US expats in Zurich urge compatriots across the world to vote in midterms

Published:  2 May at 6 PM
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American expats living and working in Zurich are urging US citizens across the world to get together and register to vote in November’s midterm elections.

A group of 270 US expats in Switzerland have banded together under the umbrella of Action Together – Zurich to urge their compatriots all over the world to register to vote in the USA’s mid-term elections. They’ve posted on YouTube, asking the question ‘should I pretend to be from Canada so that I can ignore criticism of the USA’s present politics?’, followed by witty skits showing examples of Americans doing just that. The message at the end says it all, admitting that living overseas can be difficult, but registering in order to vote is easy!

The goal is to gently persuade Americans scattered across the world that the results of the midterm elections may be critical for American democracy. In November, all the 435 House of Representative seats will be up for grabs, as will 35 seats in the Senate. The US expat community in Zurich feels there’s need for strong action in order to stop the slide towards losing everything America’s been admired for over the years. The group believes most expats don’t quite grasp how important the midterms are, especially this year, and the impact the results can have on the balance of power within the government.

US expats were awarded the right to vote in 1975, although the government has no real idea how many of its citizens are living outside the country. Estimates vary between 2.6 and nine million, of which 93,000 voted in 2014’s mid term elections and 633,000 voted in the presidential election. When expats vote in large numbers, they’re able to make enough difference to swing close-called Senate races. The group’s video skits on social media have so far gained a good number of votes of confidence and promises for actual votes in November, and will hopefully be able to swing the balance of government away from its present focus.
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