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Voter Registration

for the 2006 Federal midterm elections

Voter registration team members from American Voices Abroad (AVA) and Democrats Abroad - Berlin (DA) personally registered nearly three hundred American expats in and around Berlin for the Federal midterm elections, November 7th, 2006. The figures listed the table below are in some instances estimated, but generally we kept a pretty accurate tally. The numbers are for persons who filled out application/registration forms at our registration tables with our help and also those who took them home for example for their spouses or children, i.e. pretty sure counts.

Date/TimeframeEvent/LocationPersons involvedRegistrations
April to OctoberAmerican Church in BerlinAlan7
6.5. Democrats Abroad campaign kick-offAlan & others12
May to OctoberEXBERLINER Mondays in Babylon literature eveningsAlan, Alexander, Sandra, Carol9
May to OctoberBooks in BerlinDavid30
May to OctoberJohn F Kennedy SchoolKara, Jacalynabout 40
May/JuneJFK Art fair and concertsAlan, Kara, Jacalyn22
May to October
(pause for soccer world cup)
CineStar, Sony CenterAlan, Sandra, Kara, Alexander, Amy20
May to OctoberHelped acquaintances by e-mailBill5
May to OctoberAcquaintancesAnnabout 12
May to OctoberFamily & acquaintancesAlan5
10.6.Berlin International School, International DayAlan, Kara3
17.6.Berlin-Brandenburg Intenat. School, SummerfestAlan7
1.7.AVA FRIKO table, ZehlendorfAlan, Ann, Jane, others5
4.7.Bridgebuilders 4th July party, WannseeAlan, Eva1
8.7.Veterans' 4th July party, McNairAlan, Jane6
May to SeptemberAVA Stammtisch meetingsAlan4
12-20. AugustGerman-American VolksfestBill, Alan6
3.9.DA Labor Day picnic, Britzer GartenAlan3
13.9.JFK Parent info eveningAlan, Kara15
14.9.DA at U.S. American Citizen Service Fair, Allied MuseumBill, Alan, others15
30.9.JFK FundayAlan, Kara, Dick, Jacalyn58
7-14.10."Road to Quantanamo", Babylon and OdeonAlan, Pam, Ann, Bill8
18.10.DA Screening of "Iraq for Sale"Alan2
Totalabout 295

Thanks to David Solomon, Carol Pfaff, Sandra Lustig, Ann Wertheimer, Pam Selwyn, Jane Hartmann, Bill Downey, Eva Adams, Kara Krull, Dick Mann, Jacalyn Carley, Amy, plus all others who helped pass out flyers. (Hope I didn't forget anyone.)

We also passed out countless 1/4 page-sized flyers (Click here for full sized flyer, includes both following websites) at these and other events encouraging people to register at various locations or to go online to , which is a non-partisan site. (Click here for flyer.)


VoteFromAbroad , which is from the Democratic Party. (Click here for flyer.)

for online-assisted registration and application. I have no way of knowing the success of these flyers, because the site owners do not record postal codes of the applicants for personal data security reasons. But I did hear from Michael Steltzer that through voter registration about fifty people on our area registered with the Democrats Abroad.

Some of the other events where we distributed flyers included 'Public viewing' sites for the Soccer Word Cup (esp. games with the U.S. team), Storytime bookstore, political readings, info table at JFK institute, and the screening/discussion of "Road to Guantanamo" at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele.

Flyers were of course distributed at monthly meetings of AVA and DA as well as among friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.

Flyers were also send by e-mail for further distribution to various other local American (-related) organizations, including Auslandsämter of universities in Berlin and Brandenburg. Hardly any feedback or follow-up here.

And we distributed flyers at 'American' restaurants and cafes, usually by placing them in the info-card racks. The flyers were frequently updated to announce planned registration sites.

Ads with the Overseas Vote Foundation link were printed in two issues of the EXBERLINER. Their website also carried banners I created linking to each of the OVF and the Vote from Abroad registration websites respectively.

And last-but-not-least, references to the one or other website were made in the e-mail signatures of team members as well as in newsletters sent by AVA and DA.

In conclusion I'd say the numbers aren't so overwhelming. Interest wasn't as keen as it was for the presidential election two years ago. Many we met were tourists, especially during the world cup or had already registered early. But I can only assume and hope that a great number made use of the web-based registration methods. Learning how people intended to vote was no problem. Without our asking, most people by themselves expressed their pro-democratic inclination. We can be proud of our small, yet not insignificant contribution to the campaign.