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American expats vote in Bangkok in offshore U.S. Democrat primary election
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08:56, February 06, 2008

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· U.S. Presidential Election 2008
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American expatriates went to vote in polling stations around Thailand on "Super Tuesday" to choose a candidate of the United States' Democratic Party to run in the November U.S. presidential race in the first-ever overseas primary election in the U.S. political history.

On Tuesday in Bangkok, Americans joined their compatriots in more than 100 other cities around the world -- beginning with Jakarta, Indonesia, where polls opened at mid-night local time, in casting paper ballots which will be sent by air express to Geneva, Switzerland for official counting.

In Bangkok, the Foreign Correspondents Club Thailand was the venue for Americans in Thailand to vote in the first offshore primary polls.

For the first time in U.S. political history, Americans were expected to vote for a change of government in Washington, casting their ballots formally in recognized polling stations in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Nong Khai and Udon Thani in Thailand, according to Thai News Agency.

Americans in Thailand who could not vote on Tuesday can also vote on Saturday from 3 p.m. (0800 GMT) to 8:30 p.m. (1330 GMT) in Bangkok and on Saturday and Sunday in Thailand's northeastern provinces Nong Khai and Udon Thani.

The offshore polls, sponsored by Democrats Abroad, are for Americans living overseas to choose a Democratic Party candidate for the top job at the White House.

Registered Republicans in Thailand also will vote, but not at semi-official polling stations or on the Internet like elections sponsored by Democrats Abroad. Because Republicans Abroad is not an official part of the U.S. party, Republicans will have to vote by mail -- a choice also open to Democrats.

The U.S. Presidential election will take place on Nov. 4, when American voters choose the successor to the current U.S. President George W. Bush.

In the U.S., Super Tuesday is the day for the primary poll in 22 states simultaneously. It is possible that by Wednesday evening Thailand time, the final candidates for the Nov. 4 presidential election will be known.

The Chairman of Democrats Abroad Thailand, Phil Robertson, was quoted by Thailand's leading news network The Nation as saying that he expected a couple of hundred voters of all ages to come from all around the region to vote in Bangkok.

Source: Xinhua

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