Group promotes absentee ballots for Americans to vote from abroad
The Democrats Abroad Mexico City chapter is encouraging U.S. citizens living in Mexico to register to vote this year regardless of their party affiliation. The group hosted a watching party on the final night of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on Thursday July 28.
An upbeat crowd packed the American Legion bar in the Condesa neighborhood, fueled by Dos Equis beer and the Legion’s famous hamburgers. Broadcast from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the convention ended with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton formally accepting the nomination as the Democratic candidate for president.
While the attendees clearly gravitated toward Clinton, Doug Hall of Democrats Abroad Mexico City said in an interview with The News that they have been in contact with the Republicans organization in Mexico City. They are considering hosting a joint event and Hall said, “It’s a bi-partisan effort. No matter what party you side with, we want to get people to vote.”
Democrats Abroad provided a voter registration “triage” at the door, helping attendees look up the absentee voting rules for their home state and explaining how to register from Mexico. U.S. citizens who maintain residency in the United States can register for an absentee ballot from their home state. Democrats Abroad had a hefty manual on-hand Thursday to consult the rules for each state. Those who are temporary or permanent residents abroad can use the VotefromAbroad.org website to register.
Democrats Abroad is an international organization with committees across the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It has state-level recognition in the DNC and sent thirteen pledged delegates and eight super-delegates to the Philadelphia convention. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won 69 percent of the Democrats Abroad primary vote. Voter participation was up 50 percent from 2008, with 34,570 voters from over 170 countries.
Mexico has the largest population of U.S. citizens living abroad of any country, with close to one million either part or full time residents. Hall notes that there are 500,000 Mexican-American dual citizens living in Mexico, and they are also eligible to vote.
Aliana Villarreal González was sharing a booth with a few friends. She was born in the U.S. to Mexican parents and is a dual citizen. Villarreal González was living in New York during the primaries and voted for Bernie Sanders. She will be in Mexico City during the general election and plans to request an absentee ballot.
She says that she will vote for Clinton but that she is among the voters, “who wish that Obama could have a third term.”
She is a regular at the American Legion, a popular beer and burger spot for U.S. citizens and other foreigners in the city.
Democrats Abroad plans to host events during the upcoming debates between Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. They also will be setting up registration booths in the coming months at locations frequented by foreigners in Mexico City, such as Parque México in Condesa.
More information can be found on their Meetup page, Democrats Abroad Mexico City.