US expats catch Super Tuesday fever and prepare to cast votes

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2008, 12:00am

It's Super Tuesday today - when 24 US states, American Samoa and members of Democrats Abroad all have the opportunity to vote for US presidential candidates. In Hong Kong, Democrats Abroad Hong Kong will man three polling stations tonight and throughout the next week.

American voter Tim Fletcher, who has lived in Hong Kong for two years, said he would vote for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, because he felt that after eight years of Republican President George W. Bush, the White House needed someone who was experienced and already knew world leaders.

'I would prefer a person who doesn't have to spend the first year finding where all the rooms are in the White House, but someone who is experienced, because of the backward state our country has fallen into over the past eight years,' he said.

Mr Fletcher described himself as an independent voter - one who had also voted Republican in the past. He said he felt America needed a multiparty system. 'The two-party system has become a bit detrimental,' he said. 'It creates a situation where you don't have to work together. I'd rather see a multiparty system where there is more compromise.'

Sal Petrancosta, chairman of Republicans Abroad, said unlike Democrats, the Republicans would not run polling stations in Hong Kong over the next week, as Republicans Abroad did not vote in primaries.

'But we will have a brunch at the American Club on 'Super Wednesday' so that people can watch the returns. At this stage we're more concerned about the issues than personalities in the primaries,' Mr Petrancosta said.

'I think it's the most exciting primary we've had in 12 years.'

He said he had never seen such interest in a US election, not only by Americans but also by the media and the general populace in Asia.

'I cannot recall a presidential election that has caused quite so much buzz outside the US as this one.'