The U.S. is on the brink of one of the most important elections I can recall and the expat vote in Mexico may very well make a very big difference this year.
My parents had a mixed marriage; my father was a Republican and my mother a staunch Democrat. From an early age we were politically aware and had wonderful arguments about the issues at hand. One thing that they both agreed on was the importance of voting. Yesterday I sent off my ballot for this election, my ninth Presidential election. Since I became eligible to vote at 18, I have never missed a vote.
When I first moved to Puerto Vallarta, absentee voting from Mexico was a tedious process. With the improvements in technology and the introduction of the Internet, things have changed considerably in the last 25 years. Right now registering and voting is a breeze!
I have found the Federal Voting Assistance Program website to be particularly helpful for voter registration. It is a program established by the Defense Department to help those in the military and others living abroad to vote. It’s a non-partisan website and the step-by-step registration process online is a snap.
Democrats Abroad is also a group that has many events aimed towards voter registration and getting out the vote. The Mexican arm of this organization was set up after the 2000 election and now has chapters throughout the country. The Costa Banderas chapter is active in the Puerto Vallarta area.
When living in Mexico, one has the added advantage of being able to see how others see us and the political system in the United States. Last Monday night’s first presidential debate spawned debate-watching parties all over town, with Americans, Canadians and Mexicans in attendance. Eyes are on the U.S. to see what we do in November. Let’s just say that there are no Hillary Clinton piñatas. Please vote.