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How Do I Know If I Can Vote? Am I a Registered Voter?


By Barbara Erickson

US citizens living outside the US can vote in US elections as overseas absentee voters! You must be at least 18 years old and otherwise eligible to register to vote in your state. Your voting state is the last place you lived before you left the US (or before your US parent left the US if you’ve never resided in the US). It does not matter if you were not registered to vote before you left the US, or if you’ve never voted before or how long you have lived outside the US.

All US citizens may vote in Federal Elections, that is, for the President, US Senator, and US House of Representatives. In addition, many states allow at least some of the overseas voters in their state to participate in State and Local Elections (such as Governor, State Legislature, and Mayor).

Federal law guarantees the right of all US citizens living outside the US to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Voting Act (UOCAVA), and the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act). If you are already registered to vote, you still need to submit the FPCA (Federal Post Card Application) to request your absentee ballot every calendar year.

After you send in the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), be sure to email or call your Local Election Official to verify they received it and will be sending a ballot to you. The applicable contact information is in the printed instructions from, where you can register to vote online. You can also look up the contact information for your Local Election Official here:

Why Should I Send In an FPCA Form to Indicate I Am An Overseas Voter, Rather Than Using A Regular Absentee Ballot Request?

We strongly recommend that if you plan to vote from overseas that you submit the form to let your Local Election Official know you are now living abroad. The form, the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), is only one page and acts like an address update. But it also provides significant advantages that are only available to overseas voters:

An FPCA form, sent in the calendar year of an election, protects your ballot at the federal level in case of a recount. (A ballot that doesn’t have a corresponding FPCA form may be subject to challenge in a close election).

You will receive a ballot for every election in that calendar year, including primaries, special elections and runoff elections. You can use the form to request your ballot be sent to you via email, fax or online instead of snail mail!

Every single vote will count this midterm. Make certain you can get your ballot on time.

For help filling out the FPCA, join us at our voter registration tables at TOSMA at Mercado Sano, Saturdays, July 28, August 4, and 11; or between July 30 and August 10, at La Luciérnaga Mall, Monday–Thursday 10am–2pm; Biblioteca Pública Monday–Friday 2–4; or La Conexión Aldama, Monday–Friday, 10am–2pm.


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