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Democrats Abroad Push to Mobilize U.S. Voters in Mexico

The overseas chapter of the U.S. Democratic Party registered voters at a debate-watching party on Monday in Mexico City
By The News · 27 of September 2016 15:25:04
Attendees at the Democrats Abroad debate-watching party watch Hillary Clinton debate Donald Trump at Pinche Gringo BBQ in Mexico City, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, No available, photo: The News

The Mexico chapter of Democrats Abroad hosted a debate-watching party Tuesday as part of their campaign to register U.S. voters living in Mexico for the November presidential election.

The party, which took place at Pinche Gringo BBQ, sold out around midday the day of the debate. Dozens of U.S. Americans and Mexicans attended, although few were undecided voters, as the event was hosted by Democrats Abroad. Every time Republican candidate Donald Trump mentioned Mexico, the crowd erupted into cheers and shouts of “salud.”

A panel that addressed the audience after the debate echoed the general media consensus that Hillary Clinton had beaten Donald Trump.

“I think the market speaks better than anyone on Twitter, and right now the peso has gained a ton of value. Over the last five days the peso was around 20, now it’s around 19.60,” said panelist Viridiana Ríos, a researcher for the Wilson Center. “So this is the market telling us the truth, that is Hillary won. There’s nothing else to say.”

Democrats Abroad is the branch of the U.S. Democratic Party that serves Democrats living outside of the United States. In the Democratic presidential primaries, Democrats Abroad represents a “state” that sends delegates to the national convention. In the 2016 primary, Democrats Abroad sent 17 delegates to the party convention in Cleveland, more than any U.S. overseas territory. Only 34,570 people voted in the Democrats Abroad primary, a small percentage of the millions of U.S. citizens living abroad — many U.S. citizens voted absentee in their home states’ primaries.

Mexico had the fifth-largest number of voters in the democratic primary, after the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain. Bernie Sanders solidly beat Hillary Clinton with 68.78 percent of the vote in the Democrats Abroad primary, but now that Clinton has won the nomination, Democrats Abroad is ready to get behind her.

At Pinche Gringo before and after Tuesday’s debate, volunteers from Democrats Abroad helped U.S. citizens register to vote and request absentee ballots. Democrats Abroad claims that their voter registration drive is non-partisan, and that they simply want to make sure U.S. citizens living abroad vote.

“Our job is right now in election season is to make sure that every American citizen in Mexico is registered to vote,” said Democrats Abroad Mexico president Ralston Darlington. “That is our sacred duty.”