Democrats Abroad Berlin worked hard this past year to mobilize Americans across the German capital to vote in the 2020 Global Presidential Primary as well as the U.S. General Election. We wanted a Democratic House, Senate, and Presidency – and we won all three! Our underlying goal was to reach the 22,000 US citizens living in Berlin – we knew that every vote would be needed. During this pivotal year, we
- Hosted a Global Presidential Primary voting center
- Built a network of neighborhood-based mobilization
- Turned our precincts in Leipzig-Halle and Dresden into a new chapter: Democrats Abroad Saxony
- Phone and text banked thousands Democrats Abroad members
- Organized virtual book club meetings and pub quizzes
- Put on two fundraisers: a wine-tasting fundraiser and a tax information session
- Provided voter assistance by offering online office hours and answering hundreds of emails
- Called the “Count the Votes! Rally” in front of Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday, November 4th, 2020
- Represented our efforts on German and European media
All of this was only possible thanks to our 100+ volunteers. A huge shout out to everyone who made our work possible! Continue reading for more details on the Berlin chapter’s 2020 accomplishments.
1100+ Voters at Berlin’s Global Presidential Primary
We spent the first two months of the year planning and preparing our voting center for the Global Presidential Primary (GPP), which took place on March 3rd and 8th, 2020. Over 1,100 people voted in-person at the 2020 primary in Berlin. Taking place in over 200 cities across the world, the Berlin voting center had the highest turnout out of all of the GPP voting centers worldwide. We had over 80 volunteers on two days to make this possible. The total results gave Democrats Abroad 13 pledged delegates: four for Joe Biden and nine for Bernie Sanders, all of whom participated digitally at the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Among the 13 delegates was the Berlin Chapter chair, Diego Rivas.
50+ Voter Assistance Events in Your Kiez
The two days of primary voting were the last major in-person events that the chapter hosted. However, the Berlin chapter did not slow down: we mobilized for the 2020 general election by organizing virtually and in small groups in our neighborhoods!
Our Kiez captains (neighborhood leaders) hosted events in Charlottenburg, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Pankow, Prenzlauer Berg, Potsdam, Mitte, Neukölln, Schöneberg, and Wedding. From the Kollwitzplatz Saturday Market, to Bergmannstrasse, to Ku’damm, our local leaders provided socially-distanced voter assistance and voter outreach events. In total, we hosted over 50 events leading up to November.
Beyond Berlin: Brandenburg & Saxony
In the spirit of local organizing, we were very happy to see several events in Potsdam take place. We were also thrilled to see the creation of Democrats Abroad Germany’s newest chapter: Democrats Abroad Saxony. Led by Kaitlyn Kennedy and Antar Keith, a group of passionate volunteers were able to bring together enough active members to form Democrats Abroad Germany’s 14th and newest chapter!
The Vote Abroad
We have always known overseas voters could make the difference in elections and this year was definitely not an exception. Thanks to 368 callers in Germany, we made over 90,000 calls to members. These calls, all of our tabling events, and our other outreach efforts helped bring over 810,000 unique visitors to votefromabroad.org, our nonpartisan voter registration website, between January and October of 2020. In 2016, we had roughly 310,000 unique visitors.
Looking at two specific examples where we made a difference: Around 19,000 overseas ballots were the “margin of victory” in the general election in Georgia where Joe Biden had a 12,000-vote lead. In Arizona, around 17,000 overseas ballots were cast where Joe Biden had a 10,500-vote lead.
Our volunteer efforts and votes made the difference and contributed to the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris win!
Count The Votes!
On Wednesday November 4th, 2020, Democrats Abroad Berlin rallied in front of the Brandenburg Gate to demand that all votes must be counted. As a community that has voted absentee for decades, we know first-hand how secure and successful voting by mail is. Voting absentee is proven and we felt that it was necessary to make that message clear, as Trump began challenging ballots and the election process.
Democrats Abroad Berlin is one of the most active and largest chapters of Democrats Abroad around the world. We were able to gain over 1,000 members this year and currently have over 5,000 members. The work will continue as we hope to reach other parts of the US community in Berlin leading up to the 2022 midterms – the fight for progressive change in the United States must go on. Do not miss any election and make sure to request your ballot at votefromabroad.org at the beginning of each year.
As we move forward, get involved by running for and/or voting on our new leadership team at our every odd-year election on Wednesday, February 17th, 2021. Democrats Abroad Berlin would love to have you involved in helping our vibrant political community continue to grow.