In 30 seconds: Why is voting important for Americans in Belgium?
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    In 30 seconds: Why is voting important for Americans in Belgium?

    Credit: Maïthé Chini/The Brussels Times

    Americans in Belgium gathered on Tuesday evening in Brussels to vote for the primary elections on Super Tuesday in the United States.

    On Tuesday, 14 State primaries and the American Samoa caucuses took place, amounting to over 34% of the total pledged delegates, who will, in turn, choose the nominees for president and vice president. As more delegates could be won than on any other day, the outcome of the so-called ‘Super Tuesday’ is considered a strong indicator of the most likely eventual nominee.

    Why is Super Tuesday important for Americans living in Belgium?

    Pauline Manos, the Chair of the Belgian branch of the Democrats Abroad organisation, explained in 30 seconds what Super Tuesday means, and what Democrats Abroad’s role in it is.

     

    Democrats Abroad is the official Democratic Party arm for the estimated 7 million eligible voters living outside of the United States.

    In Belgium, they organised the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary ahead of Super Tuesday on 3 March, to help Americans to register to vote and receive their absentee ballots. On Saturday 7 March, another similar event will be held.

    “Voting ends on 10 March, but as we are such a dispersed organisation, we are not announcing the results of all the Democrats Abroad until 23 March,” Manos told The Brussels Times.

    “If one of the top candidates completely bombs, or gets 90% of the delegates, then things will become clear pretty quickly,” said Kirsten, who is a volunteer for Democrats Abroad. “But if the results are not that pronounced, the voters abroad could make the difference,” she added.

    Despite the low number of voting Americans abroad (which is less than 10%), they can make a difference, according to Manos as well. “We saw that [the election of] 2016 was decided on the basis of some thousand votes. If you think about the fact that there are an estimated 7 million Americans living overseas, we can certainly make a difference,” she said.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times