The World Votes for Obama
Well, sort of. Obama has racked up another impressive primary victory, this time among Democrats living abroad. The contest was held between February 5 and 12, and included Internet voting in addition to the more conventional mail balloting. Otherwise it’s not a new phenomenon – Democrats Abroad has been holding primaries since 1976.
Two things that are interesting about this go-round. First is the low turnout – only 20,000 participated. There are an estimated six million US citizens living abroad, many of whom must have been eligible to vote. If the the Obama-Clinton duel can’t get them to click through (albeit not at home), what will? That may evidence a low level of connection between the citizen diaspora and the homeland. Or it may just evidence low interest in voting. Nonresident US citizens appear now to be considered a significant donor population; they may be voting with their
dollars euros rather than ballots.
Secondly, many of those who did vote, or give money, are dual citizens (the Sports Minister of Italy among them). I don’t have a problem with that, and I don’t think others should, either. But it does support the tag line above, in some small way. In this primary — and then in the general election itself in November — citizens of many other countries will be casting votes for the President of the United States.