By Humphrey Carter REPUBLICANS Abroad and Americans Overseas for Kerry in Spain have managed to encourage more American residents in Spain and the Balearics than ever to vote in next week's Presidential elections.

Overseas Voters for Kerry in Madrid believe that the overseas vote could, this time around, be decisive, and here in the Balearics, at least 2.000 Americans have voted.

Depending on their state of origin, some of the overseas electoral booths have closed while some are still open ahead of Tuesday's election.
Both the Republicans and Democrats overseas in Spain have been fighting a tough campaign. Primarily the aim was to make sure that all American residents here knew what the procedure to register was and that the deadline was September 15.

Since then, the parties have been lobbying US citizens, trying to win their votes.
The United States Consular Agency in Palma claims it has never been so busy around an election and confirmed that never have so many Americans living in the Balearics voted and, in the case of a few states, there is still time.

Juan Verde, head of Americans Overseas for Kerry told the Bulletin when they launched the voter awareness campaign a few months back, that he expected a huge turnout at the elections, both in the States and overseas. “When you look at the last elections, it all came down to 500 votes, here in Spain there are some 200'000 Americans and this vote could swing the election,” he said.

At the US Consular Agency in Palma, they say it is a very fine line between the Democrats and the Republicans, too close to call.
Verde says that this time, Americans feel so strongly about what is at stake and some residents in Spain, who have not voted for 30 or 40 years, are voting this time.

Here in Spain, Verde believes that the Democrat vote will be strong “foreign policy is going to be key for Americans living in Europe. “Spain is a very important country for the US and we know that Bush's unpopular foreign policy is even forcing some Republicans living here to vote for Kerry,” he said. “Many Americans have felt the growing anti-US feeling in Spain. It's neither good for visitors nor for business,” he said.