"We answered the call of history. We met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice did not die on our watch but thrived."
Thank you to the thousands of Democrats Abroad volunteers and voters around the world who answered the call of history, who stood up to tyranny, and who helped ensure that hundreds of thousands of Americans abroad could use the most important tool democracy provides us - our vote. You helped make this happen and we only wish we could be together on this momentous day as we raise a toast to our new President and Vice President, to Democracy and hope, truth and justice.
Today should be a day of congratulations and joy - we’ve won two remarkable senate races, helped turn Georgia blue, and ensured a Democratic Congress that will help our President pass crucial reforms. We are tremendously grateful to the many DA volunteers who helped win these elections, and proud of our Georgia voters who went the extra mile to make sure their ballots arrived and were counted.
Yesterday, armed terrorists stormed the Capitol in an attempted coup incited by Donald Trump and his Republican cronies. In the midst of the rioting, Trump encouraged the mob further, endangering our Senators and Representatives, the Capitol, and the very process that promotes a peaceful transition of power.
Few rioters were arrested, and the person who fomented this terror attack remains in highest office, endangering not only those around him but democracy in the US and across the world.
Despite this attack on our institutions, democracy prevailed - our Congressional members stood up to the terrorists and certified the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris early this morning.
Democrats Abroad is proud to support our leaders in Congress calling for Trump's removal, and demands that all Senators and Representatives work to remove Trump from office immediately. We ask that you also take action by calling your Congressional representatives. We have prepared a brief call script here plus contact information for your Congressional representatives.
Stay safe and thank you for standing up for democracy.
The attack on the Capitol this afternoon may be the most dangerous moment in US history since the Civil War.
What is happening in DC is a coup attempt by armed terrorists incited by Trump and his Republican cronies to prevent Congress from finalizing his re-election failure.
This attempted coup is the culmination of years of Donald Trump and his Republican cronies building a flourishing white supremacist base, feeding them with lies and falsehoods, and preparing them for violence.
While Democrats Abroad supports the right of pro-Trump demonstrators to express their views, we demand prosecution to the fullest extent of the law of those who would use force to overthrow our elected government. Terrorists should be treated as such. The color of their skin should not allow them to walk away without ramifications. We believe the racial injustice on evidence here is deafening.
We are grateful to our Congressional Representatives and Senators who are, as Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN) has said, committed to reconvening and finishing the job that they started today. Anarchy will not prevail. Democracy will.
To our Congress and the people of DC - the world is with you. Stay safe.
Democrats Abroad wishes you a New Year where hope prevails and the bright lights of democracy, science, and truth shine strong. We celebrate the work we have done together this past year - efforts that led to more voters than ever casting their ballots and overcoming a concerted attack on the very foundations of our republic. We also mourn the many loved ones we have lost. We know the year to come will continue to offer challenges, but look forward to meeting them with you.
"But then, once in a lifetime
The longed for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme."
- Seamus Heaney
Americans abroad have risen up this year and voted in unprecedented numbers for justice and for hope. Our votes have been the margin of victory in flipping states to help win the White House, and we are working now to make sure we help win the Senate through Georgia. Together we have made the difference!
Thank you for making this all possible. Thank you for rising to the challenges of our times.
Democrats Abroad sends our best wishes to you for a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving.
In this election cycle, part of getting out the vote also includes fighting for our votes.
To aid in the fight, Democrats Abroad filed an amicus curiae brief in the Pennsylvania case, DJT for President v Boockvar, et al. That case was dismissed this weekend. Trump's lawyers are attempting an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and Democrats Abroad is delighted to have filed a slightly revised amicus brief in response.
We remain committed to protecting the rights of voters abroad and ensuring our votes are counted, and are proud to be able to be part of the defense against the spurious legal cases of the Trump administration.
Statement from Julia Bryan, Global Chair of Democrats Abroad
A new day has come to America and to the world. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have won the White House, and democracy will prevail!
Joe Biden will be a president for all America, healing the divisions that have so fragmented the country. He is a thoughtful statesman, and an experienced legislator and leader, but above all he is a truly empathetic and kind person.
We are also thrilled to have elected Kamala Harris as Vice President. She is a groundbreaking leader, and her legal and senatorial careers have more than demonstrated her keen intelligence, progressive values, and ability to build coalitions. She will be a role model for generations.
Thank you to all of our voters and volunteers for your efforts! We have risen to the challenge of our time, and our votes have been the margin of victory in this historic win.
We look forward to working with the 117th Congress and Biden administration to bring our voices to the table in the coming months.
Democrats Abroad Global Chair Julia Bryan has issued the following statement:
2020 has been a record breaking year for Democrats Abroad, as we have nearly tripled our outreach to Americans abroad and are on track to double the vote from abroad. The unique challenges presented by the global COVID pandemic and international mail disruption make these achievements particularly significant.
