Expats last chance to vote

Many SM readers from here in the U.S. have friends or relatives currently abroad. Heck, some of our U.S. readers may be abroad right now. For the Democratic U.S. Citizens among them that haven’t yet filled out an absentee ballot, it is still possible to vote in the U.S. primary elections, even from abroad. From Newsweek:

London’s Porchester Hall–where Elton John celebrated his 47th birthday–is a most unlikely setting for American democracy in action. But the ornate Victorian hall, which also houses a library and gym, will host hundreds of expat U.S. Democrats next week in the international version of Super Tuesday. Democrats Abroad (DA)–the overseas arm of the U.S. Democratic Party–is considered as a state under Democratic Party rules and will send 22 delegates (the same number as New Hampshire) to Denver for the Democratic convention this summer. The Republican Party does not offer primary voting overseas and encourages members to vote by absentee ballot in their home states. [Link]

<

p>The catch is that they have to register online by THURSDAY NIGHT. If you think this isn’t an important demographic then you’re wrong:

In a very tight race, the leading candidates are taking the overseas vote seriously. Representatives of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards (who dropped out of the race Wednesday) have been working to rally undecided voters in several countries. Karin Robinson, who works for a London recruitment firm, says she sees a huge difference between how John Kerry–whose campaign she also worked on–dealt with the overseas contingent and how Obama is reaching out. “[Obama's] campaign has been extraordinary,” she says. “There are dedicated staff people who get in touch with us. I am sent daily talking points and we never have to beg for resources or information…” [Link]

<

p>If any of you go to an Expat voting location please send us pictures so we can share them.
For those of you voting in New Jersey (which some consider a foreign country) you will have access to voter registration forms in Gujarati! Thankfully, Narendra Modi was not involved with this in any way. Make sure you register by the end of today:

Just before the last day to register to vote in the presidential primary elections Feb. 5, Asian American groups announced the availability of newly-translated voter registration forms in Gujarati, Korean and Chinese.

The newly-translated Gujarati registration forms, the development of which was overseen by Donna Kelly of the Office of Law and Public Safety, will be the first forms of such kind to be translated into a South Asian language in the nation, according to an Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund press release. [Link]

<

p>

If any SM readers from NJ would be kind enough to scan and send us a copy of the voter registration form we’d much appreciate it.

One last election note. Little India Magazine which dubs itself “The Largest Circulated Indian Magazine in the U.S.” has come out to endorse a Presidential candidate. This is the first time that I can remember a U.S. desi publication endorsing a candidate. Can someone correct me?

Little India has decided to break from its tradition of staying out of the primary selections by endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic Party nomination for president. We take this unusual step as we have come to share his inspiring message and his call for the “fierce urgency of now.”

We value the Clintons’ long association with the Indian American community and with India, so the decision to endorse her opponent has not been easy. But there is something magical and transcendental in this moment about Sen. Obama both for the country and the Indian American community. [Link]

24 thoughts on “Expats last chance to vote

  1. Yes, please vote!

    Since you say “Narendra Modi was not involved with this in any way,” can I ask in good faith whether someone could point me to something ‘good’ to read on this Hindutva issue? I have tried to look into it, and have done so enough that I am familiar with the basics, but I’m left deeply unsettled, over what to make, for example, the frequent quick turns by the pro-BJP people to say something along the lines of (sorry if I’m mis-characterizing things–I am an AB(C?)D! and far from a policy-maker or historian, and I’m self-aware enough to recognize that my (definitely anti-Congress and somewhat pro-BJP) parents have their own obviously agenda-driven take on the topic(s)) “well, even though the Gujarat riots are regrettable, Congress has never gotten to the bottom of the anti-Sikh pogrom in Delhi (1984) under Indira,” or that “Congress coddles Naxalites,” etc. And while I’m certainly deeply suspicious of “tit for tat” or “two wrongs make a right” arguments, I have yet to find a good overall analysis of these charges/facts (I’ve looked at some books by historians in India, but they seem too overtaken by Derrida, Spivak etc. to really make sense to me, and I’ve seen a lot of skepticism on SM about, e.g., Naipaul or Mishra, so I don’t want to rely on them too much either)–hopefully I’m stumbling around in the dark, so–any suggestions on what to read?

