Democrats Abroad: How an event in Edinburgh helps sway the US Primaries

As Democrat party members went to the polls for Super Tuesday in hotly contested states such as California and Texas, a somewhat less grand affair was taking place on a global scale.

From Singapore to the Czech Republic, Little-Americas popped up around the world allowing US citizens who live abroad to cast their ballot for their preferred candidate.

Since 1976, Democrats Abroad has sent a delegation to the Democratic Primary Convention and this year, they are running 220 events across 45 countries to facilitate the global primary.

Earlier this week one such event was held here in Edinburgh at the Quaker Meeting House. EN4news went along to get a sense of what voters over here make of the race so far.

Among the cowboy hats and American flags, we sat down with Alex Goetz, President of Edinburgh’s Democrats Overseas and one of the managers organising the days event.

“I’ve seen a huge amount of voter activism that I don’t think I’ve necessarily seen in every type of election. I know that Democrats abroad tend to be fairly politically active.

“If you’re joining an organisation of Democrats and you’re living in not the United States you will just by definition be a little more active.”

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Asked whether the same type of enthusiasm found on the campaign trail in the US can be found out here Alex explained: “I mean we’ve got a room full of people who have just come out to vote today in Edinburgh, Scotland so I would say that’s a pretty good sign of some pretty good enthusiasm”

Photo Credit: EN4 News

Later that day we caught up with some of the voters taking part in the Democrats abroad primary and asked them how they manage to stay engaged with the primary process living across the pond.

“It’s a funny thing because I do feel a connection even though I live here. To me if you’re an active citizen it’s your responsibility to stay engaged” one voter told us.

Another said she “feels removed” from the process out of choice. This voter went on to explain: “I could cry at the top of a hat. I’m not a crier but when I think about what’s going on [in the US] its beyond, it’s extra.”

The Democrats Abroad primary will last until next Tuesday as votes are tallied from around the world. While this primary produces a total of only 13 pledged delegates, a miniscule number compared to the 415 available in California, they may prove vital in a tight two-horse race such as this.

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