It’s not too late to vote

It’s not too late to vote

20th October 2008, Comments 0 comments

Still haven’t voted yet? Here’s our guide to voting in the US elections from abroad.

Three steps are necessary for American citizens 18 years and older to vote while living abroad:
  1. Register to vote in your last state of residence.
  2. Request an absentee ballot.
    [The Federal Post Card Application allows you to register and request a ballot at the same time. This form can be downloaded and printed from your computer.]
  3. Fill out and return your absentee ballot.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program website provides all the necessary information to complete these steps:

  • visit and select ‘Get Started’, then select ‘Registering to Vote / Requesting an Absentee Ballot’,
  • a map of the US appears:  Select your state,
  • you will be navigated to a page with your state’s voting information, including deadlines, links to PDFs of forms, instructions on filling out the forms properly, and links to official mailing addresses by county,
  • fill out and return the forms by your state’s deadline.

Methods of transmitting and completing forms vary by state:
  • Many states, cities or counties can send and accept ballots by fax, and others (like Florida and the city of Chicago) use email as well. Some states (including Ohio and Texas) only use paper forms that must be mailed.
  • Most states require your driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number when filling out the registration/absentee ballot request.
  • Some states require absentee ballots be notarised or signed by one or two witnesses.

Deadlines also vary by state but the earlier the better:
  • Most states have a voter registration deadline in early October.
  • Most states require absentee ballot requests to be submitted by the last week of October; while specific dates vary, most officials encourage forms to be submitted early.
  • Most states require absentee ballots to be postmarked, faxed or returned by Nov. 3, the day before the election.

 Debate and discuss the upcoming US Presidential election on our forum.

And finally, if you would like to comment on how it is to be an American abroad during this critical election, Click here to take our Expatica poll.


Text by Danielle Latman

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