 with Arizona (78), Florida (219), Illinois (184), and Ohio (153);  and March 24 with Georgia (120). 

The US Constitution does not specify the procedure for selection of a party's presidential candidates so it is largely up to the parties of each state.  The Democrats generally use proportional allocation so candidates who receive a minimum percentage of votes, often 15%, divide the pledged delegates in proportion to the percentage of votes they received.  Under a winner-take-all system, sometimes used by Republicans, it is more likely that one candidate can build an overwhelming majority of delegates with primary wins in some big states like California.  Under the Democratic model, it is much more likely that no candidate will have a majority and the delegates will be split.

If no candidate has an absolute majority of delegates by the time the convention starts on July 13, things will get interesting.  In prior years, the Democrats had a large number of super delegates, which meant that elected members of Congress and other members of the Democratic establishment received votes at the convention outside of the primary system.  The idea apparently was to tamper down the risk of  wild card candidate sweeping the primaries.  That has been changed.  Under the current rules, there are 771 super delegates in addition to the 3979 elected delegates. The super delegates cannot participate in first-ballot voting unless one candidate has cinched it. In that case, they can jump in and make the vote overwhelming. If there is no majority winner after the first ballot, the convention is "contested" and delegates are released to vote for whomever they want. 

So the Democrats might- or might not-  go into the convention with no candidate having a clear majority.  Assuming there is no early deal where a candidate withdraws and directs her or his delegates to vote for someone else to create a majority candidate, the procedure will be for there to be a first round of voting with all the pledged delegates voting in accordance with their states' primary results.  If there is no outright winner, all bets are off. Just because a state delegate was elected based on a particular candidate's vote, delegates are not forever bound to support that candidate.  If there is no outright winner after the first ballot, the convention is "contested" and delegates are released to vote for whoever they want. Some speculate that the late entries of Deval Patrick and Michael Bloomberg as candidates reflect their belief that there will be a contested convention where either could emerge as the compromise nominee.

This is the scenario that TV pundits dream of.  Backroom deals, rumors and intrigue come into play under the spotlight.  Amidst whatever wheeling and dealing occurs, the Democrats will continue the voting until eventually a consensus candidate emerges with a majority of the delegate votes.

The last presidential convention that began with a serious question about who would get the nomination was the 1976 Republican convention that pitted Gerald Ford against Ronald Reagan.  The last multi-ballot Democratic Convention was in 1952 where Adlai Stevenson won on the third ballot.

It should be an interesting year.

Outraged by Gun Violence in the United States? Steps to Take

By Barbara Erickson

In the wake of 2 mass shootings in less than 24 hours resulting in the death of at least 31 individuals, many Americans are demanding Majority Leader McConnell recall the Senate for a special session to consider House-passed legislation to require universal background checks. How can you find a voice in this conversation and convert your personal outrage to action? There are concrete steps to take that will make a difference, even though you are in San Miguel.

First step, what works? I reached out to Julia Pomeroy, long time Chief of Staff for Oregon Congressperson Earl Blumenauer, to find out what I could do that might actually have an impact in Washington. According to Julia, making contact directly with your Member of Congress (MOC) is an effective tool. She relates: “we do track all individual phone calls and emails and give detailed reports to Earl on what people are calling/writing about so that he and the staff can be super responsive to constituents. What we don’t track are online petitions – we get them in the office and since they are random names without addresses or emails, we throw them out.”

That leads to the next question – how do I identify my MOC? The following sites find them for you and even provide scripts for you to use in case you want them. Alert – the following two sites promote liberal messages:  and Here is one to send a free fax with no agenda:

If you want to contact your MOC by email it is simple to google their name to find their congressional site and there you will find a “CONTACT” button to click and write what you want to say. It is important to note that you need to identify yourself as a constituent on all of these platforms to be taken seriously and that you write or call with respect. I personally ask that they respond to my emails as I get satisfaction in knowing they have read my comments.

Does it make a difference? Emily Ellsworth, a former congressional staffer offers this: "The adage, 'If you're not at the table, you're on the menu' applies to getting in contact with your lawmakers," says Ellsworth. She believes the reason that most people don't contact their representatives is because they think either that their voice doesn't matter or that their representative already knows how constituents feel about an issue. "Neither of these are true," she says. She adds "Calling your representatives means their staff needs to give an answer right away."

What else works? Donate to effective gun control advocacy organizations such as the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:  Ask your friend group to contact their members of congress too, spread the effectiveness. Vote. You can register now at  a nonpartisan site.