May 24, 2013
US citizens in Argentina cast their votes for President
BUENOS AIRES — The US Embassy in Palermo welcomed hundreds of its citizens yesterday, as Americans living in Argentina cast their vote for the next US President.
More than 700 people attended the special event for absentee voting, hosted by the US Ambassador to Argentina Vilma Martinez.
Guests enjoyed American and Argentine snacks in the sunshine, drank Coca-Cola and Starbucks coffee before submitting votes for upcoming local and presidential elections. There were stars and stripes everywhere, even on people’s faces — some of the more patriotic citizens had taken advantage of the free face-painting on offer.
Once they’d posted their votes into a large ballot-box, attendees were given a sticker that simply declared: “I voted.”
Domestic voting in the US takes place on November 6, but citizens living in Argentina are asked to vote early. Approximately 25,000 US citizens currently reside in Argentina.
Ambassador Martinez — who was appointed to Argentina by Barack Obama in 2009 — addressed the crowd, thanking them for taking part in the democratic process:
“Today you are voting for your next president and, for those of us working in government and military, our boss. The fact that you are here shows your commitment to our nation’s ideals — first and foremost, democracy.
“One of the great things about our system is that voting is a right, and not compulsory. By voting, you show that you are active participants in our democracy.
“Democracy is the best catalyst for renewed change. As Americans abroad, we’ve experienced change in our own lives, and know that it can be a good thing, at least once we figure out how to order a pizza in the local language.
“Though we may be voting far from home, we are united with each other and with our friends and family through the act of voting.
“I salute each American who steps out to exercise this right... I salute each of you for coming to take part.”
Although the race for the White House is too close to call at the moment, especially after Mitt Romney’s aggressive performance in the first presidential debate on Wednesday, the Herald spoke to as many voters as possible yesterday and asked them who they had chosen for their next president.
The result of our unscientific, non-representative poll?
US citizens in Argentina want Barack Obama to get a second term in office. You heard it here first.