As Americans cast their ballots across the country, Victoria-based U.S. citizens are also exercising their right to vote in the midterm election.
“We had so many people interested this year — much more than we typically see for a midterm election. It’s about the same enthusiasm as a regular presidential election,” Heidi Burch, a Victoria-based member-at-large of the U.S. Democrats Abroad, said of their voter registration efforts.
She said the election is important to U.S. citizens in Victoria and elsewhere because what happens in the U.S. affects the whole world, with issues such as climate change and immigration policies.
“There are also specific policies that affect us as U.S. citizens even though we don’t live in the U.S,” she said. “The Republicans are saying they are going to make changes to the social security system, which a lot of us worked for many years in the U.S. and are entitled to that program, and are very nervous about changes. There are lots of retirees, especially here on the Island who do get money from social security and are watching that very carefully.”
On Nov. 6, approximately 50 people have RSVP’d to join the Victoria chapter of Democrats Abroad to watch the election results roll in. Starting at 5:30, all are welcome to join the group at the Sticky Wicket’s Maple Room on Douglas Street — whether viewers are Democrats, Republicans or even American. Burch said there is no cover charge for the event.
“We’ll watch it together and hope for the best,” Burch said. “Hopefully cheering — we’re not making any predictions, just cautiously optimistic. Just having a community sense of watching it together.”
Burch reminds overseas Americans there’s still time to submit electronic ballots and in some states, including Washington, voters even can still register up until the polls close.
“Even though we don’t live in the U.S., we’re certainly affected by policies and we get to vote,” she said. “We want to make our voice heard.”
For more information, the Victoria chapter of U.S. Democrats Abroad can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Voting registration and information can be found at votefromabroad.org.