In theory, American expats are able to vote. In practice, it can be almost impossible to do so.
When we moved to Ethiopia I notified the county clerk’s office that I was living overseas and needed my ballot sent to me in Africa. Not a big deal, since all elections in Oregon are vote-by-mail anyway. Except that the mail service is so slow in Ethiopia that invariably I received my ballot only a couple of days before the election, or even after it was over, with no possible way to mail it back before the deadline.
But the other day, my daughter Alice’s childhood friend Kate Gould posted on her Facebook page about Democrats Abroad. She said that expat Democrats who register with this organization can vote in the primary election.
I looked it up, and sure enough, Democrats Abroad has 17 delegates to the national convention.
If you are living abroad and want to participate, you first have to join Democrats Abroad through a simple on-line registration process. Then you can either vote in person at a polling place or, if your location doesn’t have one (Cairo doesn’t), you can print out, scan/photograph, and return your ballot by email. Snail mail no more!
And who are we voting for? That one’s easy.