back to top

Here's How You Vote From Overseas In The 2016 US Election

The world is watching the US election unfold with bated breath. If you have the privilege of affecting the outcome as an American living abroad, here's how to make your voice count.

Posted on

STEP 1: Find out if you’re registered

ABC News / Via

Like many things about American democracy -- this is a bit more complicated than it seems. You can check this website to see if your info comes up. If so, congrats! Proceed to Step 3.

If not, but you think you are, you can contact your county's Official Board of Elections to double check. Head to this website to find the contact info for your county.

STEP 2: Get registered

If you are definitely not registered yet, you should register through your state. (Or the last state in the US that either you or one of your parent/guardians resided). You will need your Driver's License Number OR the last four digits of your Social Security number.

You can find your state's website here.

STEP 3: Request your absentee ballot


This will be in the form of the FPCA that looks like the photo above. It’s a one page form that asks you for your information and your address in the states.

Either fill out the form online here, or by hand in black ink.

It will ask you for your preferred method of receiving your ballot. For the mail-delivery-service-inept millennials like us, we recommend you request your ballot via email to speed up the process.

STEP 4: Sign, seal, deliver


Triple check your voting residence address because this determines where you will be mailing your request and hence whether your vote will count. Your county will process and return your absentee ballot request.

Make sure your forms are signed and your handwriting is legible and in black ink.

Send your ballot request to your county or district election official. You can find the address here.

Here is an example envelope. Postage is only paid for if you are sending from the US, if not, you will have to pay to send the envelope internationally.

STEP 5: Find a mailbox, submit your ballot request and do the running man dance into the distance


Just don't forget to follow up. The hard part is over, but you haven't voted under your ballot is returned via mail or via email in the next few weeks. Call your local voting officials if you have any issues with receiving or returning your actual ballot.

This post was created by a member of BuzzFeed Community, where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!