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Democrats Abroad Belgium helps get out the vote in the US

16:24 24/09/2020

Democrats Abroad Belgium hosted a virtual polling place this week to help Americans in Belgium fill out and send in their absentee ballots. European chapters of Democrats Abroad have been helping Americans to get their ballots and vote through virtual voter information sessions since July.

“We have done our best to ensure that as many eligible Americans as possible are on the voter rolls of their home state,” says Pauline Manos, chair of Democrats Abroad Belgium.

Saturday was Ballot Day in the US, the day when all American living overseas were mailed absentee ballots. Many voters fill them out and mail them back, while others are registered in states where online ballots are an option. Ballots must be received by the day of the election, 3 November.

 “Saturday also saw Americans wake up to the tragic news of the death of liberal US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, affectionately known as RBG,” says Manos. “Democrats across the world are devastated by her death. Justice Ginsburg was a giant in US law and civil rights. She pioneered jurisprudence focused on tackling discrimination against women. Her career culminated with nearly 30 years as a member of the US Supreme Court, where she served from 1993 until her passing Friday night after a long and hard-fought battle against cancer.”

Call your senator

A global virtual rally took place on Monday to help get out the vote in honour of Bader Ginsburg. It is hoped that a Democratic president will nominate the next member of the Supreme Court so that the court does not become politically imbalanced.

“The urgency to vote has never been stronger,” confirms Manos. “In addition to electing a new president, Democrats have a chance to win back the US Senate, which will vote to confirm the president’s Supreme Court nominee.”

While US president Donald Trump has said that he will nominate a new member to the Supreme Court as soon as possible, the nominee has to be approved by the Senate. “In 2016, the Republican senate majority leader Mitch McConnell argued that there shouldn’t be a vote for Barack Obama’s nominee because it was a presidential campaign year,” explains Manos. “However, as we’ve seen many times, Republican leaders now say the opposite and have committed to approving a new Supreme Court justice regardless of the impending election.”

Democrats Abroad Belgium is encouraging Americans to contact their senators and ask them to refrain from confirming a new Supreme Court justice until the next president is inaugurated, in January. “We hope that all Americans continue to honour justice Ginsburg’s legacy by joining us this week and making their voices heard.”

Photo ©Getty Images

Written by Flanders Today