Monday is Martin Luther King Day in the USA, but for Americans living abroad…

King was bipartisan mistreated in his time. Since then most white supremacists migrated to the Republican Party, most of the old black Republicans who voted that way because the GOP was the party of Lincoln became Democrats and today’s black Republicans are a different ideological and social phenomenon. Don’t be an idiot — take US history and politics in its full complexity and understand. And VOTE. Here, in 1958, Martin Luther King Jr. was taken into custody by police in the Democrat-run city of Montgomery, Alabama. Wikimedia photo by Charles Moore — Montgomery Advertiser. 

Monday is International Voter Registration Day for Americans

a note by Eric Jackson

Federal law generally gives every adult US citizen the right to vote in the place in the USA where she or he last resided. State laws about convicted felons voting are some of the few exceptions, and in many cases for Americans who have never lived in the USA they can register and vote in the last place in the United States where a US citizen parent lived. Generally overseas voters have to re-register every election year, even if some jurisdictions will let people slide on that. (And in a voter assistance information event long ago when they had such things at the US Consulate in Panama, the consular officer reminded people that the law as written and as enforced may be different things, with wild cards like that you may not know who the present city or county clerk who handles voter registrations might be.)

Does it all sound confusing? There are groups and institutions designed to help cut through that. Plus, if you register in January and some clerk gives you a hassle, there can be time to consult one of the voter defense groups and litigate that if need be by November.

Another issue, especially but not only for younger adults of the Democratic persuasion

Polling hardly exists among overseas Americans, but stateside the polling shows a great many Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents who are disenchanted with the Biden administration for supporting Israel’s Gaza War. Surely this tendency is more pronounced among Americans outside of the United States.

Joe Biden is set to be renominated, but there will be a Democrats Abroad primary in which, regardless of whether any debate will be allowed, genocide will be an issue. Down the ballot, the massacre in Gaza WILL BE a huge issue, even if right-wing lobbies loyal to a foreign power such as AIPAC may say that the millions they spend against antiwar members of Congress and political candidates has nothing to do with the massive revenge killings of noncombatant civilians. Antiwar voters would be foolishly self-destructive to concede the down-ballot races to bloodthirsty corporate types by abstaining from this year’s elections.  

Vote From Abroad is one of the main institutions working to register and mobilize the votes of overseas Americans. They are having a weekend of events for this coming right up. Contact them for help or to volunteer here.

The Federal Voter Assistance Program began as a program to inform and assist US military personnel and dependents who might be stationed anywhere in the world to register and vote. They now serve any American living overseas. Plus, their website is a treasure trove of voting information about things that you won’t hear about in media outside of the USA. See the FVAP here.

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