Voting While Abroad

General Voting Information

Election day is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. US citizens living abroad are eligible to vote in US elections; it is a right of citizenship that stays with you. If you will be abroad during an election, read your state's overseas voter information here for voting requirements and deadlines. Then, follow the steps below to request and submit an absentee ballot.

Register to vote here!

 For more general information, check the resources section.

Steps to Overseas Voting

Studying abroad, but want to vote in an election back in the States? Follow these steps to let your voice be heard!

Step 0: If you have not already, register to vote in your state of permanent residency or home university.

Step 1:  Check your state's overseas voting requirements and deadlines here.

Step 2: Request an absentee ballot to be sent to you from one of these non-partisan websites:  Overseas Vote Foundation or Vote from Abroad

  • Select "U.S. Citizen Residing Outside the U.S. Temporarily and I Intend to Return" and then complete the rest of the form.


Step 3: If you need to enter your international mailing address to receive your ballot and do not have your address yet, you can either: A) contact your program/ host university before you depart and see if they can provide a mailing address, or B) wait until you arrive abroad and complete the absentee ballot request as long as the date to request the absentee ballot has not passed.

Step 4: Once you receive your absentee ballot, you will be given instructions on how to fill out the ballot abroad and return it.

Step 5: Election offices are required to send requested ballots to overseas voters at least 45 days before the election (for 2021, that's September 17th. Use this date calculator for following years ). If you don’t receive your ballot by that deadline, contact your local election official and complete the backup Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. If both the backup ballot and the official ballot are received by election day, only the official ballot will count; your vote will not be counted twice.


Resources:

US Department of State's Absentee Voting Information for US Citizens Abroad 

Military Postal Service Agency's recommended mailing dates

Non-partisan sample ballot lookup