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Sweden hosts global primaries for US expats

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How Americans can vote in Sweden. Photo: AP Photo/Paul Sancya
12:35 CET+01:00
US expats can cast in-person votes for the Democratic primary election in Sweden as part of Super Tuesday.

The Democrats' Hillary Clinton and the Republicans' Donald Trump both hold the edge over their competitors Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, as the heat of the US presidential race steps up on Super Tuesday – the day when the greatest number of states hold their primary elections.

Even US expats can experience the hustle and bustle of election night, as Democrats Abroad, an official organization under the Democratic National Committee in Washington, kicks off its Global Presidential Primary.

The Republican Party does not offer a similar primary solution for Americans living abroad but its members can vote in the November general election via an absentee ballot.

"Americans abroad are very excited (...) because we all have friends and relatives in the States and we care about the policy there, plus of course the US has a huge influence all over the world," Democrats Abroad secretary for western Sweden Rick Wicks told The Local on Tuesday.

In Sweden, in-person voting begins in Gothenburg this afternoon between 3pm and 7pm. Anyone wishing to cast a ballot for their preferred Democratic nominee should head to the Starbucks coffee shop at the western Swedish city's central train station.

Americans based in Stockholm can head to Tully's Coffee, a cafe and bar on the Götgatan street on Stockholm's Södermalm hipster island, which is opening its doors to voters on Thursday and Saturday this week.

Polling stations would also be open in Halmstad in south-western Sweden as well as Uddevalla, north-west of Gothenburg, on Wednesday and Saturday, said Democrats Abroad.

The organization added that those who are unable to vote in person still have time to download a ballot and return it by email, fax or post, by March 8th. Remote voting is available here.

Democrats Abroad has seats on the Democratic National Committee in the US and, for the purposes of the primary elections, counts as a state which means it will have 21 voting delegates helping to pick the party's presidential candidate at its convention in July.

Sweden took centre stage in the US elections earlier this year after Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders highlighted its welfare system as his preferred model for the US, saying that "we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people".

But the Nordic country has featured on the Republican side of the debate as well. In January Swedish royalists blasted Florida senator Marco Rubio after he referred to the Kingdom of Sweden as having a president – upsetting fans of King Carl XVI Gustaf.

And last month a group of Swedes went viral with a website entertaining millions of internet users getting them to blast a digital version of controversial politician Trump with a trumpet, asking "Why Donald Trump when you can Trump Donald?"

Democrats can vote in person at these locations:

Stockholm: Tully's Coffee, Götgatan 42

Thursday, March 3rd, 5pm-8pm

Saturday, March 5th, noon-5pm

Gothenburg: Starbucks at the Central Station

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Sunday, March 6th, 2pm-6pm

Halmstad: Halmstad Central Library

Wednesday, March 2nd, 4.30pm-7.30pm

Uddevalla: Uddevalla Rådhuset

Saturday, March 5th, 11am-3pm

The US embassy has more information on its website about how American expats can cast their vote from Sweden. 

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