  2. I’ve nothing to offer you, Rob, alas, but many thanks for posting this brilliant news, Abhi! Did they mean magical and transcendant? by any chance? as I surely hope they did…

  3. 1 · rob said

    Since you say “Narendra Modi was not involved with this in any way,” can I ask in good faith whether someone could point me to something ‘good’ to read on this Hindutva issue?

    Rob, mutineers did a great job analyzing the Godhra incident. If you spend time on the comments, there is a wealth of information, angles and some first-hand anecdotes. The SM post was about this investigation by Tehelka. You will need a strong stomach to sit through the videos and absorb the implications of some of the analyses (for instance, Modi won the Gujarat election, because he was outed by Tehelka for sanctioning 72 hours of Muslim-massacre/rape with no police action).

    If your question is more generally about the genesis of Hindutva in its current militant-political incarnation, I’d go back to the Babri Masjid incident. I’m sure mutineers will have suggestions.

  4. Abhi who are you supporting in the Dem primary? I dont think this thing is going to end till it reaches the Texas Primary so you might actually get to cast a meaningful primary vote. I am leaning Hillary which is probably a minority view here.

  5. Abhi who are you supporting in the Dem primary?

    I am not yet ready to throw my support behind any candidate. Also, since SM is completely unbiased in all of our “reporting” it wouldn’t be right for me to tip my hat. :)

    I think you are right about Texas though. My primary vote will be more meaningful that my vote in Nov.

  6. rob, Here’s a link to some old articles by Swami Agnivesh. One or two I’ve read, were quite solid. The site highlights some of the causes he supports. He was also one of the few brave people out on the streets protesting sikh massacre.

    Back to topic. Happy to see Desi publication supporting Obama.

  7. The racial element is somewhat like the elephant in the room, here, I think at a visceral level, racial minorites have long awaited a serious non-white contender, but it’s almost like VHS to the porn industry. No one wanted to take that risk until the major players got behind it, then everyone just followed suit.

    Let’s say loads of non-white constituents (Oprah doesn’t count) got behind Obama before his Iowa win, and subsequent Kerry endorsements? white people would run away from him like the dickens.

  8. Not to mention the Kennedy’s endorsement, and now the NYPost. Hell, Farakhan and the New Black Panthers could probably endorse him and at this point it wouldn’t scare off most white voters.

  9. Too bad half of the world, including half of India, has lost its internet connection according to CNN.com, do to a cut under ocean cable.

    Am I the only one picturing a thin Cat 5 wire under neath 1000 tons of water getting nicked and half of the world losing the internet?

  10. Also, if you cant understand English then why are you voting? On what bases are you backing a certain canidate? Well, I guess if a non- English speaking Indian is voting I guess he/she votes for the one with the lightest skin.

    On the other hand most people dont listen to what is coming from anyone’s mouth, anyway. They just go “I think Democrats are going to take all the rich people’s money and give it to me I think I will vote for them” or “I think Republicans are going to kill all colored’s around the world and bring Jesus into the classroom, I will vote for them”

  11. Little India–”The Obama phenomenon, even if it does not get him the ultimate prize, offers something unique and it is important that we embrace this moment.”

    But isn’t winning the white house the only game in town?

    Little India—”But Sen. Clinton fails even by that measure, because her candidacy only underscores the painful stereotype that women’s advancement begins at the altar. As Kerry Howley has tellingly pointed out, the first three women to serve in the Senate succeeded their husbands; six of the first 14 women elected to Congress were widows of incumbents and three others were daughters. Even Steinem would acknowledge that the gender barrier is better broken by a woman who wasn’t riding her husband’s coattails.”

    By that measure no woman should ever marry an ambitious husband. Nice.

