Absentee Voting Information for U.S. Citizens Abroad
New laws in effect this year impact the absentee voting process. The official U.S. Government resource for overseas absentee voters is the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website.
Generally, all U.S. citizens 18 years or older who are or will be residing outside the United States during an election period are eligible to vote absentee in any election for federal office. This year’s general election will include all the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the seats in the U.S. Senate. Some states also allow overseas voters to vote in elections for state and local offices, as well as for state and local referendums. Voting eligibility and residency requirements are determined by the individual U.S. states. Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website for more information.
Voting for candidates for federal offices does not affect your federal or state tax liability.
Registration/Absentee Ballot Request
Use a Federal Post Card Application to register to vote and/or apply for an absentee ballot. The standard FPCA can be obtained online at the Federal Voting Assistance Program website or from the U.S. embassy. The online version of the FPCA is accepted by all states and territories. The on-line FPCA form must be completed legibly, printed, signed, dated, and mailed to your local election officials. Some states allow electronic transmission of the FPCA via fax or email to speed the process, but many states will still require voters to send in the original by mail after faxing or emailing.
Note: You must send in a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to your local election officials every year – even if you have previously voted overseas – and every time you change your name, physical address, or email address.
As a general rule, you should try to send in your completed FPCA so that it reaches your local election officials at least forty-five days before the first election in which you are eligible to vote. In most cases, this will provide time for election officials to process the request and send you a ballot.
The Voting Assistance Officer at the U.S. Embassy Bridgetown is available to answer any questions; please email us at BridgetownACS@state.gov.