Voting From Abroad – How To Guide for Americans

Moving abroad doesn’t mean you lose your voice. Voting from abroad is now easier than ever. Here is a quick run through of how to apply and vote in US elections while living abroad.

UOCAVA citizens: U.S. citizens who are active members of the Uniformed Services, the Merchant Marines, and the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, their eligible family members, and U.S. citizens residing outside the United States.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) supports UOCAVA citizens and election officials by providing necessary absentee voting forms, materials and training guidance.

Voting from abroad requires several steps

  1. Request FPCA
  2. Send FPCA to local election office
  3. FPCA approved by local election office
  4. Absentee ballot sent to voter from local election office
  5. Voter sends completed absentee ballot to local election office
  6. *FWAB can be completed if the ballot is not received 30 days before the election.

Most States require voters to complete an absentee ballot application to start the whole absentee voting process. FVAP highly encourages the use of the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to start the absentee voting process since it is standardized for use across all States and will extend your eligibility to receive a ballot for all Federal elections for at least one calendar year. The FPCA acts as both a registration and absentee ballot request form. FVAP encourages overseas citizen voters to submit a new FPCA every year and when they move. With a few quick steps, your vote is counted no matter where you are in the world. The FPCA can be easily completed by using the

The FPCA can be easily completed by using the FPCA online assistant, filling out the PDF or picking up a hardcopy version from your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate location.

  • contractComplete and sign the FPCA using your State’s instructions. Find your state’s instructions here.
  • Fold and seal your FPCA.  If using the online FPCA, print, sign and put it in an envelope.  You qualify for free postage if you use the approved envelope template.
  • Address and mail the FPCA to your local election official. Be sure to include your return address and affix postage if using a foreign postal service.

I will do a follow-up post to this in the Fall for the November 2016 elections!

Information for voting abroad for other nationals of other countries.

For more information on voting from abroad check out and

Ad astra per aspera,


P.S. – Don’t vote Trump.

Disclaimer: Laws and regulations in the mentioned governmental authorities and processes are subject to change.


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