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Americans Abroad Can Vote Early

By Kevin Robinson in News on Jan 24, 2008 2:50PM

Thanks to Bill M, we know that it isn't just Chicagoists who read... Chicagoist. And if you are part of that select group of ex=pat Chicagoans who keep up with our city, you're probably interested in voting in the upcoming presidential primary. And now, for the first time, Democrats living abroad can vote in the upcoming presidential primary. Democrats Abroad, the official overseas branch of the party will hold a global presidential primary from Feb. 5 to 12. Americans living outside the US can vote in the Democratic primary via internet, fax, mail and in-person in 34 countries around the globe. (The Tribune says there are 100 countries, but the website managing the vote says 34.) To participate, you must join Democrats Abroad, register, and request a ballot from the last US state you lived in before February 1.


Votes from the global primary will be represented at the August convention by 22 delegates, each with half a vote. That's more delegates than are alloted to US territories (take that, Guam!), but fewer than the least populous states, Alaska and Wyoming, who each have 18 delegates with full votes. If you don't want to join the party, or want to participate in a different primary, there are plenty of options left. The best bet for Americans that are living outside of the US and want to vote is to get in touch with the State Department. Although the official federal agency for overseas absentee voting assistance is the Federal Voting Assistance Program, the State Department and your local US Embassy can help you figure out how to register and vote. If you go that route, your vote will most likely be counted in the US jurisdiction where you lived last.