All registered US voters are eligible to vote by absentee ballot while studying abroad or temporarily living in a location other than their permanent residence.
If you would like to vote in a U.S. election while you are studying abroad or pursuing a domestic internship in a location other than where you are registered to vote, you must register to have an absentee ballot sent to you at your current local address. Every state has slightly different requirements on absentee voting and you should visit the Federal Absentee Voting website for complete information.
For students who will be abroad, most states require you to complete an absentee ballot application to start the absentee voting process. FVAP encourages the use of the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to start the absentee voting process as it is standardized for use across all States and will extend your eligibility to receive a ballot for all Federal elections for at least one calendar year. The FPCA acts as both a registration and absentee ballot request form. FVAP encourages overseas citizen voters to submit a new FPCA every year and when they move.
It only takes a few quick steps to make sure your vote is counted no matter where you are in the world. The FPCA can be easily completed by using the FPCA online assistant, filling out the PDF or picking up a hardcopy version from your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate location.
- Complete and sign the FPCA using your State's instructions. Find your state's instructions here.
- Fold and seal your FPCA. If using the online FPCA, print, sign and put it in an envelope. You qualify for free postage if you use the approved envelope template.
- Address and mail the FPCA to your local election official. Be sure to include your return address and affix postage if using a foreign postal service.