This is the first time Egyptians living abroad can vote in the presidential elections from outside Egypt. But the deadline to cast that ballot is May 17, 2012.
This is also the first presidential election since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. The landmark election has some Egyptians living in Tampa excited.
Khaled Mostafa left Egypt 12 years ago. Yet, within the last year, he has visited three times to participate and protest in the revolution that overthrew longtime Pres. Mubarak.
With little over a week before elections are slated to begin in Egypt, Mostafa cast his vote for president from Tampa. It’s the first time he will be voting in a presidential race, and a first for eligible Egyptians living abroad as well.
He wants any remnants of Mubarak’s regime out, and plans to vote them out, or revolt again.
"Everybody that are in power are still the old regime," Mostafa said. "And they are trying to keep things as is. We are trying to convey the message to them that we aren’t keeping the status quo anymore, we aren’t going back to this."
He said strict requirements for voting such as providing a recent national ID or passport have alienated many Egyptians who left Egypt before these rules were in place. Roughly 27,000 Egyptians in America registered to vote, out of more than 136,000 eligible voters.
"A year or two ago, we didn’t even know we would ever have democracy, so people didn’t have any logistical preparation for democracy," Mostafa said.
Voting for expatriates ends May 17, with final results from runoffs expected in June.