Super Tuesday, Israel-style: Beachside Tel Aviv Bar Hosts Democratic Primary

On Super Tuesday, thousands of miles away from the United States, the Americans arrived one by one to a beachside Tel Aviv bar, beer on tap and a pool table behind them. They took their ballot papers into a voting booth fashioned from blue construction paper and cast their ballot for a Democratic presidential candidate.

“I voted all my life for the Democratic Party and in Democratic primaries. And even though I don’t live full-time in America anymore, it’s still important to me as an American Israeli to participate in the electoral process of the United States,” said Robert Golub, 68, vice chairman of Get Out the Vote for Democrats Abroad Israel – the regional branch of the organization for American Democrats living overseas.

Most of the Americans voting had immigrated to Israel and are getting to vote for their Democratic presidential nomination as part of the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary. The organization is hosting 240 voting locations in 45 countries around the world this week (voting closes on March 10) and voters can also register to vote online. The primary will send 21 delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee in July.

Tuesday marked the third time Leore Golan, 28, was voting through Democrats Abroad. In previous elections, Golan – who works for a startup in Tel Aviv – was living in Taiwan and Denmark.

“I wanted to vote because I want to see change in the world and I want to have impact anywhere I possibly can,” said Golan, who said she cast her ballot for Elizabeth Warren.

HAPPY HOUR? Robert Golub, vice chairman of Get Out the Vote for Democrats Abroad Israel, Tel Aviv, March 3, 2020. “I voted all my life for the Democratic Party and in Democratic primaries.”Tomer Appelbaum

She wavered between the two progressive senators, Warren and Bernie Sanders, she said. “I agree overall with Sanders more, but I feel that Warren has the ability to make progress in her plans in a very clear and tangible way you don’t see in many politicians,” Golan explained.

Maya Shabi, 30, from Austin, Texas, but now living in Tel Aviv, was also among those voting Tuesday at Mike’s Place – a popular bar opposite Bograshov Beach. (On Friday, another voting booth for the global primary will be located at the bar’s Jerusalem location.) She voted for Sanders, the Democratic front-runner.