If you're a U.S. citizen or dual-national abroad, you have the right to vote from abroad in the 2022 midterm elections and every election. If you are or will be 18 years old on November 8, 2022, you can vote in the upcoming elections.
As a U.S. citizen, you can register to vote from abroad while living, working, or traveling overseas by submitting one form, the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). It doesn't matter if you were registered to vote before you left the U.S. or how long you have lived outside the U.S. (including if you've never resided there).
Below you'll find an overview of the entire process of voting from Brazil including how to:
- Register and Request a Ballot
- Confirm and Receive a Ballot
- Vote and Return a Ballot
- Track a Ballot
Questions along the way? Here to help!
Contact [email protected] at any time with your questions on any stage of the process.
Before you begin ...
Please note! If your state requires you to mail in (vs fax or email) your voted ballot - check your state requirements here - then make sure to factor enough postal or courier time to meet the deadline. Ensure your voted ballot becomes a counted ballot.
1. Register to vote and request your ballot
Visit www.votefromabroad.org to fill out your absentee ballot request also known as the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)— it only takes 5-10 minutes! If you're not registered to vote, the FPCA also serves as a voter registration form. Given the uncertainty surrounding postal service, we strongly encourage you to request that your absentee ballot be sent via email.
Watch a video on how to use www.votefromabroad.org Watch Here
Every state is different! State deadlines and submission methods can be found here.
If you have any questions while filling out the form, you can also always refer to Vote from Abroad's FAQ section here. Type your question in the website's chat box (red circle in the bottom right-hand corner), or send an email to [email protected]
2. Confirm your request has been accepted and that you will receive a ballot
Confirm your ballot
You should always verify with your local election official that you will be receiving a ballot. After you submit your Federal Post Card Application request form, call or email your local election official to verify they received it and will be sending a blank ballot to you. You can look up their contact info here.
The contact information is also listed in the instructions generated when you complete the FPCA on Vote from Abroad. Alternatively, most states provide a website where you can verify your voter status, although these sites can sometimes be outdated. You can find it by searching for "[state] verify voter registration."
Receive your ballot
All states must send absentee ballots to overseas voters no later than 45 days before a federal election (MOVE Act.) This year: September 24, 2022.
---> Tip: For states requiring mail back ballots, you don't need to wait for ballots to come out on September 24. If you must mail back your ballot, we recommend you send in a Backup Ballot NOW.
The Backup Ballot (the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot or FWAB) is specifically for overseas voters who are concerned they won't receive their official ballot in time to return it by the deadline.
All details about the Backup Ballot can be found here
When it's time for ballots to come and you don't see yours, check your spam folder -- ballots can hide in there! If you still don't see it, please contact your local election official and confirm they sent your ballot out. You can look up your local election oficial’s contact info here.
If you don't have your ballot by October 1 and you must mail it back, we recommend you send in a Backup Ballot to make sure your vote gets to your state in time. All details about the Backup Ballot can be found here.
3. Vote and Return your ballot
Once you've received your ballot make sure to read the instructions carefully on where to sign and how to fill-in bubbles / boxes or writing in a candidate name.
*** Return your ballot ASAP ***
Ballot return methods vary by state
Carefully check your state’s guidelines on return via online, email, postal mail and/or fax. Especially if your state only allows postal mail return — which is the case in many swing states like Michigan, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin — you must return your ballot as quickly as possible.
Check your state's exact ballot return methods here. If your state allows email or fax ballot returns, please use these options as they’re not subject to delay. Here is more information on fax submission here.
---> Tip: New Jersey Voters - Please note that New Jersey allows for email or fax returns, but also requires that the ballot be sent by postal mail, too.
---> Tip: New York Voters - Here are instructions on How to fold the New York State General Election ballot.
Returning your ballot via mail
Private Carrier: If your state requires postal mail ballot return, the best options are:
- Take your ballot to a post office or book a private mail carrier. Links with full information check the links to FedEx Spain here and DHL Spain here.