  12. By that measure no woman should ever marry an ambitious husband. Nice.

    That’s argumentative. No one is saying ambitious men shouldn’t be sought after (for one, women are genetically pre-disposed to seek that out, especially when that ambition has lead to financial reward) Rather that the case has been that women thus far have been unable to succeed in the political arena without a husband already pre-existent.

    But that might also indicate that politically savvy women are attracted to politically savvy men, rather than bowling champions.

  13. HMF@12: That’s argumentative.

    Hehehe, hizzoner HMF :) Never fails to make me cackle when a peddler of gobbledygook, a shoe-string short of sticking his foot down his gullet, starts by using a grand declarative. Kind of like Bill O’ peddling iced tea in Harlem.

    Wait for the foot in gullet…

    HMF@12: for one, women are genetically pre-disposed to seek that out, especially when that ambition has lead to financial reward

    Ahh, the one-trick doggie, guess it did hold it in for like 3 weeks. More training needed. :) Have to say this would revolutionize gene therapy & evolutionary history in one fell swoop, the notion of the all-powerful female-only financial reward seeking gene. Someone should write Nature and be done with it.

  14. I am not yet ready to throw my support behind any candidate.

    Although you have told us how you might tilt?

    There’s an interesting piece in the New York Times today about how passionately the ethnic media are covering the elections. Of course I am not able to find it right now…

  15. Although you have told us how you might tilt?

    If you mean would I tilt in to Huma, the answer is yes, repeatedly.

  16. p, the notion of the all-powerful female-only financial reward seeking gene

    Ok.. Start here, then maybe move to here.

    Never fails to make me cackle when a peddler of gobbledygook,

    Do true, humorless statements usually make you cackle?

    Here’s a few more to get you going.

    1 + 1 = 2. Red is a color. Rain is water from the sky.

  17. 13 · HarlemSun said

    <

    blockquote>HMF@12: That’s argumentative.

    Hehehe, hizzoner HMF :) Never fails to make me cackle when a peddler of gobbledygook, a shoe-string short of sticking his foot down his gullet, starts by using a grand declarative. Kind of like Bill O’ peddling iced tea in Harlem. Wait for the foot in gullet… HMF@12: for one, women are genetically pre-disposed to seek that out, especially when that ambition has lead to financial reward Ahh, the one-trick doggie, guess it did hold it in for like 3 weeks. More training needed. :) Have to say this would revolutionize gene therapy & evolutionary history in one fell swoop, the notion of the all-powerful female-only financial reward seeking gene. Someone should write Nature and be done with it.

    HS, You’ll tire of this game eventually. No matter how much sense either of you makes (and i’m not saying the production is equal), these exchanges are more masturbatory and OT than anything else.

  18. 18 · Nayagan said

    HS, You’ll tire of this game eventually. No matter how much sense either of you makes (and i’m not saying the production is equal), these exchanges are more masturbatory and OT than anything else.

    Nayagan, things are blurry..can’t quite see…think I’m going blind.

  19. Also, if you cant understand English then why are you voting? On what bases are you backing a certain canidate? Well, I guess if a non- English speaking Indian is voting I guess he/she votes for the one with the lightest skin.

    ST, what are you referring to? Is the assumption that if you’re abroad you don’t speak English? (Just to disclose, I was a Dem Abroad voter when I was abroad, so I feel like I must be missing some very specific logical inference here)

  20. If you mean would I tilt in to Huma, the answer is yes, repeatedly.

    Funny!

    What made me see the tilt was this statement of yours from the Huma post:

    “Last week, after one of the candidates I was eyeing as the potential recipient of my vote made a monumental policy blunder (which made me question everything about this candidate), I started giving a closer look to another candidate who had more sensible and educated things to say on the same issue.”

    I know, I know — I am probably reading the tea leaves too closely maybe only because I am so desperate for an Obama win.

  21. Camille I was referring to this sentence in the article posted above:

    For those of you voting in New Jersey (which some consider a foreign country) you will have access to voter registration forms in Gujarati! Thankfully, Narendra Modi was not involved with this in any way. Make sure you register by the end of today: