Sunday, March 19, 2017

Casting a ballot from elsewhere

On March 18, 30,000 Kurdish demonstrators who live in Germany urged a "No" vote on Turkey's coming referendum to increase the powers of the Turkish presidency and reduce the power of parliament. These Kurds, a despised minority in Turkey, are Turkish citizens. No wonder they would vote No. No wonder they live in Germany!

Turkish president, Recip Tayip Erdogan, who is pressing a "Yes" vote objects strenuously to Germany allowing the "No" protest. He also protests the cancellation by the German and Dutch governments of visits by Turkish ministers to rally Turks to vote in favor of the referendum. Erdogan  didn't help his case by calling the Germans and the Dutch Nazis and fascists. But what about equal treatment for both "No" and "Yes" votes in Germany and the Netherlands?

Does the U.S. face a parallel situation? American citizens abroad can vote in U.S. elections even as citizens of another country. Erdogan may demonstrate the absurdity of a man who must win at any cost. But what of the potential in the U.S. for an election in which the votes of citizens abroad insure the election of a president? Donald Trump, for example. (Didn't happen. Could it?)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Sorry, Margaret. The comment I originally posted was supposed to be for Crystal's post, so I deleted it here and moved it.

  2. It is my understanding that US citizens living abroad must still request absentee ballots from their state of (voter)residence. So their votes would be counted with the votes from that state. There wouldn't be any "bloc" of expat voters, so it would be hard to see how they could swing the vote unless there were enough of them from a key state
    to change the electoral votes of that state. If that happened, you can bet we'd see a change in the rules for absentee voters.

  3. Katherine, you are correct. One of our adult children has been living overseas for 5 years now. His absentee ballot comes from the state where he is registered.