Voting in the Global Presidential Primary

Hello. My name is Alan and I’m a politics addict.

I was part of the Twenty-sixth Amendment’s first class of 18-year-old voters allowed to participate in federal elections and have voted in every election since. My first degree was in political science and I have a master’s degree in public administration and public policy. I have a personal philosophy of “voting for the person, not the party” and have changed my party affiliation numerous time to support a candidate I believed merited my support in a primary election and I have voted for local, state, and national candidates of all parties. I have volunteered to work on election campaigns. I follow elections, legislative sessions, and court decisions the way some people follow the NFL football season. I believe voting is a privilege and a duty and find it appalling that the US has such low voter participation. I strongly support programs like Oregon’s “Motor Voter” system to encourage more people to actively exercise their political franchise. Since moving to France Tracy and I have made a point of “voting back home” by use of absentee ballot.

Hello. My name is Alan and I’m a politics addict.

I can tell you that Tracy, who does not share my politics passion, puts up with my obsessive following of all things political with the same kind of patience that she did when the kids were little and telling her why they HAD TO hit their brother first.

I had recently — and by recently I mean every day since the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary — been lamenting the fact that our home state of Nevada has replaced primary elections with the caucus system since 2008. There is no option to participate by “absentee voting” in a caucus which requires face-to-face participation.

However, while reading about the upcoming March 1, 2016 “Super Tuesday” presidential primary elections, I discovered that Super Tuesday includes the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary that we can participate in.

Global Presidential Primary logo (Democrats Abroad website)
Global Presidential Primary logo
(Democrats Abroad website)

Democrats Abroad is a fifty-two year old, official Democratic party organization representing US citizens living permanently or temporarily overseas. It has “state-level” recognition by the National Democratic Party for representing overseas voters. The Republican Party has a similar organization, Republicans Overseas, but the Republican National Committee does not considered Republicans Overseas a “state committee” and it does not conduct its own global primary.

From 1976 to 2004 Democrats Abroad have sent delegates to Democratic National Convention using a caucus system. Since 2008, Democrats Abroad have conducted Global Primary Elections for Democratic party voters among the approximately 8,700,000 Americans that live overseas.

US States by Population with the Number of Overseas Americans (Democrats Abroad website)
US States by Population with the Number of Overseas Americans
(Democrats Abroad website)

Participation in the Global Primary Election is extremely easy.

1.) Be living permanently or temporarily abroad.

2.) Take a couple of minutes to join Democrats Abroad via their website.  You list your name, date of birth, phone numbers, US voting address, and your physical address abroad. After completing your application you are sent a e-mail link to activate your membership account.

3.) You are then authorized to vote at one of the 121 official Voting Centers in more than 40 countries, during the week of March 1 to March 8. (There are ten Voting Centers throughout France.)

4.) If you are unable to vote in person (Toulouse is our closest Voting Center and we are in the middle of moving), you can e-mail, fax, or “snail mail” your ballot to Democrats Abroad.  In just a few minutes, Tracy and I downloaded, filled-in our indentification information, selected a candidate, signed, scanned, and e-mailed our ballots to Democrats Abroad ahead of the March 1 to March 8 physical voting period. A mailed ballot must be postmarked by March 8 and ballots received after March 13, 2016 as deemed invalid and will not be counted.

5.) Of course, you can only vote once for a presidential candidate: either through the Global Primary Election or through your home state. You can either vote absentee, or participate in the caucus in your home state. or participate in the Global Primary Election.

Based on the results of the Global Primary Election, Democrats Abroad will send 21 delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.  Our home state of Nevada will be sending 43 delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

Tracy told me I was “way too excited” about being able to vote in a primary election.

Hello. My name is Alan and have I mentioned that I’m addicted to politics?

Tracy is across the room on her laptop diligently searching for a 12-step program.

 

 

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