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]
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]