Today, as voters in the U.S. head to the polls for Super Tuesday, Americans living in Germany are also filling out ballots to decide who the democratic presidential candidate will be.
With 43 democratic voting centers open across Germany over the next seven days, it’s the most robust effort yet from Democrats Abroad, the official arm of the Democratic Party for voters living outside of the U.S.
Powen Shiah, the media and communications coordinator for Democrats Abroad Berlin, says things that are being hotly debated in this presidential election are already a reality here in Germany.
“You know, what is it going to be like if we all have more highly regulated healthcare or if there are fewer guns on the street,” Shiah said.
There are 10 candidates on the Democrats Abroad official ballot, including some who have already dropped out of the race, which means that candidates who are no longer in the running could nab some of the 13 pledged delegates up for grabs. A team of 21 delegates will go to the Democratic National Convention in July.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump faces no serious challenger from his own party, so Republicans Overseas Germany is focused on November.
Rick Wilhem, the communications director for the group, has one message for Americans living abroad: register to vote.
“Put it on your calendar, sign up again that’s the way this system works and that way you can participate in our democratic process. I’m a huge believer: those who choose not to vote get the government they deserve,” Wilhem said.
And with millions of Americans living overseas, Shiah from Democrats Abroad says absentee votes can even swing an election.
“What we saw in 2017 with a state election in the Virginia House of Delegates, some of these elections were tied and one more vote coming from abroad would have made a huge difference,” Shiah said. “So we always say anytime you have a chance to vote, or you have the opportunity to vote, it really has the potential to change the outcome of the whole election.”
The results of the Democrats Abroad primary, which in addition to Germany is taking place in 44 other countries, will be announced on March 23.