This is a midterm election year — all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 35 of the 100 Senate seats, and 39 gubernatorial seats are up for grabs in November. U.S. citizens have the right to vote in primary and general elections, no matter where in the world they live! If you're a U.S. citizen, dual-national, or will be 18 on November 8, 2022, you have the right to vote from abroad in US elections — including in the November 2022 midterms!
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., how long you’ve lived outside the U.S., or if you've never resided in the U.S. at all. You have the right to vote!
The U.S. State Department recommends, “all U.S. citizens living abroad complete and submit a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) annually, to ensure you remain on your state’s voter rolls and to ensure your local election office has your up-to-date contact information.” Vote From Abroad provides all the information, forms, and support help in one place to make voting easy!
📌 Please note that there is NO IN-PERSON VOTING in Finland for the November election! 📌
✭ ✭ ✭ In 2022, these States must mail in the ballot. Vote as soon as you get your ballot! Don't wait to return your ballot! ✭ ✭ ✭
Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Go to www.votefromabroad.org/states for specific details
KEY POINTS FOR VOTING
- Request your overseas ballot now! www.votefromabroad.org
- Ask on the request form (FPCA) that your ballot be sent to you by email
- Submit your request form by email, if your state allows
- Return your voted ballot electronically (email, upload or fax), if your state allows
- If your state requires you to mail back your ballot:
- Request your ballot NOW, so you’ll receive it on Sept 24 when counties start sending overseas ballots out (45 days before the election)
- Download and vote your ballot as soon as you receive it
- Use the diplomatic pouch (by Oct 2nd) or use a courier service to sent it back
- Track your request form and your ballot
- Questions? [email protected]
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What's covered on this page:
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1. Registering to vote and requesting your ballot for the 2022 midterm elections
The first step is to request your ballot, and if need be, register to vote from abroad. You should do this every election year to ensure you remain on your state’s overseas voter rolls and to ensure your local election office has your up-to-date contact information. It’s important to register as an absentee voter from abroad because the ballots of US citizens voting from abroad have special protections and are different from the standard absentee ballot.
Go to votefromabroad.org to fill out your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) absentee ballot request — it takes 5-10 minutes! If you're not registered to vote, the FPCA also serves as a voter registration form. Choose the option to receive ballots by email.
The second step is to submit the FPCA absentee ballot request form to your local election office in the United States. Most states allow you to submit your FPCA directly from votefromabroad.org without the need to print it out. But some states require that you submit your completed form by email attachment, fax, or postal mail. State deadlines and submission methods can be found here.
If you have any questions while filling out your request form, go to the Vote from Abroad FAQ section or type your question in the website's chatbox (red circle in the bottom right-hand corner of each screen). Or you can email us at [email protected]
Watch a video on how to use www.votefromabroad.org in English
2. Confirming your request has been accepted ✅
After submitting your FPCA absentee ballot request form, call or email your Local Election Official (LEO) to confirm they have received it and will be sending your ballot. Your LEO's contact information is listed in the instructions generated when you fill out your FPCA form at Vote from Abroad. You can also look up their contact info here.
Most states provide a website where you can verify your voter status. To find your state's website, click here and scroll down to “Where Is My Ballot?"
3. Receiving your ballot 📬
Your overseas absentee ballot is not your standard absentee ballot back home! Thanks to the MOVE Act, all states must send FPCA-requested absentee ballots to overseas voters no later than 45 days before a federal election — this year that’s September 24, 2022.
And, if requested, all states must send overseas voters their ballot by email.
You don't need to wait for ballots to arrive on September 24. If you're worried your ballot won't arrive on time, send in a Backup Ballot NOW. The Backup Ballot (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.
4. Your ballot hasn’t arrived? 📭
Check your spam folder. Still no ballot? Contact your local election official here and confirm they’ve sent your ballot to you. Go to votefromabroad.org if you need to send in a new FPCA absentee ballot request form.
If you haven’t received your ballot by October 1 and your state requires postal mail return, 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.
5. Voting your ballot 🗳️
It’s easy to get informed about candidates, ballot initiatives, and judicial candidates and important to vote your ballot completely. State and local races are critical in 2022!
