Expat Life

Democrats Living Abroad: You Can Vote in the Primaries too!

February 28, 2016

I love election years. I love the debates and town halls, listening to pundits discuss the polls, the he said, she said, the memes, jokes, victory and concession speeches, think pieces, comment threads on Facebook…all of it. I love the drama and the suspense. I love rooting for the underdog (#FeelTheBern).

I love the feeling that we, all of us, have the opportunity to have a say in who runs our country. And that even though our political system is corrupt, we’re pretty damn lucky to have what we have. And it’s up to us to work to change it. Especially after living in Saudi Arabia for a while, every day I thank my lucky stars that I’m an American.

Patriotism aside, our country has serious issues. Our politicians can’t #getshitdone because they’re distracted by donations from special interests. The level of wealth inequality in our country should make us ashamed. The fact that every other major country on earth can put their kids through college and give every citizen a decent wage and healthcare, but the richest country in the history of the world can’t do the same for its own people, just doesn’t make sense. The racist, xenophobic, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, anti-poor rhetoric from the Republican candidates is a reminder that this election is not just about our future as a country, but our identity as a nation.



We have a chance to change things. We can vote. Not just for president, but if we want real change, we’ve got to vote Democratic on the rest of the ballot as well. And we can’t sleep on midterms. Whether you’re #WithHer or #FeelingTheBern, we know that we need Democrats in DC to move our country forward.

As a Democrat myself, I wanted to participate in the primary process, but I thought that as an expat I’d just have to miss out on all the fun. But as I just found out, the Global Presidential Primary allows any Democrat living abroad to cast their vote in a primary that could make a difference in who gets the nomination.

And yes, it matters. Democrats Abroad sends delegates to the Democratic National Convention, which will take place in July. Now this is a small amount compared to the over 2383 delegates needed for the nomination, but we’ve seen how close this race has already been. I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes down to just a few delegates.

If you’re a US citizen who is at least 18 years old, lives outside of US states and territories, and has not yet voted in any presidential primary for 2016, here’s how to vote.

  • The primary is run by Democrats Abroad. So first, you must sign up at their website to participate. It literally takes like 2 minutes.
  • Then, fill out the first page of this form, again it should take just a couple minutes, and you can email, fax, or mail your ballot.
  • If you live near a voting center, you can vote in person as well. You can find this and other information on the Democrats Abroad website.
  • Voting in the Global Presidential Primary ends on March 8th–that’s really soon!

If you don’t live abroad, please go vote in your state primary or caucuses. For every potential primary voter who doesn’t vote, a bald eagle sheds a tear.

Get out there, or get online, or get to the post office, and make your voices heard, fellow expats. Yay for democracy! 




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