We will use this page to continuously post frequently asked questions. If your question is not covered below, send us an email. Others are most likely also asking themselves the same question.
You can vote online, by mail or by fax, but before voting, you need to register to vote and request a ballot. The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) suggests that you take action and register to vote by August 1, 2020 (individual state deadlines are after this date, but there is no reason to wait!). Even if you were previously registered to vote, you need to request a ballot or you will not receive one. Go to the Federal Voting Assistance Program website, select your last state of residence, and follow the instructions. For more help, scroll down. Another great resource is the Overseas Vote Foundation, which allows you to create a voter profile, easily import your details and generate the required completed forms to mail to your state election bureau.
You should receive a ballot by the method you selected (email, fax or mail) by September 19, 2020 (45 days before the General Election).
When you live abroad, you can register to vote and request your absentee ballot all in one swift step. You do this by visitng the Federal Voting Assistance Program website or the Overseas Vote Foundation website.
Step 2 is filling in and submitting your ballot, through email, fax or mail (your choice, depending on the options permitted by your state).
As Americans living abroad, we have one less step to vote than Americans living in one of the 50 states. Onshore Americans have to (1) register to vote, (2) request absentee ballot, and (3) vote. Why? We don’t have the slightest idea.
It’s confusing – we know! The Federal Voting Assitance Program (FVAP) suggests that you register and request your ballot by August 1st. However, individual states allow you to register much later. Check your state’s requirements within Election Dates and Timeline on the FVAP website.
Be proactive. Register now before it slips your mind.
If you have previously lived in the US, use the address where you last resided.
If you’ve never lived in the US, most states allow you to use your parent(s)’ last-known US address (please check your state’s requirements here).
Unfortunately, if you have never lived in the US and your parents last lived in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas or Utah, you are unable to vote in the US General Election.
For most states, you will need:
• Your first and last name
• Your date of birth
• The last 4 digits of your Social Security Number (in some cases your full SSN)
• Your last address on US soil or your parent(s)’ last address
• Your email address
For full details of what information your state requires, we recommend checking the FVAP website.
The question on your “intent to return to the US” informs your state election bureau what ballot to send you.
If you select “U.S. citizen living outside the country, and I intend to return” you will be provided both a federal ballot for the presidential election and state-level ballots (ex. senators, state representatives). Voting in state-level elections could generate a requirement to pay state tax.
If you are nervous about tax implications or simply do not know if you are going to return to the US, select “U.S. citizen living outside the country, and my intent to return is uncertain”. With this selection, you will only receive a ballot for the presidential election.
You do not need to register to vote again, but if you don’t request a ballot, you won’t receive one!
To ensure you receive a ballot, follow the instructions outlined under SIGN ME UP.
For annual reminders to register so you don’t miss any future elections, create an account with the Overseas Vote Foundation to receive annual reminders.
August 1: Suggested date by which your should mail in your Federal Post Card Application (FVAP)
September 19: Date by which you should have received your ballot (45 days before the General Election) if you previously requested. Contact your election bureau if you have not yet received it.
September 25: If you still haven’t received your FPCA, request a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Contact us and we can help you through this process.
November 2: The deadline to vote varies state by state, but the earliest is November 2. Check your state’s deadline here.