• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Opinion: US Presidential election
US Expats: Whoever you vote for, get out and vote!
A man dressed as Uncle Sam at Republican candidate Ted Cruz's election night party on Super Tuesday. Photo: DPA

US Expats: Whoever you vote for, get out and vote!

The Local · 2 Mar 2016, 10:08

Published: 02 Mar 2016 10:08 GMT+01:00

The next president will name Supreme Court Justices, act (or not) on climate change, build bridges or fences with Mexico and other countries, and lead on many other important issues we haven’t even thought of yet.

The actions the U.S. takes have a huge impact around the world. Though we live in increasingly multi-polar world, the U.S. still takes the lead in many international realms.

The voice and vote we have as Americans living abroad are not insignificant ones. There are an estimated 6.5 million Americans living abroad, which puts us at the same population as the state of Massachusetts.

If more of us turned out to vote in primaries and general elections, we would have a real impact on real issues and decisions on every level, from local to state to federal..

Not voting when you’re living abroad is a mistake. You might no longer reside in the United States, but its politics and policies have a major impact on your life. For example, did you know that the U.S. is one of just two countries that practice citizenship-based taxation? That means you have to file taxes every year.

The IRS also now has the power to take away your passport if you owe more than $50,000 in back taxes. And it’s those FATCA reporting requirements for foreign bank accounts that have made it more difficult for U.S. citizens to get and maintain bank accounts outside the U.S.

Finally, as person with first-hand experience how politics and government can be totally different and still functional, your perspective is important in the American political debate! Germany may not get name-checked as often as Denmark in the current cycle, but it does represent a different social structure and contract.

While you might feel like an American ambassador in your day-to-day interactions, the really impactful role could be as an overseas American. You can shine a light onto how many assumptions about what’s immutable in politics, law, and culture.

Story continues below…

Convinced? In Berlin you can vote in person in the Democratic global presidential primary on Sunday, March 6th from 3-8pm at the ICD (Genthiner Str. 20) and several locations and dates around Germany. You can also vote by mail, fax, or email: more details.

Powen Shiah is Media & Communications Coordinator for the Berlin chapter of Democrats Abroad, a startup marketing consultant, and believes in old fashioned grassroots activism. He lives in Berlin and maintains too many Twitter accounts, including @demsinberlin and his own, @polexa.

SEE ALSO: How to vote as an American expat abroad

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Train evacuated as passenger flips out during ticket check
Police at the scene in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

A regional train was evacuated in Leipzig on Wednesday after a passenger became aggressive during a ticket inspection.

Man arrested in Wuppertal as part of Spanish Isis raids
Police detain the suspect in Wuppertal. Photo: DPA

Police have arrested five suspected members of an Isis cell in Spain, Belgium and Germany that spread propaganda for the group online, the Spanish interior ministry said Wednesday.

Germans cut home energy usage by six percent in a year
Hamburg at night. Photo: DPA

The Energiewende is the German government's ambitious policy of drastically reducing carbon emissions. New figures show one remarkable success.

Merkel party MP under fire for using Nazi propaganda term
Bettina Kudla. Photo: Büro Bettina Kudla MdB/DPA.

A member of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party is in hot water after tweeting over the weekend a Nazi propaganda term in her criticism of the country’s refugee policies.

Govt denies planning bailout for troubled Deutsche Bank
Photo: DPA

Germany's finance ministry on Wednesday said the government was "not preparing rescue plans" for Deutsche Bank, denying a newspaper report that state aid was being considered for the embattled lender.

Munich at high risk of housing bubble: report
A view of Munich. Photo: Pexels.com

Considering buying property in Munich? This report might make you think twice.

After fatal hail storm, south Germany set to see sun
The hail storm in Baden-Württemberg on Monday night left the streets looking like a winter landscape. Photo: DPA.

A hail storm in southwest Germany on Monday night led to the death of one woman, but forecasters predict a bit more sun in the days to come.

Police shoot dead father who attacked daughter's abuser
Police at the scene of the shooting in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Berlin police on Tuesday night shot and killed the father of a young girl at a refugee home as he tried to attack a man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter.

TV celebrity criticized for claiming 70 kg is overweight
Sophie Thomalla. Photo: DPA

Model Sophie Thomalla claimed that promoting models who weigh over 70 kg sets as dangerous an example as skinny supermodels.

UK files show how Spanish spy tricked Nazis over D-Day
Photo: DPA

Secret files released in Britain Wednesday shed new light on how a Spaniard dubbed the greatest double agent of World War II tricked Germany with false intelligence about the D-Day Normandy landings.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,545
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd