Democrats Abroad, the official international arm of the US’ Democratic Party, announced on March 23 the verified results of the Global Presidential Primary, which was held at over 230 voting sites globally from March 3 (Super Tuesday) and continued through March 10. While most voters participated remotely, the Covid-19 lockdowns in many cities worldwide were not yet in place at the time the elections were held.
Sanders wins, as in 2016
Senator Bernie Sanders received 23,139 votes (57.9%), resulting in 9 delegates to the Democratic National Convention scheduled for July 13-16, 2020 in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Former Vice President Joe Biden received 9,059 (22.7%), resulting in 4 delegates. Democrats Abroad sends a total of 21 delegates to the Convention, 13 of which are pledged delegates.
In the overall process of selecting the party’s nominee for President, the Democratic Party treats Democrats Abroad GPP results as a separate US state. As in 2016, the Democrats Abroad results will not have a visible impact in pushing Sanders’ candidacy forward in view of Biden’s commanding delegate lead at this time.
Turnout up from 2016
With participation from voters in 180 countries, this is the highest turnout that Democrats Abroad has seen in a Presidential primary, up more than 15% from 2016. A total of 39,984 Americans voted successfully. Sanders also received the most votes in the 2016 primary against Hillary Clinton (23,779 votes to 10,689, respectively).
There was no delay in announcing results, but a long counting period was built into the process from the start due to the requirement for detailed cross-checking and certification of the ballots from so many sites worldwide.
Following an established pattern, voters in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Africa) cast more ballots (25,826) than those in the Americas (7,895) and Asia Pacific (6,263).
Democrats Abroad reports that countries with the highest total turnout included the UK (5,689), Germany (5,268), Canada (4,691), France (3,017), and Mexico (1,504).
View from Thessaloniki Greece
The Dukakis Center in Thessaloniki, Greece hosted its first GPP on March 3, Super Tuesday, in collaboration with the Thessaloniki Chapter of Democrats Abroad Greece. (The Thessaloniki Chapter of DAGR was launched in 2010 in the presence of Michael Dukakis himself, former Governor of Massachusetts). Although Democrats in Athens have a long history of GPP participation, for the first time ever Americans residing in Northern Greece were able to play their part locally in the GPP process.
Professor David Wisner, Executive Director of the Dukakis Center, noted “the Thessaloniki Global Presidential Primary was a rousing success. We had a very good turnout among local primary election voters and also among American study abroad students who came to observe and register online to vote in the November general election. The progressive candidates on the ballot were the clear favorites of our Thessaloniki voters, by a nearly 3:1 margin — Bernie Sanders won the polling, with Elizabeth Warren a surprise close second. We will look forward now to hosting a voter registration drive in the early fall.”