PARIS, France – American Democrats overseas are having their say in their party's nomination process.
The organization Democrats Abroad (search) held a long weekend of caucuses in nearly 40 countries, selecting delegates to attend a global caucus next month. The delegates to emerge from that process will head to Boston in the summer for the Democratic National Convention.
After the 2000 presidential elections in which absentee ballots played a key role, turnout this year was bigger than ever. Even chairwoman of Democrats Abroad in France, Connie Borde, said she was surprised by the number of Americans in Paris.
Seven million Americans live abroad, and they take their voting rights seriously. In traditional caucus fashion, the crowd, which was so big it moved from a side room in a church to the church itself, broke up into groups supporting various candidates in order to solidify support and continue the American-style politicking.
The Republicans Abroad (search) organization doesn't have separate delegates or caucuses. GOP voters abroad can send home absentee ballots. They also shun the Democratic process, described by European chairman Robert Pingeon as "gimmicky."
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