Kerry campaign works Ireland
Kerry campaign works Ireland

Irish supporters of the US Democratic party have signed up hundreds of postal voters in a bid to win the US presidential election for their candidate, John Kerry.

There are an estimated 40,000 American passport holders in Ireland and all are entitled to send absentee ballots to their states for the November election.

‘Democrats Abroad Ireland’ chairwoman Rebecca Woolf said: “We’re looking to get more numbers because in the closest states such as New Mexico and Florida, a few hundred votes from us would certainly tip the balance.”

In the 2000 election, George Bush won the state of Florida by just 537 votes. Ms Woolf said: “A lot of Americans in Ireland are saying to us ‘I didn’t vote the last time and look what happened’.”

The absentee ballots must be received in the US by October 2.

The US citizens who have signed up so far include people who have retired to Ireland, employees of American multi-nationals and the children of Irish-American parents.

“A lot of those people would not consider themselves American but they do have US citizenship,” Ms Woolf said.

“People who were born in the US but who moved back here when they were very young.

“We’ve registered a few of those.”

* Former US president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary are set to visit the North of Ireland next week, according to reports.

Mrs Clinton is due to deliver the annual Tip O’Neill lecture at Magee College in Derry on Thursday. On Friday morning the couple are expected to visit Omagh and then travel on to visit the Clinton Centre in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh

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