March 01, 2024

US citizens in Switzerland to vote in “Super Tuesday” Global Presidential Primary


Basel, Geneva and Zurich – Thousands of the US citizens living in Switzerland will have the opportunity next week to nominate the Democratic candidate for the November 5, 2024, Presidential election.

Global Presidential Primary (GPP) voters will elect international delegates to represent them at the Democratic Convention, that will be held in Chicago, Illinois from 19 to 22 August 2024. These delegates will vote for their preferred Democratic candidate at the Convention and help to shape the Party’s policy platform. 

“It is impossible to overstate the importance of this election for both the United States and the world,” said Democrats Abroad Switzerland (DACH) Chair Tory Mallett. 

“The Global Presidential Primary is invaluable for engaging US citizens in Switzerland and elsewhere in the struggle to ensure that the US remains a healthy and vibrant democracy,” she said. “The issues we care about – democracy, freedom, justice, climate change, global cooperation – are all at stake in this pivotal election.” 

Democrats Abroad Switzerland (DACH) will host three official voting centers, in Basel, Geneva and Zurich. The Geneva event will be held at the Warwick Hotel on Super Tuesday, 5 March, from 15:00 to 19:00. The GPP in Basel will take place on Saturday, 9 March, from 11:00 to 15:00 at l’Atelier. The Zurich GPP will also be held on 9 March, from 12:00 to 16:00, at the American Women’s Club of Zurich (Höschgasse 38).

The nominees on the ballot are President Joe Biden and Ms Marianne Williamson, an author, speaker, and politician. (Update: Ms Williamson withdrew from the race in January while remaining on the GPP ballot; she “unsuspended” her campaign on 28 February.) 

Super Tuesday is an important event in US political history. This year 17 US states, US territories, plus overseas Democrats participating in the GPP will cast their ballots on the same day, greatly influencing the trajectory of the national election. The Global Presidential Primary will conclude on 12 March with the election of 17 delegates (out of an estimated total of 4 532). 

Although estimates vary widely, the U.S. Department of State's Consular Affairs Bureau reports that approximately 9 million U.S. citizens reside abroad. Given how narrowly recent US elections have been decided, Americans abroad can play a decisive role in choosing the winner. For example, in 2020 President Biden won the State of Georgia by only 11 000 votes, whereas 18 000 Georgia voters participated from overseas. Unfortunately, complicated rules and procedures can discourage overseas Americans from exercising their right to vote.

According to the Swiss Federal Bureau of Statistics, 20 215 permanent residents from the US were living in Switzerland in 2022.  In addition, a few thousand more are temporary residents, and many others holding dual US-Swiss citizenship are not captured in this statistic.

For US citizens abroad, voting in the Global Presidential Primary abroad has greater weight than voting in their “home” state. While tens of thousands of people will participate in the GPP this year, millions will submit an absentee ballot in their home state. However, based on the delegate representation process, a vote in the Global Presidential Primary is up to four times more powerful than a vote in the home state, even in densely populated states such as California and New York. Voting in the November general election, on the other hand, only takes place at the state level.

US citizens can request their primary ballots now on or, if already registered, they can obtain their Global Presidential Primary ballot through this form.

Further information about the Democrats Abroad primary process is available here

Democrats Abroad is the official Democratic Party arm for the millions of Americans living outside the United States. It strives to provide Americans abroad a Democratic voice in the US government and to elect Democratic candidates by mobilizing the overseas vote by:

  • Helping Americans abroad to vote in U.S. elections;
  • protecting the right to vote for Americans abroad;
  • working with US government officials and elected representatives to advocate for issues that concern Americans abroad;
  • building communities of like-minded Americans around the world, and;
  • helping to elect Democrats in every congressional district in the US.

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