- Spanish post offices also provide express international mail options. The Premium option which guarantees delivery date and allows tracking is recommended. Check Correos Spain Abroad here
Important: You must ask for a postmark or date stamp to be placed on the outer envelope when mailing using any service.
---> Tip: Check your state’s deadline for ballot return and count backwards to ensure timely delivery. The postmark date is important to ensure your ballot is counted!
---> Tip: Even with expedited courier services, ballots still take several days to get to the United States.
Returning your ballot via diplomatic pouch:
If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or through the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona, or the Consular Agencies in Spain:
- If you are sending your ballot through the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, ballots can be dropped off at the American Citizen Services unit between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., except for U.S. and local holidays
- If you are sending your ballot through the U.S. Consulate General Barcelona, ballots can be dropped off at the Consulate General between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., except for U.S. and local holidays.
- If you are sending your ballot through one of the U.S. consular agencies, send an email to the agency located closest to you to schedule an appointment.
- A list of U.S. and local holidays during which our offices are closed is available here.
Please be aware that using the diplomatic pouch does not mean your ballot will arrive faster. It can take up to four weeks for the mail to reach its final destination. Therefore, we do not recommend using the diplomatic pouch after October 5th.
---> Tip: Regardless of how you send in your ballot, remember that you (the voter) must be the one who places it in the mail (or hands it over to the diplomatic pouch). In some states, it is unlawful for any other person to handle your voted ballot, even if it is sealed.
---> Tip: And when filling out your ballot and packaging your ballot, remember to review the instructions carefully. Don't let human error spoil your ballot!
4. Track your ballot
Once you've mailed your ballot, follow up with your local election official to make sure that it arrived and will be counted. Please do not just assume that your ballot has made it! Nearly all states have online tracking services. To find your state's website, click here and scroll down to "Track Your Ballot". On the same web page, you can also look up your local election office's contact details and try contacting them directly. They are experiencing an influx of calls, so you will likely need to remain persistent to get through to someone.
Having trouble? Need help?
We understand that the voting process from abroad can be confusing — that's why we're here to help.Send an email to [email protected]
Or, a one-on-one live voter help is just a Zoom away! Click in to ZoomTheVote, hosted and staffed by experienced VoteFromAbroad voter helpers, from anywhere in the world. Tuesdays and Wednesdays from noon-4pm EDT and Sundays from 11am-3pm EDT. Link to join is here: https://qrco.de/bbh0zg Please share widely!
Get your sticker! and share with friends! Download a digital sticker here.
Message from DA Spain Chair
It’s February, and I’m writing to you from my home state of Texas. Remarkably, it’s actually been cold here; we had an entire week of at- or below-freezing temperatures at night. (The electrical grid didn’t even threaten to collapse, which it actually did last winter, but Texans with cold weather PTSD have been quite twitchy for a few days.) Anyway, the cold inspired me to make a couple of batches of soup.
As I stood in our kitchen stirring a fragrant batch of bean soup, I recalled one of my favorite childhood books. Stone Soup told a story that resonates with what we are doing at Democrats Abroad Spain. In the book, three travelers enter a small village. The trio is hungry, but the villagers don’t have a lot of food to spare and are disinclined to offer a meal to them. The travelers say that is fine with them, as they can make their own delicious soup with a long spoon, a large stockpot, a nice fire, and three smooth stones. Curious, the villagers supply the pot, the water, and the fire. One of the travelers takes three stones from his pocket and pitches them into the water.
The water boils and the travelers stir the water and sniff the air. “Ah, this stone soup will be delicious!” cries one of the cooks. “Divine! Of course it would be better if we had some potatoes! But it will be fine just as it is.” A couple of villagers scratch their heads and think of a few spare potatoes they have squirreled away in their cottages. Deciding to take a chance, they run home, bring back the potatoes, and throw them into the pot.
“Even better!” exclaims the cook. And he’s right – the soup has a definite aroma now, and it’s pleasing to the nose. “This will be perfect! Alas, it would be more perfect if we had some carrots, but never mind!” Of course a couple of other villagers rush off to supply a couple of carrots, and ….You get the idea. Cue the tomatoes, beans, peas, meat, and seasonings. Everyone pitches in a little, and everyone happily feasts on the “stone soup” at the end.
