How to Vote Absentee

How to Vote Absentee from Abroad

As a U.S. citizen living outside the country, you can vote absentee while living away from your voting residence.

Here's how:

1. Register to vote and request your ballot in one easy step.

Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and send it to your election office.

Check your voter registration deadline for the next election based on your state. For the General Election, it's best to send in the FPCA by August 1.

Your voting residence (the U.S. state or territory where you are registering to vote) is likely your legal residence. Here's how to determine your voting residence

Using the FPCA ensures that your state will send your ballot to you at least 45 days before the election — a protection not guaranteed when using other forms. It's a good idea to send in a new FPCA every January and each time you move. 


Register and Request


2. Fill out and send in your ballot when it arrives.

For the general election, you should receive your ballot by early October.

Vote and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. Check the deadline for your ballot based on your state. The recommended vote-by day for the 2022 General Election is October 24, 2022, if you're outside the U.S.

If you requested your ballot but haven't received it, contact your election office to ask about the status of your ballot request.

If there isn't enough time to receive and send back your ballot before the election, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).

It works like a backup ballot. If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, fill out and send in the official ballot too. Only one will be counted.

After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by your election office.


Don't miss a deadline!

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Looking for more? 

Determine your voting residence for registering to vote absentee.

Never resided in the U.S.? Determine if your state allows U.S. citizens born abroad to vote absentee.

Browse outreach and informational materials.

Get help from FVAP or your nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate where you can pick up hard copies of the forms. Other embassy or consulate contact information can be found here as well.

Get tools for sending forms by mail, email or fax — like postage-paid envelopes and cover sheets.

Other Resources: State/Territory Election WebsitesState Voter Registration Verification WebsitesOverseas Citizen Groups WebsitesFederal Government Websites,Other Election-related Websites