St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Letter to the editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message


Far from home, but votes count

Americans living abroad show they are keenly engaged in choosing their nominees.

Associated Press
Published February 6, 2008


LONDON - Americans flocked to churches in Rome, town halls in England and an Irish pub in Hong Kong on Tuesday to vote in a Democrats Abroad primary.

The voting will determine who gets the 11 votes allocated to Democrats Abroad at the Democratic National Convention in August. The group is allowing online voting - a first for voters overseas - that will continue for one week.

Porchester Hall in central London was jammed with high-spirited voters Tuesday evening as rival groups backing Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama chanted and waved banners for their candidates.

Republicans, meanwhile, made their Super Tuesday choices known through absentee ballots and predicted their party would unite behind whomever is nominated.

Most Democrats abroad focused on the contest between Clinton and Obama.

"I'm voting for Hillary. I'd like to see a woman in the White House," said Alison Kurke, who voted at the American Episcopal Church of St. Paul's in Rome. "I think she can hit the ground running. She's got the experience, she's got the brains."

But James McGuire, a 24-year-old Web site developer from Massachusetts who traveled to Rome from the Umbrian town of Orvieto, favored Obama.

"I think it's one of the most important in years," he said of the 2008 election. "If we do not get Barack Obama in the presidency, then we will have two families for over 20 years in the American political system. And I think that's unacceptable."

Americans voting overseas on Super Tuesday said they were particularly influenced by the candidates' foreign policy credentials. Democrats said they wanted a president who would steer the U.S. away from the Bush administration's foreign policies.

"We need a dramatic change in tone and tenor, and we need someone who truly, genuinely understands other cultures and can project that to the world," said Clifford Aron, 50, a businessman from Brooklyn who lives in Warsaw.

Turnout for the Democrats Abroad primary was expected to be high and results will be announced later this month.

Republicans Abroad did not have live or online voting. Republicans Abroad United Kingdom chairman Miki Bowman conceded the Democrats seem more energized now but predicted this would change after the candidates are chosen.

"I think our candidates are much less polarizing than the Democratic candidates, and we're confident whoever gets nominated has the likelihood of winning the presidency," she said.

[Last modified February 6, 2008, 00:36:30]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters