How to Vote From Abroad


UCEAP Switzerland 2017, UCLA ’18

We know there’s a lot on your mind as you’re beginning your fall semester abroad, but you also probably know that there’s an important election coming up on November 6th. Did you know that if you’re a US citizen, you can vote even while you’re abroad? It’s easy! We’ve put together some quick steps for you to follow so that you’ll be able to vote seamlessly from anywhere on Earth.

Note: This post will be geared towards California voters – if you’re not a California voter, select your state here, as different steps and deadlines may apply.

1.       Register to vote (Check your voter registration online and if you’re not, register first)

2.       Register and request an absentee ballot

a.       Request an absentee ballot by submitting a completed Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to your local election office before October 22, 2018 by email/mail/fax in one of three ways:

i.            FPCA Online Assistant

ii.            FCPA fillable PDF

iii.            Picking up a hard copy version from your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate

b.       Note: You can use the FPCA to register to vote in addition to requesting the absentee ballot, but you must mail/fax the form back

1.       Returning your ballot

a.       Once you receive your absentee ballot from your State it must be returned according to by mail or fax to your local election office before the ballot return deadline:

i.            Mail: Postmarked by November 6, 2018

ii.            Fax: Received by November 6, 2018

b.       If you haven’t received your blank ballot 30 days before the election, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot to vote

Helpful Resources:

1.       Federal Voting Assistance Program

2.       U.S. Department of State

3.       Overseas Vote Foundation