Election talk in Vancouver this week isn’t just centered on who is going to replace Gregor Robertson as the city’s next mayor — some voters are more concerned about elections south of the border.
With the U.S. mid-term elections looming in November, members of Democrats Abroad were out in force across from Vancouver’s Trump Hotel encouraging any American citizens living in Vancouver to sign up and vote.
“We’re telling everyone about VoteFromAbroad.org,” said organizer Cameron Mitchell Jr, an actor who divides his time between Vancouver and Los Angeles. “You can do it from home, your office or anywhere.”
Mitchell said there are an estimated 183,000 Americans living in the region and the organization wants them to know they can still vote in elections at home.
“All U.S. citizens living in Canada are entitled to vote in the critical Nov. 6 election, regardless of how long they’ve been here or [if they] have ever voted before,” said Democrats Abroad Vancouver chair Susan Brennan, who is originally from Chicago. “Every vote counts. But they have to register to vote and the deadlines are soon.”
Mitchell stressed that there are less than 50 days until the mid-term elections and U.S. citizens need to register to vote before the end of September.
On Nov. 6, Americans will go to the polls to vote — 35 of the 100 seats in the senate, and all 435 seats in the lower House of Representatives, are up for grabs. Mitchell said this election in particular is one of the most important mid-term election is the history of the country “because of what’s at stake.”
The Democrats are aiming to take a majority, and control, in both the senate and the House. The Republican Party currently has a majority at all three levels of government.
“For me it’s essential to get the House of Representatives and the senate back in Democratic hands,” said Tammy Flynn Seybold.
Flynn Seybold, who is originally from San Francisco but has had dual citizenship since 2006, was one of several volunteers at Monday’s event. She stood on West Georgia right across the street from Trump International Hotel with a sign reading, “Make sure love trumps hate,” and waving an American flag.
She said that while she’s a life-long Democrat it was Donald Trump’s election win in 2016 that drove her to become more involved with Democrats Abroad.
“That was definitely an indicator that we all had to do a little bit more.”
Flynn Seybold said that watching what’s been going on in the U.S. in the last couple of years has been “horrifying.”
“I’m embarrassed and really work hard to make sure that people realize that that’s not the average American and that’s not the attitude of the average American,” she said.
She echoed Mitchell’s sentiments that the upcoming elections are integral for the party.
“The government was founded on a checks and balances system and I keep wondering what has happened to this,” she said. “The idea is that we usually have such a balance of power and the whole country has been founded on the fact that not to let one certain person wield so much power… it’s essential that we take the mid-term elections and take it strongly.”