Friday night i volunteered with Democrats Abroad Argentina… They hosted a debate-watching party at a bar in my neighborhood, and I got to help out at the voter-registration table. At this point most expats should hopefully have registered already, so we didn’t have a lot of work to do, but we got to answer a few questions and hopefully some of the folks who still hadn’t registered yet will be able to hurry up and squeeze in before the deadline!
The event turned out to be huge, like over 300 people attending! it was definitely the biggest group of *North* Americans I’ve ever seen inside of Argentina. There were two local news teams broadcasting live, lots of cameras snapping everywhere, and i heard there was someone there covering the event for The Huffington Post (here’s the article).
I’m not generally attracted to “expat” gatherings, but I am getting totally excited/anxious about the upcoming elections and after getting myself registered and requesting my own absentee ballot, I still felt like I wanted to do more! and I’m glad I went, it was kinda amazing to be in a bar FULL of people who were all so excited about electing Obama. I’m generally pretty cynical about mainstream party politics and all the political charades in the US… but after the catastrophic 2000 and 2004 elections and the UNSPEAKABLY DREADFUL events resulting from George W. Bush’s election and re-election as president (ie: war, tyranny, empire, failure of domestic infrastructure, economic collapse, the rest of the world really hates us now, etc etc etc), I feel like presidential elections actually can be very very important. And this one is. Living in Argentina makes me realize how meaningful it is just to elect a president that the rest of the world can tolerate, for starters. And it made me feel a little bit better to see that so many other expatriates are feeling the same.
Anyway… on Thursday night Maria had hosted a lovely voter-registration-training for volunteers at her house, and this is what I learned: At this point, any US citizens who haven’t registered yet should go to this site:
and fill out the registration form, print it out, sign it and mail or fax it ASAP! many states require absentee voters to register before OCTOBER 6th! Also, for anyone who is ALREADY REGISTERED to vote in usa, there will be an event at the US embassy in Buenos Aires (4300 Av. Colombia in Palermo) on October 8th, from 9am – 12pm, where they will provide voting assistance, blank federal write-in ballots, and they will accept ballots to deliver to the USA via their special FedEx diplomatic mail delivery. This is handy because the Argentine mail service is notoriously unreliable and it’s sad to think of any hard-won absentee ballot disappearing into the Argentine mail black hole and not getting delivered or counted. Even if you can’t make it to the embassy event on Oct 8th, you can bring your absentee ballot or federal write-in ballot to the embassy and drop it off for diplomatic mail delivery any weekday 8:30 am to 12 noon or 2:30 to 4:30pm, go to window 15 at the embassy.
please save us all from McCain and Palin.