Stop Arguing on Facebook and Vote: Tips for American Expats to Vote Abroad

Vote Online in American Midterm Elections

The deadline to register to vote abroad is ending in a week, so we thought we would put together an article on a couple speedy ways to vote abroad. Regardless of your political beliefs, it’s important to make yourself heard—even if you’re living abroad.

First of all, this New York Times Article is a helpful resource to anyone that wants to investigate voting abroad.

Option 1 – Registering to Vote Through Overseas Vote Foundation:

Registering to vote abroad is a very easy process, and best yet: it’s free! You can register to vote through the Overseas Vote Foundation. You just have to fill out the online voter registration form and then mail it back to them through the post. It only takes a minute.

1 – Click here and fill out the form.

2 – Then it will ask you to set a password that is at least 6 characters long. Then you have to confirm that password.

3 – It will ask you your purpose for filing the form; whether or not you’re registering for the first time, if you’re filing for a ballot request, or if you are just trying to change your address and/or party affiliation:

  • If you are trying to vote and are already a registered voter, then select Ballot Request for Registered Voter

  • If you are trying to vote and are not a registered voter, then select New Voter Registration and Ballot Request

4 – It will ask you for a form of ID. You can enter a social security number, or you can provide your Driver’s License. There is a third section for those who do not have either a driver’s license or a social security number.

*For social security number, it only asks you for the last four digits.

5 – Then you select which method is best for you to receive your blank ballot. You have the option to receive it by postal mail, or by fax, but because this article is about how to do it quickly, WeExpats recommends you select: Email/Online

6 – You have a choice whether you would like:

  • To continue to receive ballots for the whole calendar year, including all general and special elections

  • Whether you would only like to vote for the upcoming federal election only.

7 – Your state may require you to Select a Party ahead of time to vote in primary elections. If you do not wish to vote in the primaries, you can say “Decline to State”. If not, then list your party affiliation.

8 – This particular website asks you a few questions to better get to know you, your voting habits, and your party affiliation.

9 – Download Your Form and Verify your information. Fill out the form. It is recommended that you still mail in your form even if you fax or email your document. This will ensure your vote is counted. Do it fast, the download link expires after 15 minutes.

10 – Included in the .pdf download is an address where to send your registration and voter request particular to your county in the state that you have selected. Just mail that in and wait for your absentee ballot.

11 – If you are not interested in faxing in your registration, this is only an option in some states. To find out if your state accepts a fax with your voter absentee ballot request and registration, then click here.

TIP – Get Help Through the Federal Voter Assistance Program:

You can vote quite easily through the Federal Voter Assistance Program, and one cool feature is it seems to allow you to download your registration and your absentee ballot at the same time.

The very first thing to do, is to click on the top left hand box to find the state that you are registered to vote in. At the bottom, there are three options. The box on the bottom left offers you the option to vote. If you are already registered, then you can disregard this box and go right to the box in the middle. If not, then you must register to vote.

The Federal Voter Assistance Program has written instructions, online tools, and even an online assistant in case you have questions or need to find the address for your county’s voter registration.

1 – Registering to Vote through Federal Voter Assistance Program

You can simply download the file directly through the website where it says, “Download Fillable FPCA”. Then you can mail that into your county’s voter registration. They will send you an absentee ballot in the mail which you can fill out.

*Important: Some states require that you fill it out and mail it to your county’s voter registration. Other states allow you to mail in the registration and the absentee ballot at the same time.

2 – Voting Through the Federal Voter Assistance Program

Once you are registered to vote, if you have not already requested an absentee ballot, you can also vote through the Federal Voter Assistance Program online.

First, you have to select your state at the top left. Then in the box in the middle at the bottom, you download and print the PDF forms. You can fill them out by hand, put it in an envelope, and mail in your ballot. It’s that simple!

*To learn more about how to use the Federal Voter Assistance Program to cast your ballot, click here.

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