Friday, October 22, 2004
Yahoo! News - U.S. Expat Voters Out in Record Numbers in Germany:
"The fourth largest U.S. expatriate community in the world, the 270,000 Americans in Germany have traditionally leaned toward Republicans because the large number of soldiers, generally seen as more conservative, and the coordinated efforts of the military to get absentee ballots to the 100,000 troops. But with the 2000 election decided by 537 votes in Florida, large numbers of civilians have also registered and sent ballots to their home states, many for the first time in decades.
'It's wild, we've had a 10-fold increase in registration,' said Henry Nickel, chairman of the German chapter of Republicans Abroad. 'I used to have a job in property development but helping people register and vote is all I do now.'
The war in Iraq and President Bush's foreign policies, both unpopular in Germany, have electrified the German public, which polls show would overwhelmingly back Democratic challenger John Kerry if they could vote in the United States.
Some Germans have channelled that energy into campaigns to persuade Americans in Germany to register and vote -- which can be an arduous battle with bureaucracy. 'We're getting involved because America's policies have a big impact on our lives,' said Sarah Voigt, one of about 50 Germans working for a pro-Kerry organization that is helping the 20,000 Americans in Berlin register. Her group has also staged rallies urging Germans to pressure their American friends to vote in the Nov. 2 election."
Yahoo! News - U.S. Expat Voters Out in Record Numbers in Germany