A bus trip from Guadalajara to the Lake Chapala area is being organized by Democrats Abroad so that expat Democrats can join fellow travelers in choosing Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders as the party candidate for U.S. president.
“I say ‘51st state’ because that’s how the Democratic National Committee treats Democrats Abroad,” said Larry Pihl, chair of the Lake Chapala chapter. “We have active chapters in about 100 countries,” he added, explaining why the March 7 event is called a Global Presidential Primary.
“If you’re already a member of Democrats Abroad, you’re already on the checklist that allows you to get a ballot,” added Pihl. “If you’re not yet a member, you can join today at www.democratsabroad.org. Same day registration is possible if you bring an ID and utility bill in your name to the polls in Ajijic on election day.”
The bus trip, planned to leave Guadalajara from a site near the Minerva at around 11 a.m., will arrive at the polling location in Ajijic, La Bodega restaurant, which is open for voting from noon to 4 p.m., said Jude Wallesen, who is organizing transportation.
“You can buy your lunch poolside at Yves Restaurant before we return, probably about 3:30 p.m.” She said that Democrats Abroad Mexico is subsidizing the transportation so it will only cost 100 pesos per passenger, in a Sprinter or regular bus.
Pihl explained that Democrats Abroad will send 21 delegates to the Democratic National Convention to be held in Philadelphia in July.
“If we have a good turnout, perhaps one of them will be from Mexico,” he noted, adding that the group focuses on important issues affecting ex-pats, such as immigration and banking.
Pihl said that he is trying to make the Global Primary in Ajijic as open as it would be at any other polling places. “For example, I’ve invited the Progressives to come and bring signs,” he said.
Wallesen added that “if you have U.S. citizen friends who are not yet members of Democrats Abroad but would like to join us to vote in this primary, they’re welcome. They should go to the website and become members before the end of February. Otherwise they must bring ‘proof of address’ to the polls.”
“If you can’t make it on March 7 to vote in person,” Pihl said, “you are welcome to download a ballot and return it by postal mail, by fax, or by a scanned attachment to an email.” (For those who haven’t yet joined, join easily at www.democratsabroad.org/join.)