Democrats and Republications Abroad, two non-profit organizations representing US citizens, are pushing hard over the next few weeks for expat Americans to register for the next presidential election.
While some states retain permanent overseas registration, most require their citizens to re-register every time.
Democrats Abroad Switzerland is holding informal events in Geneva and Zurich to entice citizens to register over cocktails. The same goes for the Republicans. Regardless of whether resident in Switzerland or France, any citizen can register online or in person with any group and at any event.
With three to five million overseas Americans – there are no accurate figures – US expats represent an increasingly crucial constituency that could easily sway the election, particularly in states where previous margins have been decided by as few as several hundred votes.
Despite growing numbers of citizens – over 3,000 in 2013, many in Switzerland – renouncing their US nationality, overseas Americans represent a vote that neither party can afford to neglect. Even if reluctantly, politicians are realizing that overseas votes can win or lose an election.