If you were wandering around Bayswater last night and wondering why you were surrounded by several thousand Americans, it's not because we started granting political asylum to those seeking refuge from the Bush regime (a bit late for that, really). No, it's because last night, Democrats Abroad held their very own Super Tuesday event for expatriates who wanted something more tangible than pointing and clicking for their favourite candidate.
Obama advocates and Hillary supporters were on hand chanting and cheering for their respective candidates amidst an elaborate decorating effort put forth by Democrats Abroad. With the help of homemade banners and signs as well as ample quantities of the colours red, white and blue, Porchester Hall was transformed into the most festive polling place we've ever seen. Normally casting a ballot in America involves trudging off to a school gymnasium or a grim municipal building, but this experience was more like a party, albeit less of a drug-fuelled rave sandwich and more of a global superpower sarnie, but a party nonetheless. (We saw some people with beer: surely that counts for something.)
Whilst online voting options were available, you can't download cookies. In accordance with the rules of the democratic process, each person could only complete one paper ballot, however for one pound per snack, anyone could cast as many chocolate chip votes as they pleased:
Organisers expected a turnout of only 600 voters, but the final numbers of the night exceeded twice that estimate. Hillary Clinton received almost 500 votes whereas Barack Obama attracted nearly 1,000. These numbers will be added to the worldwide results of all Democrats Abroad elections, ultimately helping to decide how the group's 11 delegates will be allocated. With the race as close as it currently is, these votes could play a vital role in deciding which candidate will represent the party in November.
Images courtesy of the author's Flickr photostream.