News Politics ‘This election is critical’: Meet the US citizens in Australia working to defeat Donald Trump
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‘This election is critical’: Meet the US citizens in Australia working to defeat Donald Trump

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They are thousands of kilometres away from the action.

But that’s not stopping United States citzens who live in Australia from getting involved in the upcoming election.

For many of them, this is a pivotal moment in history – and they’ll stop at nothing to see the back of President Donald Trump.

Kent Getsinger at the DA Global Presidential Primary.

Kent Getsinger is the chair of the Australian chapter of Democrats Abroad. Right now, his main concern is finding every one of the 100,000 US citizens who live in Australia and convincing them to vote for Joe Biden.

“We believe democracy happens from the ground up and voting is the start,” Mr Getsinger told The New Daily. 

Normally, the group would go to university open days and host voter information events to get people engaged.

Now, most of their organising is online. Through online networks, they are finding citizens in Australia.

We’re trying to find all the citizens here. We’re really trying to reach out online to at least get the word out,” Mr Getsinger said.

“Obviously this election is a very critical one. We’re seeing our democracy undermined back in the US, the most recent example being the dismantling of the US postal service.”

Since the start of Mr Trump’s presidency the group has grown dramatically, and Mr Getsinger said they’re seeing more than double the amount of US citizens in Australia turn up to vote.

Across Australia thousands are mobilising to defeat Trump. Photo: Getty

“When we had the global primary we saw a huge result, it was up 60 per cent on last year,” he said.

When the campaign is in full swing the group will hit the phones, calling up people back home to get them to vote for Mr Biden. For now, though, their main task is getting people registered.

And it’s not easy. It involves multiple trips to the post office and a lot of waiting to hear if you’re on the right register and have sent the right form before you even get the ballot.

Melbourne woman Merinda Violet is halfway through the complicated process.

A fierce social-democrat, Mr Biden wasn’t her first choice and she’s not excited about voting for him.

“It’s frustrating that the Democratic Party takes the progressives and the left for granted so much. This time it felt like a spit in the face.”

She says if the election were to be held tomorrow and she had to bet on who would win, she would put her money on Mr Trump.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris hope to defeat Mr Trump. Photo: Getty

“The Democrat party think Biden’s a safe choice but I don’t think they understand where the centre of America is – just in the same exact way in 2016 they got Trump so wrong, they couldn’t read him.”

She says she is annoyed at “centrist Democrats” who get upset when she critiques the choice of candidate.

“They go ’Oh your MAGA hat’s in the mail,’ but it’s okay to be critical of the party you support. I will vote. I will be encouraging people to vote.”

Ms Anderson represents those that want to revolutionise the Democratic Party and on the other side of the fence, are those who want to reform it.

Melbourne woman Laurie Staub loves Mr Biden. She met him four years ago, when he was vice-president and in Melbourne to open the city’s Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Ms Staub met Joe Biden’s late son Beau in 2012.

“I was invited to be one of 30 people to go to the VIP opening, I had a long chat with him. His son, Beau, who I had also met, died of brain tumour, my sister died of bairn tumour.

“His security wanted to move him along and he says to me ‘what’s your mother’s number, I’ll call her’ and he did. That’s who he is.”

She’ll be joining the phone banking when it starts up and is waiting on her postal ballot. She called the selection of vice-presidential running mate Kamala Harris “a stroke of genius”.

“She’s smart, she’s got spark, she has energy,” she said.

Ms Staub doesn’t trust the polls and admits it is hard to know what will happen in three months, but it’s Mr Biden’s temperament she believes will get him over the line.

“He can steady the ship. That’s what the world needs.”

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