Regardless of which side you’re on, we can all agree this is not the election to sleep in and let your vote slip away with the minutes on your alarm clock. Registering from abroad is easy and there’s still time for you to do so in every state. Head over to AmCham, where this post originally appeared, for each state’s deadlines.
US President Obama recently demonstrated on Buzzfeed just how easy it is to vote: easier than making a friendship bracelet, easier than untangling a pair of headphones and definitely easier than naming all the dead characters from Game of Thrones.
Voting abroad, too, has become easier than ever. (See our infographic, below.) All US citizens can now receive ballots electronically, and many states do the whole process by email. Depending on the state in which you are eligible to vote, you may get your ballot by email, fax or through a website. How you send it back also depends on which state, territory or other citizenship you may have. Here’s an outline of the process and a state-by-state guide (plus territories and citizens who have never resided in the US). There’s no reason not to flex your right this November.
Step one: Register and request absentee
To begin, go to FVAP.gov to complete and submit your new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) electronically, which acts as both a registration and absentee ballot request form. You can also fill out the PDF online or pick up a hard copy version from your nearest consulate, US Embassy or from an overseas US citizen civic or political group.
If you request an electronic delivery and include your email address or fax number, you’ll receive your blank ballot 45 days before the general election. Most states now have voter registration verification websites, and many offer a way of tracking the status of your registration and ballot.
Step two: Returning your ballot
In order to return your filled-in ballot, either return your ballot online, put your ballot in the mail with appropriate international postage, or drop off your ballot at your closest US Embassy or consulate, though it must be addressed to your local election officials and have sufficient postage or be in a postage-paid envelope (a postage-paid envelope is available on the FVAP web site). If you are short on time or your local mail is unreliable, you can use professional courier services such as FedEx, DHL or UPS.
If you have not received your requested state absentee ballot in a timely manner, you can fill out the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), fill out the PDF form and send it directly to your election office, or pick up a hard copy version from your nearest US Embassy or consulate. The PDF package even includes a pre-addressed and postage paid label! But don’t forget a security envelope.
Click on over to AmCham for a complete state-by-state guide to voting in the coming election.