Here at DA Spain, we make a lot of our own sort of soup together. Of course, our dishes aren’t liquid, and you can’t eat them, but they are important all the same. Members make a few phone banking calls – potatoes. Members staff tables at voter registration drives – carrots. Members use their social media platforms to talk up DA and tell others about how US citizens can vote from abroad – tomatoes. Members contribute small amounts to DA to help us pay for phone banks, mailouts, banners for our voter registration tables, and the myriad other items that enable us to connect with Americans abroad – beans. Again, you get the idea.
I’m grateful to every one of you who helps us fill the pot. And I hope each of you will consider adding to DA’s soup. We’re not the tricksters that our travelers were, so all we can do is assure you that whatever you choose to add, matters. Your efforts promote and safeguard democracy. And that’s a delicacy beyond compare.
So if you’re interested in volunteering or contributing, please take a few minutes to fill out the Volunteer Interest Form.
Thank you, and buen provecho!
Kathy Tullos (Chair)
Democrats Abroad Spain is undergoing a change in leadership. After dedicating substantial time, energy and leadership to our organization, Daniel James has reluctantly made the difficult decision of resigning as Country Committee Chair in order to focus on urgent family health issues. DA Spain thanks Daniel for his extraordinary dedication and immense contributions to our democratic mission. Under our bylaws, former Vice-Chair Kathryn Tullos has succeeded Daniel James as Chair. She is fortunate to be serving alongside an incredibly talented and dedicated Executive Committee.
The search is now on for a new Vice-Chair. Under our bylaws, in order to maintain gender parity, the new Vice-Chair must identify as male, nonbinary, intersex, or some other non-female designation because our Chair identifies as female. Candidates for the position must be members of DA Spain. The Chair appoints the new Vice-Chair, with the advice and consent of the Country Committee, at the upcoming Executive Committee meeting to be held on August 12. The newly-appointed Vice-Chair will serve out the remainder of this term (through early 2023). If you have an interest in this position or would like to nominate a candidate, please email [email protected].
DA Spain Women's Caucus says Hola!
Twenty people attended the preliminary organizational meeting of the Democrats Abroad Spain Women’s Caucus on March 18.
The meeting opened with participants’ introductions and a presentation by Ann Hesse, Chair of the DA Global Women’s Caucus (GWC). Ann provided a quick history of the GWC and laid out its three pillars: Education; Community Building; and Activism, particularly in the form of get-out-the-vote efforts. Approximately 10,000 women currently belong to the GWC. Over 300 of those members live in Spain.
Next up, moderator Andrea Host-Barth led the discussion, turning the focus to goals and organizational steps for a DA Spain Women’s Caucus. The Caucus intends to focus initially on providing education on environmental issues, and building community with small, local events. Members were encouraged to support the call-to-action initiatives already available on the GWC website.
The Caucus hopes to play two other roles as well. First, the Caucus can interact with the GWC, helping members in Spain and members of the worldwide group to share ideas and coordinate activities. Second, the DA Spain Women’s Caucus can serve as a template for creating Women’s Caucuses in other countries.
DA Spain’s Women’s Caucus is moving forward in its organizational process. The Caucus welcomes people of all genders as leaders, members, and volunteers.
Interested in starting your country women’s caucus? Send email to [email protected]
Women’s History Month has its Own History
By: Kathy Tullos
The Month has its origins in Santa Rosa, California, where a County Task Force designated the week beginning March 8, 1978 as Women’s History Week. The Task Force selected the date because March 8 is International Women’s Day. Other communities quickly followed suit.
By 1980 a consortium of women’s groups and historians formed the National Women’s History Project. The Project, which is now known as the National Women’s History Alliance, began to lobby at the federal level for designation of a national Women’s History Week. President Jimmy Carter responded by proclaiming March 2-8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week.Read more