Back To School @ Ballot 101: Request, Send In and Track Your Ballot for the important Midterm Elections!

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 on Nov 8, 2022, you can vote in the upcoming elections.

 If you have an immediate concern, help is always available by emailing [email protected].

As a U.S. citizen, you can register to vote from abroad while living, studying, 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 in most cases).

Below you'll find an overview of the entire process of voting from abroad, including:

  1. how to register to vote and request your ballot
  2. how to confirm your request has been accepted
  3. how and when should you receive your ballot
  4. vote your ballot
  5. how to return your ballot
  6. confirm your ballot's arrival
  7. what to do if you encounter difficulties
  8. get your "I Voted from Ireland" Stickers

 Please note that there is NO IN-PERSON VOTING ABROAD for the November election!

1.) Register to vote and request your ballot 📝

Visit www.votefromabroad.org to fill out your FPCA absentee ballot request — 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 the United States Postal Service (USPS), we strongly encourage you to request that your absentee ballot be sent via email.  Most requests can be sent electronically, including those that require a signature – and using our PDF tool you don’t even need a printer! 

Watch a video on how to use www.votefromabroad.org in English 

Once you've filled out the form on www.votefromabroad.org, you must submit it to your local election office in the United States. While some states allow the FPCA to be submitted online via Vote from Abroad, others require a scanned or hard copy (the website will provide instructions based on the state you're voting in). If your state requires that you submit your FPCA by postal mail, please use expedited delivery with a courier (read about our discount with FedEx below). 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, type your question in the website's chatbox (red circle in the bottom right-hand corner), or send an email to [email protected]org.

 

2.) Confirm your request has been accepted and that you will receive a ballot ☑️

You should always verify with your local election official (LEO) that you will be receiving a ballot. After you send in your FPCA request form, call or email your LEO to verify they received it and will be sending a blank ballot to you. Your LEO's contact information is listed in the instructions generated when you complete the FPCA on Vote from Abroad. You can also look up their contact info here. 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."

 

3.) Receive your ballot 📧

Under the MOVE Act, all states must send absentee ballots to overseas voters no later than 45 days before a federal election (this year: September 24, 2022).

If you requested a ballot and have not received it, please contact your LEO and submit a backup ballot known as a  Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). You can also contact Democrats Abroad if you need help. There's no downside to submitting an FWAB. But you should also send your official ballot as soon as you receive it. All details about the FWAB can be found here.

 

4.) Information about candidates, ballot initiatives, and judicial candidates 🗳️

It’s very important to vote your ballot completely, but not all ballots will include state and local elections (depending on your status as a voter likely or not likely to return to the US).  A reminder as well that there are no tax implications of voting for Federal offices (President/VP/USSenate/USRepresentative) but there could be implications of voting in State and Local elections.  If you are worried about your tax status, focus on voting in Federal Elections Only.  Need some insight on state and local elections?   Some elected positions do not have a party affiliation directly associated with the party, like school boards, judges, and others. To determine who to vote for in those cases, you can do the following: 

  • Google your county's local Democratic Party
  • League of Women Voters offers a personalized ballot service at https://www.vote411.org/ballot. You can learn where candidates running for office in your community stand on the issues. You can print or email the information to use as a reference when you vote. 
  • Google: Ballotpedia "your state" elections 2022 - Example: Ballotpedia Florida elections 2022
  • You can Google the candidate's name to find their campaign website and information about each person.

 

5.) Return your ballot 🗳️

Once you've received your ballot, fill it out and return it immediately. Ballot return methods vary by state (online, email, postal mail, 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. Please note that some states that allow email or fax returns require that the ballot be sent by postal mail, too.

New York Voters: Here are instructions on How to fold the New York State General Election ballot.

Need help scanningWatch this video on how to scan using your smartphone.

If you don't have a scanning app on your phone, you can use Adobe Scan mobile app for iPhone & Android

If your state requires postal mail ballot return, the best option at this point is to take your ballot to a post office and book DHL ExpressYou must ask for a postmark or date stamp to be placed on the outer envelope.

We do not recommend booking or paying online with any courier service. You will not receive a postmark if you book or pay online.

Even with expedited courier services, ballots still take several days to get to the United States. You must send it as soon as possible! Do not wait. Too much is on the line!


Regardless of how you send in your ballot, remember that you (the voter) must be the one who places it in the mail. In some states, it is unlawful for any other person to handle your voted ballot, even if it is sealed.

And when filling out your ballot and packaging your ballot, don't forget to review the instructions carefully. Don't let human error spoil your ballot! 

 

6.) Confirm your ballot arrival at your local election office in the United States

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. You can find these by Googling "[your state] ballot tracking." You can also look up your local election office's contact details here and try to contact them directly. They are experiencing an influx of calls, so you will likely need to remain persistent to get through to someone. 

 

7.) 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]org.

 

8.) "I Voted from Ireland" Stickers

As a small thank you for your civic engagement, we think you should celebrate.  We are happy to link you to your own  "I Voted from Ireland" sticker free of charge. Request yours here today: CLICK HERE FOR STICKER

Now, Keep this email handy and use it as a reference as you await your ballot to return and as you potentially help other voters along!  Thanks for your participation -- We have a lot of work ahead.  Please join us.  Stay Strong.  Together, we win.  

The DA Ireland Excom