San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Expat Groups Rally Behind Candidates

Expats on both sides of the aisle are organizing campaign events and registering voters in a final push before U.S. elections in November.

Republicans Abroad will be registering voters this month and in mid-October, said the group’s president, David Ellis, who plans to take out newspaper ads reminding expats that they still have time to register.

On the morning of Sept. 30, Democrats Abroad will set up a simulated voting booth at the Holiday Inn in San José for expats who never received their absentee ballots.

Meanwhile, new excitement has infused both groups as Barack Obama and John McCain near the finish line.

Ellis said Alaskan governor Sarah Palin’s nomination for vice president was “a shot in the arm for the (McCain) campaign.”

“I think before a lot of people looked at the race as a referendum on Barack Obama, with John McCain as the fallback position. But now … people I talked to feel that the Republicans have a very viable and competitive ticket,” he said. “They’re much more enthused.”

Excitement among Democrats was also on display at a fundraiser for Obama at Hotel Alta in Santa Ana, where some 30 expats gathered to watch Obama accept the nomination. Guests donated more than $2,000 through Obama’s Web site before the event, and Caggiano expected more guests to donate online later.

–Gillian Gillers


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