How to Exercise Your Right to Vote From Abroad

Approximately 3 million Americans living abroad are eligible to vote. In the 2022 midterm election, only 3.4% of eligible Americans abroad voted, compared to 63% of their domestic counterparts. The 2024 election is too important. Even if you’re outside the United States, make your voice heard. VOTE! Here’s how.

Request Your Ballot

The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) enables you to register to vote and to request your ballot. There are two websites to help you complete this application.

Vote From Abroad is a nonpartisan website that allows you to complete the FPCA online and upload a picture of your signature. The digital signature enables you to email the application directly online.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program is the official government site where you can complete the application form online.

Keep in mind that your voting address is usually the last place you lived in the US. If you never lived in the US, you may use the last US address of your US citizen parents. Do not enter a PO Box.

Ballot Request and Submission Deadlines

You can receive your ballot via email/online, snail mail, or fax. Choosing to receive the ballot by email ensures you receive the ballot on time. The ballot request and submission deadlines will vary by state, so check your state’s guidelines here.   

There are 20 states that require ballots to be returned by snail mail. These are Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin – so plan accordingly.

It’s Easy!

It took me all of ten minutes to complete and email the application requesting my ballot. So please exercise your right to vote!


Ashwini Bapat, MD, is a palliative care doctor, a co-founder of Hippocratic Adventures and EpioneMD Caregiver Coaching where she helps family caregivers care for aging parents and in-laws. She lives in Portugal with her husband and 2 kids. When she’s not blogging, you’ll find her swimming in an Olympic-sized swimming pool, frosting a cake, or watching the Korean reality show “Single’s Inferno” with her husband.

Originally Published October 1 2020.

Updated Jun 6, 2024

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