- 930k US citizens and military abroad (UOCAVA voters) received ballots
- 633k UOCAVA voters returned their ballots,
- 48% of ballots successfully returned were from Americans abroad voting in what are this year’s battleground states
Our nonpartisan voter support tool - VoteFromAbroad.org - has seen more than 766,680 unique visitors visit the site more than 1 million times - nearly 3x 2016 traffic.
- Germany visits up by 491%
- Mexico visits up by 345%
- Canada visits up by 231%
We estimate that in 2020 approximately 1.8 million eligible American Voters living abroad have received ballots (compared to 930,156 ballots received in 2016).
50% of ballots from American Voters Abroad will be returned to battleground states in this year’s election!
We are on target to DOUBLE 2016 voter turnout abroad.
We expect to see a million or more votes sent home from abroad!
This success was made possible through the 18,000 volunteers who generously provide their support, as well as the donations of over 4000 donors, who donated over $995k this cycle to Democrats Abroad (an all volunteer run organization with no external funding).
Our Efforts and Outreach
Drop in Voter Assistance
Our Zoom rooms provided 1:1 voter assistance 5 days a week, helping 5k+ abroad voters with their questions.
Intercom and FreshDesk help desks
Our online help desks for abroad voters and volunteers helped 95k voters with their voter questions.
Phone banking Democrats Abroad
1500 Democrats Abroad volunteers have made over 600,000 calls this election.
Digital advertising to Americans around the world
Democrats Abroad created and managed by far the largest global voter abroad ad program this cycle. (FVAP and OVF ran ad campaigns as well)
DA global and local teams advertised in 50+ countries via facebook, youtube, google, native ads, banner ads, radio, display ads, and more. These ads generated millions of impressions and sent hundreds of thousands of referrals to votefromabroad.org.
Democrats Abroad press teams at both the local and global level earned more than 215 mentions in the press this year.
Highlights include: The Atlantic, BBC, Buzzfeed, CBC.ca, CNN, Deutsche Welle, Euronews, The Irish Times, LA Times, NBC News, National Public Radio (NPR), Newsweek, The New York Times, Politico EuropeToday.com, Toronto Star, USA Today, Vice, VOX, Washington Post, Yahoo News.
Ambassadors for Biden
DA partnered with Ambassadors for Biden - an innovative outreach program led by Ambassador Bruce Heyman and Vicki Heyman and which worked with the Biden for President campaign. Together, we leveraged the networks of a large, bipartisan group of former US Ambassadors to amplify and enhance DA’s own get out the vote and fundraising efforts, as well as expand our outreach to Americans abroad.
- Individual leaders and volunteers testified in two Federal cases on behalf of voters abroad this fall. The first case was resolved with a successful judgement against Postmaster DeJoy.
- Worked with the Ambassadors for Biden team on a series of white papers directed to battleground Democratic states that still require hard copy ballot return, providing information on the efficacy of electronic voting.
- Currently run a voter protection division that includes a director, 9 lawyer volunteers, and voter protection volunteers tasked with organizing and managing the escalation of cases from our country committees and voter help communications.
- Worked on 315 cases to date
- Ran state primary elections survey of voter issues (4119 respondents)
- Currently running a general election survey of voter abroad issues (almost 10k respondents so far)
- Currently working with the Florida and Georgia Democratic parties on ballot curing notifications.
- Providing ballot curing information to Arizona, Iowa, Montana, Mississippi, and Ohio voters abroad.
- Less than 40% of VFA 2020 users were already DA members
- 6 countries accounted for over half the users: Canada, UK, Germany, France, Mexico, Australia
- VFA users logged in from 221 different countries
- 4 states accounted for over 40% of the voters: CA, NY, TX, FL
- 130 different parties listed
- 75% declared as Democrats and 2.9% as Republicans
- 58.6% were female and only 37.5% as male – other 4% undeclared/other
- Over 95% asked for their ballot via email (our messaging worked!)
- ~45% of our voters were 39 or younger
- 5% born this century
Thank you, Joe Biden, for your letter to all Americans residing abroad. As you note, this is the most important election of our lifetime. Our votes matter and our voices matter. We believe this deeply, and Democrats Abroad is working tirelessly to make sure every voter abroad has the opportunity to successfully cast their ballot. We are also working to make sure that our voices are heard.
Towards that goal, we appreciate that senior staff of the Biden campaign have sat down with our policy teams and discussed with us many of the specific issues and concerns that Americans abroad face.
We appreciate your commitment to ensuring an agile and well functioning State Department able to serve Americans abroad. We appreciate your understanding of our need for consular, visa, immigration, and adoption services to support our families. And we appreciate that you understand the need to seriously review taxation laws which create financial barriers and complexities unique to Americans abroad. Our policy teams are ready to work with your administration to build concrete next steps that will alleviate the issues we all face.
But before we begin that work, we will first deliver an all-time-high number of votes from abroad in November, and help elect the Biden/Harris ticket and as many Democrats as possible, up and down the ballot, and across the country.