Democrats Abroad invites YOU to participate in an alumni outreach campaign to help encourage democratic participation by students studying abroad during the Fall 2022 semester. Our goal is to have members reach out to their alma mater(s) and make sure they’re providing accurate and current information about registering to vote to students while they're abroad.
Here’s How to Get Started
- Find your alma mater's study abroad office
The easiest way to do this is simply search “[name of university] + Study Abroad Office” – there will be a contact person or email listed on the website; this will be your target!
- Personalize the email template (see below)
We encourage participants to personalize the introductory portion of the email template below. It is important that we show the universities that it is personally important to their alumni that students studying abroad exercise their democratic rights. The more personal, the more likely a response!
- Send the email from a personal email account and wait for a response!
Should you have any questions that you don’t feel comfortable answering, please forward them to [email protected] and a voter assistance volunteer will help.
- Let us know what happens next!
Please record whatever you hear back at www.democratsabroad.org/almamaterfeedback. If you don’t hear anything after a week has passed, please reach out to the contact again. If you still do not receive a reply, let us know that, too!
Dear [Contact Name/Study Abroad Office],
I am [author’s name], an [alumnus/alumna] of [UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE, Class of XXXX], currently living in [CITY, COUNTRY]. From my own experience, I know how difficult it can be for U.S. citizens to vote while living or studying abroad, which is why I work with a group of trained volunteers who help U.S. citizens abroad register to vote and request and submit their absentee ballots.
As an [alumnus/alumna], I want to do all I can to support current students participating in our democracy wherever they may be in the world. Could you tell me what information, if any, students going abroad receive about voting while outside the country?
I’ve added a brief informative statement below, in case it is of any use! We are also happy to provide posters in a PDF format that can be printed out for distribution.
Thank you for your support of our democracy.
With kind regards,
Useful Information on Voting from Abroad
Voting while studying abroad can seem like a challenge, but there are several ways to ensure that students are able to exercise their democratic rights by being registered and able to vote in federal, state, and local elections!
Registering or updating your registration to vote from abroad differs from voting as an in-state absentee voter. Registering to vote from abroad guarantees the right to receive ballots 45 days before elections and via email rather than by post (a requirement in many states). This greatly eases the return process and any potential delays due to the international postal system.
Requesting an overseas ballot only takes a few minutes. Voters simply need to fill out the one page Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). We encourage voters to use our platform https://students.votefromabroad.org, a user-friendly English and Spanish language non-partisan service that offers FAQs as well as state-by-state registration guides. The site also offers a photo signature option that allows most voters to submit the form via their phone or computer without having to print it out. Alternatively, students can fill out the FPCA at www.fvap.gov and then print, sign and email or mail a copy of the form to their local election official.
Volunteers at https://students.votefromabroad.org are encouraged to train as Voting Assistance Officers through the Federal Voting Assistance Program, run by the U.S. government. This is the same training that military officers and members of the Foreign Service undergo, ensuring that our volunteers are well-equipped to assist students studying abroad with their questions or any problems that may arise.
For questions regarding voting from abroad or about the Vote From Abroad platform, please do not hesitate to contact us at: [email protected].