Super Tuesday and more at the Dukakis Center

Super Tuesday and more at the Dukakis Center

As many as four billion people will vote in 2024. ACT (The American College of Thessaloniki) and the Dukakis Center at ACT did their modest part to add to that number this past March 5, 2024, also known as Super Tuesday throughout the United States.

The Dukakis Center continued its Silver Jubilee season of public service initiatives by organizing a voter registration drive for American study abroad students and, in collaboration with Democrats Abroad Greece, hosting the Global Presidential Primary for American voters residing in Thessaloniki and environs.

Super Tuesday Voter registration begins

Aided by a robust cohort of student interns and volunteers, the voter registration team assisted a record number of potential voters to register via the votefromabroad.org online platform.

Super Tuesday Dukakis Center interns and volunteers

An equally impressive number of young people cast a ballot in the global primary, most for the first time. A closed primary for registered Democrats, the purpose of the GPP is to designate a limited number of delegates from around the world -- American citizens all -- to attend the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August 2024 to select the Democratic Nominee for President of the United States.

Altogether, as many as forty or 50 American students were involved in some part of the series of events, along with several degree candidates from Greece and Southeast Europe. Special mention is reserved for study abroad interns Valentine Githae and Satchel Martin (both from American University) and ACT student interns Agapi Farra, Jasmine Trunkenpolz, Despina Krlevska, and Filip Perduloski for their contribution to the week's festivities. Meanwhile, study abroad student Nivia Timlick-Khalis won a prize for the design of a customized poster reading "Vote Here."

Super Tuesday Valentine Githae

These activities were integral parts of the Dukakis Center's Fifth Civil Society Forum, held on the ACT campus during the week of March 4-8. Also on the events calendar was a reception in honor of ACT alumni and staff who ran for public office in local elections in October 2023 and a special episode of Dukakis Center Live on the question: "How do we conduct an election when no one trusts the integrity of the process?"

Super Tuesday We ran in 2023JPG

Featured at the reception were, in chronological order of graduating class, Theofanis Kontoulis, Marieta Gaitani, Anastasia Alexopoulou, and Jolda Druga, along with former ACT instructors Paris Tsogarlidis and Spiros Pengas. (Many more ACT alums not present at the reception campaigned in local elections, joining foreign classmates who have experienced considerable success in electoral politics throughout Southeastern Europe.)

Joining Dukakis Center director David Wisner on Dukakis Center Live were Quinn Yeargain, Assistant Professor at the Commonwealth Law School, Widener University, and old friend Charles Stewart of MIT, who was making his fifth appearance at a Dukakis Center event since 2016.

The emphasis on voting and elections continues the Center's work on the 2023 Greek parliamentary elections, which included a landmark poll on the youth vote conducted at the Center's behest by the market research firm Ierax Analytix. Thus, a pair of Dukakis Center volunteers conducted an exit poll during the Global Primary, while other interns added to their findings from a poll of first-time candidates who campaigned in 2023.

Super Tuesday Exit poll team

The events were meant in large part to highlight the public service vocation of the Dukakis Center, inaugurated as an endowed chair by former Massachusetts Governor Michael S. Dukakis in Thessaloniki in September 1999 and transformed into a collegiate research and outreach hub in November 2011. 

The Dukakis Center's mission is to inspire young people from both sides of the Atlantic to take an active interest in public affairs. Professor David Wisner directs the Center, which is based on the campus of ACT (American College of Thessaloniki).

Super Tuesday Vote HereJPG

The Dukakis Center has hosted the Civil Society Forum in one form or another annually since 2019, with a hiatus in 2022. Previous iterations of the Forum have focused on the role of think tanks, NGOs, and other civil society actors in Thessaloniki and throughout Greece. The Center has also organized innumerable events on elections in Greece, the EU, and the USA.


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