But I did want to note that US overseas voters have been in the news recently and there are some good articles out there that explain why the homeland candidates and voters should pay attention to US citizens living in one or more of the other 190+ nation-states around the world. Because in some very close races, overseas voters have managed to push a candidate over the top which has led to some very unexpected election results.
Exhibit A is the election in 2000 between George Bush and Al Gore. Aside from all the controversy over the validity of certain ballots, overseas ballots handed the victory to George Bush in Florida which meant a Bush presidency. And for those of you who are under the illusion that overseas voters are almost always Democrats, well, where is the data that confirm that? If you live in a country like France where Democrats abroad is very active, you might have that impression but go to countries in Asia and the picture looks very different. How many Democrats versus Republicans are there in Singapore, for example, or Tokyo? Even the conventional wisdom that says overseas civilians are Democrats and overseas military are Republican is questionable.
Donald Inbody's research (Grand Army of the Republic or Grand Army of the Republicans) on the military vote showed that enlisted military voters (85% of the military) were "as likely as the general American population to identify with the Republican Party" and were "half as likely as the general American population to identity with the Democratic Party"; but they were "about four times as likely as the general American population to report themselves as independent or as identifying with a party other than the Republican or Democratic party."
All this makes overseas voters something of a crapshoot for either party. No one knows what impact we will have, only that there will probably be an impact.
Here are some recent stories about overseas American voters in the press that were passed along to me via Facebook. If you have more, let me know and I will add them.
Americans Abroad Walk into a Bar, and Vote (Michael Forsythe, New York Times):
"While most 'Super Tuesday' voters were still sleeping, voting in the presidential primaries was well underway.
In Hong Kong."America's Overseas Voters are Not Impressed (Therese Raphael, BloombergView):
"Though it is undersized (and voter turnout generally even lower than domestic turnout), the vote potential of Expat Man no longer draws dismissive sniggers. Delayed overseas ballots helped give the 2000 election to George W. Bush (an event that Democrats Abroad says led to a tripling in registrations). Voting from abroad also arguably affected other close election contests, including a 2009 New York Congressional race that gave a narrow victory to Democrat Scott Murphy and the 2008 Senate race in Minnesota in which a Republican incumbent, Norm Coleman, was defeated by a wafer-slim margin by Democratic challenger Al Franken."
How America's Overseas Voters Could Swing the 2016 Election (Jay Sexton, The Conversation)
"Anyone who’s sceptical about the impact of expat voters needs only to think back to the 2000 presidential election, when overseas ballots provided the push that finally put George W. Bush in the White House. As we write in our report, had that election been decided on the ballots that arrived by the 26 November deadline, Al Gore would have won the state of Florida, and therefore the presidential election, by 202 votes."
Some of the first to vote on Super Tuesday were U.S. expatriates in 41 foreign countries (Karla Adam, Washington Post)
"Mike Heffron, a spokesman for Democrats Abroad based in Canberra, Australia, said that some expats prefer to vote in the “global primary” as a way to raise attention for issues that aren’t as important to their friends and family back home.
A key concern for expats are tax laws, he said, which are thought to be a big reason behind the growing number of Americans renouncing their citizenship. Unlike most countries in the world, the United States imposes taxes based on citizenship, not residence."