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.




Just Posted

Some SD62 schools without emergency supplies

PACs want province to step up with funding

View Royal residents to see minor tax increase

The 0.92 per cent increase is significantly lower than what was projected

Man arrested, charged in connection with stabbing at Langford Lanes

Twenty-year-old Austin Bonner has been charged with aggravated assault

Community rallies behind Langford man battling lymphoma

More than $20,000 has been raised to help Mike Gordon

Victoria painter splashes some colour on a dreary situation

Six-week long James Bay construction project gives Teresa Waclawik an impromptu canvas

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Vancouver Island university develops program to help kids cope with overdose crisis

A child and youth care professor worked with students to develop projects focused on children, families and communities dealing with opioids.

Liberals tried pilot project with Facebook data whistleblower in 2016: source

Cambridge Analytica has been accused of improperly using information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts

No opting out: Canadians to get emergency alerts on their phones soon

Canada’s wireless providers are preparing for a looming update to the National Public Alerting System

Just For Laughs sold to Howie Mandel

Just For Laughs sold to Howie Mandel and U.S. company ICM Partners

Texas bombing suspect blows himself up as SWAT moves in

The suspect in a spate of bombing attacks that have terrorized Austin over the past month blew himself up with an explosive device as authorities closed in

Witnesses: Boko Haram returns Nigerian kidnapped schoolgirls

Witnesses say Boko Haram militants have returned an unknown number of the 110 girls who were abducted from their Nigeria school a month ago.

Golden Knights win 4-1, remain undefeated against Canucks

Vegas gets points from 12 players in dominating effort versus Vancouver

Most Read