Citizen Living Aboard
Citizens Residing Outside the United States
If you are a United States citizen living abroad you are able to vote in the election via absentee ballot. It is recommended that request for an absentee ballot is made every time you move and 3 months before an election.
Voting in U.S. elections becomes more difficult if you are living abroad. However, it is still possible to vote if you take the right steps and do them in time. One of the first steps is to determine if you are actually eligible to make the request for a ballot. You are eligible if you are 18 years of age or older and are living outside of the U.S. You must be registered in your home state. If you are 18 years of age but were born abroad and have never lived in the U.S. you are also eligible to vote. You may check your voting registration status online.
Once you determine your eligibility you must submit a form called the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). This has to be submitted each year and you can get it online. Once you send in the post card the election officials confirm your eligibility and citizenship, then send you a blank absentee ballot. It may come by mail or be sent to you electronically.
When you receive your ballot make sure it has arrived before your state's deadline for returns. If it arrives after your state's deadline, or does not arrive within 30 days before the election, you can use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot and still vote. Complete your absentee ballot, then mail, fax or email it to the department indicated on your ballot. Your state's current instructions are also available to review online. It is good to consult those periodically so you do not miss any deadlines. If you have trouble obtaining your ballot, or filling it out, an agent at the U.S. Embassy can assist as well. The embassy is also allowed to receive your completed ballot and send it via diplomatic pouch to your state.
You can also follow these steps below to register and request an absentee ballot for Citizens Residing Outside The United States:
Step 2: Print
Step 3: Fill out the form
Step 4: Sign Forms
Step 5: Mail, e-mail or Fax federal post card application to your state and county local election office
Deadlines for submitting your absentee ballot request vary by state.