In 2020, Democrats Abroad experienced a remarkable engagement and voter outreach surge, setting new records and contributing to the momentum for Americans living abroad. Despite the unprecedented challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic and disruptions in international mail services, our organization achieved significant milestones.
Key Accomplishments in 2020:
- Tripling Outreach: We nearly tripled our outreach efforts to Americans abroad compared to previous years. This substantial increase in engagement with the global American community has positioned us to make a considerable impact in the upcoming 2024 election.
- Doubling the Vote: Democrats Abroad is on track to double the number of votes cast from abroad in the 2024 election, marking a substantial increase in the participation of overseas Americans in shaping their nation's future.
- Battleground State Influence: In 2016, 48% of the ballots successfully returned were from Americans abroad voting in key battleground states, highlighting our crucial role in influencing swing-state outcomes.
VoteFromAbroad.org: Our nonpartisan voter support tool, VoteFromAbroad.org, witnessed exceptional growth in 2020, with over 766,680 unique visitors making more than 1 million visits—an impressive threefold increase compared to 2016. Notable surges in visits were observed in Germany (up 491%), Mexico (up 345%), and Canada (up 231%).
Estimate for 2020: Approximately 1.8 million eligible American voters living abroad received ballots in 2020, compared to 930,156 ballots received in 2016. Remarkably, 50% of these ballots were sent back to battleground states.
Doubling Voter Turnout: Our ambitious goal to double the 2016 voter turnout abroad is well within reach, with the expectation of seeing a million or more votes sent from overseas.
Volunteer and Donor Support: None of these achievements would have been possible without the dedication of our 18,000 volunteers and the generous contributions of over 4,000 donors, who collectively donated over $995,000. Democrats Abroad is an all-volunteer organization with no external funding, making this support even more critical.
Our Outreach Initiatives:
- Drop-in Voter Assistance: Our Zoom rooms provided one-on-one voter assistance five days a week, assisting over 5,000 overseas voters with their questions.
- Online Help Desks: Our online help desks for abroad voters and volunteers helped 95,000 voters with their election-related queries.
- Phone Banking: Our dedicated volunteers made over 600,000 phone calls during the election.
- Global Digital Advertising: Democrats Abroad led the largest global voter abroad ad program in collaboration with Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) and Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF), reaching 50+ countries through various online advertising platforms.
- Earned Media Coverage: Our press teams secured over 215 mentions in the press, including prominent outlets like The Atlantic, BBC, CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. See our Press Page.
- Ambassadors for Biden: We partnered with Ambassadors for Biden, an innovative outreach program led by Ambassador Bruce Heyman and Vicki Heyman, to expand our outreach to Americans abroad, leveraging the networks of former US Ambassadors.
Voter Protection: Ensuring the integrity of the voting process was a top priority, with our team involved in various initiatives, including testifying in federal cases, producing white papers, running voter protection divisions, and collaborating with state Democratic parties.
- Less than 40% of VoteFromAbroad (VFA) 2020 users were already Democrats Abroad members.
- The top six countries accounted for over half of VFA users: Canada, UK, Germany, France, Mexico, and Australia.
- VFA users logged in from 221 different countries.
- Four states accounted for over 40% of voters: California, New York, Texas, and Florida.
- 130 different parties were represented among VFA users.
- 75% declared as Democrats, with 2.9% as Republicans.
- 58.6% were female, 37.5% male, and 4% undeclared or other.
- Over 95% requested their ballots via email.
- Approximately 45% of voters were aged 39 or younger, with 5% born in the 21st century.
Our commitment to strengthening democracy and ensuring the voices of Americans abroad are heard remains unwavering, and we look forward to continuing our impactful work in the years to come.