Voting Information For Americans Residing Overseas
American citizens residing overseas are eligible to participate in primary, run-off, general, and special elections that occur throughout the year. The Embassy strongly encourages citizens to register to vote and/or request absentee ballots as early as possible to ensure that they will receive their ballots in a timely manner.
The official U.S. Government website for overseas absentee voting assistance is the Federal Voting Assistance Program (www.fvap.gov). It has a wealth of information about absentee voting, including the downloadable absentee ballot applications, state-specific instructions for completing the form, links to state and local voting officials, and a downloadable emergency ballot.
Some frequently asked voting questions from Americans residing overseas:
Can I vote absentee?
You can vote absentee in any election for Federal office if you are a U.S. citizen 18 years or older, and are residing outside of the United States.
If I do not maintain a legal residence in the U.S., what is my "legal state of residence"?
Your "legal state of residence" for voting purposes is the state or territory where you last resided immediately prior to your departure from the United States. This applies even though you may not have property or other ties in your last state of residence and your intent to return to that state may be uncertain.
When completing section 7 of the Voter Registration/Absentee Ballot (PDF-356.8 Kb) request form, be sure to enter the entire mailing address of your last residence to determine your proper voting jurisdiction.
Some states allow children of U.S. citizens residing overseas who are U.S. citizens but who have never resided in the U.S. to claim one of their parent's legal state of residence as their own. List of states that allow this.
How do I register to vote, or apply for an absentee ballot?
You may register and request an absentee ballot with a single form: The Federal Post Card Application. This application form is accepted by all states and territories and is postage-paid in the U.S. mail, including the Military Postal System and State Department Pouch mail. Hard copies of the form can be obtained from a U.S. embassy or consulate or requested directly from the Federal Voting Assistance Program.
An online version of the Voter Registration/Absentee Ballot Request form is also available. The online version of the form must be mailed in an envelope with proper postage, or mailed using a prepaid return envelope.
Your Voter Registration/Absentee Ballot Request form must be completed, printed, signed, dated and mailed directly to your local election official.
All downloadable documents on this page are provided in PDF format. To view PDFs you must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download a free version by clicking the link above.