Musicians, comedians unite in US vote push
14 September 2004
AMSTERDAM — Musicians and artists are coming together in Amsterdam this week to drive home the message that the estimated 20-30,000 American expats in the Netherlands have less than three weeks left to register on time to vote in the US Presidential election.
US expats who put off registering to vote with the authorities in their home state risk being deprived of the opportunity to cast a ballot in the election.
The Voterama! events on 14, 15 and 18 September are the culmination of a nine-month drive by the Dutch branch of Democrats Abroad (DA) to get out the overseas vote.
Democrat Abroad volunteers will also be visiting venues throughout the Netherlands through September to assist people wishing to register to vote. Information on the venues can be found at the DA website (http://www.democratsabroad.nl/calendar.php)
While Democrats Abroad supports Democratic contender John Kerry, chair Robert Checkoway of the Dutch branch has stressed that it is important that US expats of all political persuasions and none register to take part in the democratic process.
The latest opinion polls indicate Kerry might be lagging behind incumbent President George Bush in key swing states with just under 50 days left until election day.
The first event, “Virtuosos for the Vote”, takes place in de Ijsbreker on Weesperzijde in Amsterdam at 8pm on Tuesday 14 September and features US musicians Frances-Marie Uitti, David Dramm, Mary Oliver and Michael Moore.
On Wednesday, Boom Chicago will present a special edition of the improvisation comedy “Why aren’t you happy yet?”. The show takes place in Boom Chicago’s Leidseplein theatre at 8.15pm.
And on Saturday, DJs and VJs will “spin for regime change” in a partisan show of support for the Democratic Party candidate at the underground performance space OT301 on the Overtoom in Amsterdam at 10pm.
Steve Weiss, the Dutch organiser for the much smaller Republicans Abroad branch in the Netherlands is also urging US expats to register for November’s election. But he is calling for Americans abroad to support George Bush rather than challenger Kerry.
Information on registering to vote in the US election:
Federal Voting Assistance Program: www.fvap.gov
Overseas Voter Registration: www.overseasvote2004.com
Get an American to register: www.tellanamericantovote.com
[Copyright Expatica News 2004}
Subject: Dutch news, Us election