14 Reasons to Vote as an Expat Living Abroad

Frequent contributor to the DA Spain blog, Jennifer K. Riggins gives us 14 reasons why all expats should vote from abroad.

DID YOU KNOW that American adults living abroad get to vote on Super Tuesday March 1, regardless of home state?! Like a state unto itself, we have a shared set of obstacles and values, and we have a shared set of 21 representative delegates the Democratic National Convention come July.

14 Reasons you should vote as an Expat instead of your home state

If you are from one the uber early three or four states, I’d actually say you’d be crazy not to vote there, and if you’re just planning to live abroad for a couple months backpacking across Europe or Asia, you may feel more connected with your home state, so I’d say stick with that and go to VoteFromAbroad.org or search for your County Clerk and just Vote By Mail. But if you are one of the more than 8.7 million Americans living abroad, you’d be crazy not to vote like one in a united voting bloc with a united voice! Here are just a few sets of reasons:

  1. Voting is a super cool thing to do.

  2. It’s your responsibility as an American citizen.

  3. It reconnects you with your sense of pride and patriotism.

  4. Voting on March 1 gives you a chance to act like an early state.

  5. If you were just going to vote by mail anyway, why not do it with us?

  6. And, since most candidates are chosen by day’s end Super Tuesday, so you want to have a say in selecting the candidate right?

  7. It gives you a better sense of feeling connected with your representation and your fellow foreign land constituents.

  8. American and Eritrea (one of the poorest countries in the world) stand out as countries that still require their citizens living abroad to file and even often pay taxes. That means we’re paying these politicians so they better listen to us!

  9. We have different priorities than those of our home state.

  10. We share a bond with fellow Americans living overseas.

  11. Us and our partners are more directly affected by debates on immigration and laws like fiance visas and rights for our kids’ citizenship.

  12. We are subject to being thrown in with our country’s poltics which make international headlines every day, so we sure as heck better participate in it.

  13. If you live in a country without democracy, it’s especially important you take advantage of this opportunity to be a great example.

  14. In fact, you even have the opportunity to vote in person, which is really just super fun! Countries with physical polling stations open the first week of March, 2016 are listed at the end of this piece with a link to voting centers and times.


How do you go about voting on March 1, 2016?

Step One: Join DemocratsAbroad.org. It’s a simple Twitter, Facebook or email login, which you can do ahead or at the physical polling stations right when you’re voting.

Step Two: Vote! This can be in person between March 1 and March 8, 2016 at a polling place in a major city in at least 40 different countries. If you are voting in person, bring your U.S. Passport or state I.D. Or

If you still want to Vote by Mail, come on do it right now! You just have to Print the first page of your ballot, Fill it All Out, SIGN IT, and Mail or Email it in. All the information to Vote by Mail as a part of Democrats Abroad can be found here: http://bit.ly/1p5Uywq

Step Three: Maybe this should be Step One, but Tell Your Friends! The fact that Democrats living abroad have their own primary and delegates is still an underground fact — we want to tell it to the world! Go ahead and share this article or just drag your American friends with you next week!

Step Four: Don’t vote anywhere else in the primary! One voter, one vote rules apply. You can certainly participate in your state’s primary for Congress and any local elections, just like you vote with your state in the General Presidential Election on November 8, 2016, but you can only vote in one primary, so, likewise, if you already sent in your Primary Vote with your home state, you can’t vote in this one.

Note: Sadly, this option is only available to Democrats. The GOP doesn’t offer the same opportunity. Since we believe it’s mutually beneficial to all the 8.7 million Americans living abroad to vote as expats, not as members of our state, we recommend any Republicans living abroad to bug your party and representatives so that in four years you can have delegates with your special interests at heart too!


Physical polling place locations, dates and times to vote near you!