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Registered Democrats abroad can now vote online

A primary for ex-patriates will be taking place Feb. 5-12.

MEXICO CITY - This year, for the first time, expatriate Democrats can cast their ballots on the Internet in a presidential primary for people living outside the United States.

Democrats Abroad, an official branch of the party representing overseas voters, will hold its first global presidential preference primary from Feb. 5 to 12, with ex-pats selecting the candidate of their choice by Internet as well as fax, mail and in-person at polling places in more than 100 countries.

Democrats Abroad is particularly proud of the online voting option -- which provides a new alternative to the usual process of voting from overseas, a system made difficult by complicated voter registration paperwork, early deadlines and unreliable foreign mail service.

"The online system is incredibly secure: That was one of our biggest goals," said Lindsey Reynolds, executive director of Democrats Abroad. "And it does allow access to folks who ordinarily wouldn't get to participate."

U.S. citizens wanting to vote online must join Democrats Abroad before Feb. 1 and indicate their preference to vote by Internet instead of in the local primaries wherever they last lived in the United States. They must promise not to vote twice for president, but can still participate in non-presidential local elections.


Some 6 million Americans living abroad are eligible to vote in U.S. elections, but only a fraction do so. Until recently, the only option was to mail absentee ballot request forms to the last U.S. county of residence, then wait in hopes that shaky mail systems would deliver the ballots in time to vote.

The system is so unreliable that of 992,034 ballots requested from overseas for the 2006 general election, only 330,000 were cast or counted, and 70 percent of those not counted were returned to elections officials as undeliverable, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission found.

I was stationed in the Philippines at the time of 1988 elections. While I made a request for absentee ballots well ahead of time, in the case of the September primaries, that the ballot didn't arrive till three days before the vote took. I had to wonder if my vote was ever counted. The statistics cited above make that fear sound more than a little plausible.

This is just my personal preference, but I'd rather vote in the primary for the state I was registered in, than an election set aside for Americans living abroad. There are often other elections at the same time as the Presidential primary, or ballot measures like this year's property tax referendum.

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Comments (3)

Anyone who thinks Republica... (Below threshold)

Anyone who thinks Republicans are demoralized should make a visit to Kos. They are moaning they no longer have a candidate to embrace. They moan that the candidates are tearing each other apart and that Obama embraced Reagan. It's terrific fun to read.

"They moan that the candida... (Below threshold)

"They moan that the candidates are tearing each other apart and that Obama embraced Reagan."-h

Kos is a labyrinth. I checked it out during the Sheehan era and during the '06 election cycle and was amazed at how all the bright anti-war prospective Democratic politicians were vetted, puffed, and then ritually thrown under the bus there.

I figured then that statism was the kernal inside the Kos's anti-war shell. Yearly Kos (on C-Span) confirmed this. And FDL and Digby and other associated sites bob along like decoys.

Anyway, Moulitsas "came out" during a speech at the Commonwealth Club later about his CIA aspirations and last minute change of heart, i.e. "I didn't sign on the dotted line."

Pssst! 90% of CIA agents don't sign for formal employment. Especially those in media and businesses that act as cover for travel (oil/energy specialists, pilots, P.I.s, etc).

So re: Obama: Hillary is the government candidate compromised enough to be the CIA favorite and will keep the slush fund full...or else.

Anyway, the speech is linked below.

"Registered Democrats abroad can now vote online"-bj

BTW, since you seem to be up on the Philippines, did the Filipinos run Art Bell out of the country or what?

Oh, here's the Commonwealth... (Below threshold)

Oh, here's the Commonwealth Club link. Unfortunately it's a .ram file which requires Realplayer (good ol' VLC Player won't run it). And since Realplayer is a spambot...there may be a transcript elsewhere.








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