REPUBLICANS Abroad in Slovakia mobilises the support of Americans living within Slovakia to support Republican candidates in US elections. Republicans Abroad, both in Slovakia and around the world, represents and works to protect the interests of overseas Americans on a wide range of issues.
Republicans Abroad enlists the energy and leadership of Americans living abroad to carry out its work. In fact, more than six million Americans live abroad - a number larger than the populations of 24 of the states in the US.
The organisation helps the Republican Party develop policy and campaign strategy at the highest levels. It also keeps American expatriates abreast of fast-breaking political developments in the United States and represents the interests of Americans overseas to decision-makers.
Membership in Republicans Abroad provides an opportunity for Americans living in Slovakia to communicate their concerns to Republican leaders in Washington.
Republicans Abroad has fought for issues of concern to Americans abroad like repatriation, strong support of Section 911 foreign earned income exemption, antiterrorism legislation, fair trade policies, and the inclusion of the expatriate population in the United States Census.
Currently, the organisation is engaged in a worldwide Get Out the Vote campaign, targeting Republican Americans living outside of the United States, and working to make sure they vote - and that their votes are properly counted at home. As the 2004 election is widely expected to be a very close contest, votes from Americans in Slovakia and around the world could be the determining factor in a close race.
During the 2000 election, President George Bush carried the state of Florida by 537 votes from Republicans overseas thanks to a massive international advertising campaign and strong grassroots leadership on the part of Republicans Abroad. In addition, Republicans won two Senate seats and six seats in the US House of Representatives because of Republican absentee ballots cast from overseas.
For this reason the Slovakia Chapter, established in June 2004, began its own Get Out the Vote campaign, with a kick-off on the first day of the Republican National Convention. Groups of Republicans living in Slovakia met for lunch in Bratislava and viewed speeches and footage of the convention taped from the convention in New York City the day before.
Future plans include several parties for the president, which will include a viewing of the latest documentary, Kerry on Iraq.
A speakers' series is also planned, culminating in an election evening watch party, for members to observe the election returns as they are tabulated.
Hank Jones is chairman of Republicans Abroad Slovakia.
The main website is www.RepublicansAbroad.org. The Slovakia Chapter's site may be found at http://beta.hometown.aol.com/gopslovakia/GOPSlovakiamain.html.
6. Sep 2004 at 0:00 | Hank Jones