Home

Here’s Your Guide To Voting As An American Abroad

By Parker Diakite

Share

With an estimated 3 million Americans living abroad, voting while living outside of the United States is a lot easier than you may think. With the midterm election just weeks away, here’s how to ensure that your voice is heard on November 6.

 

Absentee voting basics

U.S. citizens who are 18 years or older and living abroad can vote for federal offices including President, Senator, and Representative.

In some states, U.S. citizens who are 18 years or older and were born abroad but who have never resided in the United States are eligible to vote absentee.

 

Register

U.S. citizens can receive an absentee ballot by email, fax, or internet download, depending on the state they are eligible to vote in.

 

The earlier you register and request your ballot, the better. Early registration ensures that you will receive your ballot in time for the election.

 

Each year, be sure to submit a completed Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to your local election officials, which will confirm your eligibility to vote. Your name will be put on a list to receive an absentee ballot for any elections held that calendar year.


 

Once you receive the absentee ballot

Forty-five days before November’s general elections, your state will send you a blank ballot electronically or via mail at the address you provided on your FPCA, according to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs.

 

In general, ballots will be mailed out 30 days before primary, special, and run-off elections.

 

Returning your ballot

Overseas voters have a number of options for returning completed ballots. You can submit it by mail, or drop your completed ballot to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for return to the United States. You can also send it via fax, email, or Internet.

 

If you didn’t receive a ballot

If you have not received your ballot 30 days before an election, cast a backup vote using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot.

 

If your regular absentee ballot arrives after submitting an FWAB, you should still fill it out and return it. Your FWAB will be counted only if your regular ballot does not reach local election officials by your state’s deadline. This will not invalidate your vote or result in casting two votes.

Share
Travel Noire

Parker Diakite

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

The Black Expat: ‘I’m Growing In Who I Am And It’s Been A Beautiful Journey’

The Black Expat: ‘I’m Growing In Who I Am And It’s Been A Beautiful Journey’

For Connecticut native Tiffany Green, living abroad has always been the dream. She has always had a passion for working with students and helping them break down barriers, by preparing them for the next step. She now works abroad as a school counselor for a school that allows her to travel to a new destination […]

DeAnna Taylor

Traveler Story: From Losing Both Parents To Healing Through Travel

Traveler Story: From Losing Both Parents To Healing Through Travel

At the age of 3, Chelsea Satine was sent from Haiti to the United States by her parents, to live a better life and get an education. She was adopted by another Haitian family who cared for her for several years. When she was 16, she received a phone call that changed her life and […]

DeAnna Taylor

The Powerful Benefits Of Raising Bilingual Children

The Powerful Benefits Of Raising Bilingual Children

The choice to move abroad or to teach your child a second language in the home, comes with its challenges. However, there are many powerful benefits to raising bilingual children that will help them into adulthood and open up their opportunities within the world. RELATED: Traveling With Your Children Could Make Them Better Leaders Social […]

Leah Freeman-Haskin