The official U.S. Government website for overseas absentee voting assistance is maintained by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP).
To register to vote and/or apply for an absentee ballot, you can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).
FVAP recommends that you register to vote/request an absentee ballot in January of each year, or at least 45 days before Election Day, and whenever you move to ensure that your most recent mailing and e-mail addresses are on file with your local election officials.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) maintains a 24/7 call center, which makes voting information accessible to voters living in other time zones and ensures that all issues are addressed. Voters can call 1-800-438-VOTE, email firstname.lastname@example.org or choose the online chat option at www.fvap.gov to accommodate an easy flow of absentee voting assistance and information. FVAP enhanced its existing service by teaming with the Navy’s Global Distance 24 hour Support Center to respond immediately to emails, calls, faxes and online chat from military members, their families, and overseas voters worldwide. Toll-free numbers from 67 countries to reach the call center are available on the FVAP website.
FVAP subject matter experts are also available during regular business hours to handle issues of greater complexity.
A Voting Assistance Officer in Kuwait is also available to answer questions about absentee voting. Please e-mail votekuwait(at)state.gov or kuwaitacs(at)state.gov.
Generally, all U.S. citizens 18 years or older who are residing, or will be residing, outside the United States during an election period are eligible to vote absentee in any election for federal office. This includes primary, run-off, and special elections that occur throughout the year, as well as general elections.
Some states allow overseas voters to vote in elections for state and local offices and for state and local referendums. Voting eligibility and residency requirements are determined by each state. Your “legal state of residence” for voting purposes is the state where you last resided immediately prior to departure from the United States. Voting rights extend to overseas citizens even though they may no longer own property or have other ties to their last state of residence even if their return to that state is uncertain. For those who have never resided in the U.S. some states allow eligible U.S. citizens to register where a parent would be eligible to vote.
Visit the FVAP website to complete an FPCA. Most states allow this document to be sent via email, fax or mail. U.S. citizens overseas can also send the completed FPCA to their local election officials via government pouch, APO, host country international mail, or express courier service. A hard copy of the FPCA is available from your Voting Assistance Officer. Postage is paid and may be sent via government pouch or APO without additional postage. American Citizen Services can mail this for you after you drop off your request to the Consular Section during appointment hours. You may also check with express mail services for special services and rates available to U.S. voters overseas.
Most states and territories begin sending ballots to overseas citizens 30-45 days before an election. If you have not received your ballot two weeks before the election, contact your local election official. If you encounter problems contacting your local election official, contact FVAP. Always complete and return your absentee ballot regardless of when you receive it, even if you have already submitted a back-up Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. Your local election official will ensure that only one of the ballots is counted.