Where and For Whom to Vote19 Feb 2016
Like Will Rogers, I am proud to not be a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.
And true to that spirit, as a Democrat living outside the United States, for the current presidential campaign I not only have to decide for whom to vote, but also where. (For my foreign readers following the US election, yes the process is complicated, and my description will make the impression that it is even more complicated. That is deliberate on my part.)
I can vote (in my last state of residence) in the Arizona presidential primary on March 22 (which, by the way, is not a primary but instead a presidential preference election, since the actual primary for state and local candidates is in August). However, the Democrats have an organization for Democrats living abroad (called, appropriately enough, Democrats Abroad) which is entitled to send delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Eight of those delegates are superdelegates, beholden to no one but themselves, but thirteen delegates are pledged. And to choose those pledged delegates, they hold the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary.
And just like in an official presidential primary (or preference election), I can even go to a real polling place to vote. In Hamburg! On March 5! At the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung on Rathausmarkt! (hold on, are we in cahoots with the German SPD on this?) Or at a number of other locations in Germany, or even around the world. If wasn't already a member of Democrats Abroad, I could join on-site at the polling place. If I couldn't make it to a polling place, I could vote remotely, by email, fax or snail mail.
So while I could vote in my former home state of Arizona, it makes more sense for me to vote in the global primary, since we Americans abroad have unique issues for our candidates to be aware of (like taxation, and FATCA, and taxation).
So now I know where I will vote. Now I just have to decide for whom.
(In all fairness, there is also an organization for Republicans abroad, but you guys don't get a primary. You're not even officially part of the Republican party. Sorry.)