The Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary is going on NOW and until March 8. You have the opportunity to cast your vote for one of our outstanding candidates and, we think, to select the next President of the United States. We think EVERY American abroad should vote, regardless of how politically active they may be. No one should be indifferent. Here are SEVEN reasons why.
1. It's Easy
If you are an American living abroad who will be 18 years of age and registered to vote on election day 2016, you're eligible to vote... you just need to be a member of Democrats Abroad (if you're not already, you can JOIN HERE). You can vote in person at any of our Voting Centers around the world the first week in March, or, if you can't vote in person, you can use a Remote Ballot, and return it to us via postal mail, email, or even fax. That's how easy it is.
2. It's Official
There have been straw polls and surveys of Americans abroad, but the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary is the only electoral mechanism officially and legally recognized by a major political party. The DNC recognizes Democrats Abroad as an official state party and allows it to send delegates to the Convention. No other political party has an officially recognized and sanctioned division for its overseas members.
3. It's Math
Voting in the Primary lets the Party know how many of us are here, and how seriously we take our right to vote--and the party is obliged to take note. The Democratic Party operates on a principle of Proportional Representation. So, the more people who vote, the louder our voice within the Party, and the greater our ability to lobby on behalf of all Americans living abroad. We already have more delegate votes than Wyoming, but we could do even better. There are in fact more Americans living abroad than there are in Iowa, but the only way we can have even a fraction of the influence that Iowa has is if every American abroad votes.
4. It's Consequential
Sure you could vote in your home state primary. And as long as you don't vote for President in your home state, you could vote in both the Global Presidential Primary and your home state. But we hope you'll vote in the Global. It's all about numbers again. When we go to lobby officials in DC, the first thing they ask is how many people we represent. The best metric is the vote. Only 172,000 Iowans voted in the 2016 Caucus, in a state whose population is about 3.2 million. It is estimated that there are 6.5 million Americans abroad. If a proportional number of Americans abroad voted in the Primary, then we would record about 350,000 votes. The influence of Democrats Abroad within the Democratic Party would increase dramatically. And then we could really get things done!
5. It's in Your Interest
Americans abroad have a very specific set of issues they face, issues like FATCA, CBT, medicare portability, and voting rights (to name a few). You may not agree with DA's position on every one of those issues (or even none), but we share quite similar goals, and we can achieve them if we all work together. Since Democrats Abroad is the only officially recognized state party and our Primary the only electoral mechanism for Americans abroad, it's in our collective interest to demonstrate that we are a significant and consequential voting constituency. When we express our voices loudly, then, when we go to Washington to lobby in cooperation with other organizations representing Americans abroad, our elected officials will listen. They listen because you vote. If every American abroad votes, there will be a loud, deafening roar.
6. It Creates Change
It will help effect the kind of change we want to see with regard to FATCA and CBT. It may not happen overnight. Twenty years ago, no one thought that marriage equality (let alone a black president) was possible. But by staying loudly and fully engaged in the political process despite sometimes overwhelming setbacks and backlashes, activists made change happen. They did not succumb to cynicism. And neither should you. You CAN make change happen. By voting.
7. It Decides Races
Votes from abroad can make a difference in a race. Senator Franken knows this--the margin of victory in the protracted recount during his first run for office was LESS than the number of Minnesotan votes cast from abroad. The same thing happened to Mark Begich. And John Tester. It's true that these examples do not belie a causal relation, but what they do show is not inconsequential : the vote from abroad can decide races. Control of the Senate will be at stake in November ... But this primary race, NOW, is very close and getting closer every day. Less than 500 votes separated the candidates in Iowa. Your vote could be the one that decides who the nominee is ... and maybe even who the President will be.
8. BONUS : we won't bother you
If you want to vote, you have to join the party. Of course, you can un-join as soon as our results are officially certified, and we'll thank you for having voted. But if you stay with us, and we hope you will, we promise that we won't bother you very much by email, and we'll never, ever share your data with anyone, not even the candidates. Plus, we're kinda cool.
Every American living abroad really should vote in the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary. It's easy to do, it's officially recognized, it gives Americans abroad a stronger and louder voice within the Party, helps us achieve important policy goals that of concern to all of us, and it WILL make a difference.