U.S. citizens in Victoria ramp up for presidential election

Democrats Abroad active on Vancouver Island, while Republicans find more support from Ontario-based U.S. expats

Democrats Abroad Victoria Chapter members (from left): Heidi Burch

With the NHL season on hold, Victoria bar owners and restaurateurs are lamenting the loss of a guaranteed seat-filler.

But another bloodsport could attract an equally passionate crowd, should licensed establishments choose to deviate from sports programming.

The first of three U.S. presidential debates between Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney takes place tonight. The remaining contests continue through this month.

“We thought we’d have a party to celebrate,” said Giles Hogya, chair of Democrats Abroad, Victoria chapter.

The organization, which helps register expatriate U.S. citizens to vote, is holding a fundraiser and viewing party in the Maple Room of the Sticky Wicket pub tonight.

“Although we are a political organization, our mandate is to register American voters,” Hogya said. Hundreds of U.S. citizens live on Vancouver Island, he noted.

Through the website votefromabroad.org, expats can find information on registering to vote in their home state, a process that often differs between states. The U.S. government also has an easy-to-follow website for expat voters, www.fvap.gov.

“Many Americans’ votes may be disqualified because the new law says you must register for every single federal election, not just once,” Hogya said.

Democrats Abroad Victoria held a Super Saturday in the spring from Victoria to Campbell River, registering roughly 200 U.S. citizens to vote in the presidential election.

The group then initiated a campaign in August to target U.S. voters living in Canada from 11 key swing states.

“No Republican candidate has ever won the White House without Ohio,” Hogya said.

“We have sent thousands of votes to swing states. And I’m going to be looking … to see if our efforts have borne fruit.”

He attended the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina earlier this month and said the national party is “very conscious” of the fact that Canada can deliver thousands of votes.

“We’re major player,” Hogya said.

Ontario-based Republicans Abroad Canada has no active chapter in B.C., said spokesperson Kelli White, but the streamlining of online voter registration has made the organization’s efforts to inform expats much easier.

“The website, fvap.gov, even allows you to download an emergency absentee ballot in case your official absentee ballot doesn’t arrive from your voting state,” she said. “With all of the accessibility and streamlining that technology has allowed, the number of absentee votes in almost every state has increased.”

Tonight’s presidential debate is the first of three, with a vice-presidential debate Oct. 11. The next commander-in-chief debates happen Oct. 16 and Oct. 22.

There are Democrats Abroad chapters in 51 countries and members in more than 120 countries, according to Hogya.

For more information on Democrats Abroad and to find out about future viewing parties, email davictoriachapter@gmail.com.

Find information on Republicans Abroad at republicansabroad.ca.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria woman creates ‘call list’ for seniors to tackle loneliness

Call list allows seniors to have some friendly conversation during isolating times

Report looks at COVID-19’s impact on violence in the family

Police across Canada reported almost 100,000 cases of intimate partner violence in 2018

Saanich’s Shelbourne corridor work set to start despite pandemic

Municipal work is deemed an essential service, keeping the long-term project on track

Sidney senior welcomes outreach phone calls from charity

A long-time user of Sidney’s SHOAL Centre, praises Beacon Community Services

BC Ferries further reduces sailings in response to COVID-19

Any sailing reservations cancelled due to schedule changes will be refunded

Mental Health: Planning for a crisis

Crisis planning lays out a blueprint in case hard times hit

COVID-19 world update: 6.6 million U.S. jobless claims; alcohol sales banned in Bangkok

Comprehensive digest of coronavirus news items from around the world

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

VIDEO: More than 85 people displaced by Campbell River apartment fire

Traffic is being diverted around Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue

Most Read