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The 2008 Democratic Global Primary: How Democrats Abroad will use the Internet to encourage political participation and increase overseas voting

Date & Time:
15:00:00 - 17:00:00,
Wednesday 28 November, 2007


Democrats Abroad (DA) is the Democratic Party organization for more than seven million Americans living outside the United States. Democrats Abroad has grown from two small committees in London and Paris in the 1960s to include committees throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. The Country Committees keep Americans abroad informed of their rights and help them participate in the US political process.

In February 2008, twenty states will be having primary elections to choose the candidate for the presidential election. It is likely that the winner of that primary day will actually become the presidential candidate.

In June of 2007, Democrats Abroad voted to kick-off the 2008 delegate selection process with a global primary, so that Democrats around the world can easily participate. Besides providing a number of polling stations for in-person voting and possibilities to vote by mail, Democrats Abroad will also provide online voting. It is the first time that Internet-based voting is going to be used on such a large scale for a primary election. In the past, overseas voting was a complicated affair, but according to Democrats Abroad e-voting will make voting easier and increase participation in the Democratic primary and in the general election in 2008, especially amongst overseas Americans living in remote rural areas.

Besides introducing remote electronic voting, the organization is also building a new web presence which will be an interactive Web 2.0 style site. The goal of this new participatory web site is to increase membership, broaden the fundraising base, make the work for Country Chairs more efficient, and increase the sense of community amongst members.

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  • Name: Jon Cooper|Rop Gonggrijp|Meredith A. Le Goff|Dr Steve Ward
  • Affiliation: Project Manager for Information Technology Projects, Democrats
    Abroad|Co-founder of the Dutch ‘We do not trust voting computers’
    foundation|Democrats Abroad vice-chair for Europe, Middle East and
    Africa|European Studies Research Institute, University of Salford
  • Role: Speaker|Discussant|Speaker|Discussant
  • URL: |||
  • Bio: Jon Cooper is the project manager for information technology projects for Democrats Abroad.|Rop Gonggrijp is a hacker/activist, and co-founder of the Dutch ‘We do not trust voting computers’ foundation.|Meredith A. Gowan Le Goff is the regional DA vice-chair for Europe, Middle East and Africa. She has served as the head of the IT Reference Group and has been a part of the process to choose the Internet voting provider.|Steve Ward is a Senior Lecturer in Politics, at the European Studies Research Institute, University of Salford.