The simplest way is to vote for Democrats straight down the ballot. Some elected positions do not list a party affiliation, 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
- Go to the League of Women Voters personalized ballot service
- Go to Ballotpedia - Example: google “Ballotpedia Arizona elections 2022”
- Google the candidate's name to find their campaign website
6. There are lots of ways to return your ballot!
📌 Remember! Only use a mail service if you cannot return your ballot electronically 📌
Ballot return methods – by email, online, postal mail, fax – vary by state. Always return your ballot as quickly as possible, but especially if your state only allows postal mail return. Find your state's exact ballot return methods here.
If your state allows email, online upload or fax for ballot return, please use these options as they’re not subject to delay! Here is more information on fax submission.
If your state requires postal mail return, see info below on options from Austria.
New Jersey Voters: Please note that New Jersey allows for email or fax returns, but requires that the ballot ALSO be sent by postal mail.
New York Voters: Here are instructions on How to fold the New York State General Election ballot.
Need help scanning your ballot?
Watch 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
➡ International Postal Service:
If your state requires postal mail ballot return, one option is to use express international mail from the Finnish Postal Service. Please remember mail service can be slow and send your ballot as soon as possible!
You should – and some states require you – to ask for a postmark or date stamp to be placed on the outer envelope. Find out your state’s requirements here.
➡ The U.S. Embassy/Consulate diplomatic pouch: The U.S. Consulate in Finland requests that ballots sent by the diplomatic post be dropped off no later than four weeks before the ballot due date. You will need to place your ballots in a U.S. postage paid return envelopes (usually provided with your ballot) or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage. You can download a free U.S. postage-paid return envelope template at FVAP.gov.
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. Use a Back-up Ballot to make the diplomatic pouch deadline if your regular ballot hasn’t arrived. Find out more here.
The U.S. Consulate address in Finland is:
U.S. Embassy Helsinki
00140 Helsinki, Finland
Hours: Weekdays between 8am and 4pm. (Closed U.S. and Finnish holidays)
More information is on the website.
➡ Courier Service:
If your state requires postal mail ballot return, the quickest option is to use a courier service.
Even with expedited courier services though, ballots still take several days to get to the United States. Please send your ballot as soon as possible! Do not wait! You should – and some states require you – ask for a postmark or date stamp to be placed on the outer envelope. Find out your state’s requirements here. We do not recommend booking or paying online with any courier service. You will not receive a postmark if you book or pay online.
📌 Remember! Only use a mail service if you cannot return your ballot electronically 📌
7. Checking twice to prevent mistakes 👀
When filling out and packaging your ballot, don't forget to review the instructions carefully. Don't let human error spoil your ballot!
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. Unsure? Find out your state’s requirements here.
8. Confirming your ballot's arrival at your local election office in the United States ✓✓
Once you've sent 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!
The easiest way to ensure your ballot has arrived is to go to "Track Your Ballot" on your state’s website. You can also look up your local election office's contact details here and contact them directly. They may be experiencing a high volume of calls, so you may need to be persistent to get through to someone.
9. Having trouble? Need help? 😕
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!
⛽️ 🔌 Fall is in the air here in Finland, as we hunker down in preparation for exorbitant energy price hikes for winter, thanks to our bellicose Russian neighbors. Promise of Olkiluoto 3 nuclear energy relief by year end is still uncertain, unfortunately. Sanna Marin has been making headlines around the world, with feminist support emerging globally, even from the likes of Hilary Clinton. And President Biden plans to establish a new ambassador-at-large position focused on the Arctic region, which of course includes Finland, because of the growing strategic importance of the region geo-politically.
☔️ 🔥The U.S. and rest of the world continue to experience catastrophic climate events, with floods ravaging many states and countries. The Inflation Reduction Act has now been signed into law, set to drop the federal deficit, lower the price of drug prices for Medicare recipients, and put nearly $400 billion in resources toward climate change mitigation.
⚖️ 💪 Also embedded in the IRA, is text which amends the Clean Air Act, defining carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels as an air pollutant. The EPA may therefore again have jurisdiction to regulate greenhouse gases and support adaption of various alternative energies. That power had been stripped by the June Supreme Court decision in W. Virginia vs the EPA. Good news indeed! Similarly, New York state just circumvented a Supreme Court decision in June, which prevented them from imposing stricter gun laws in the state, by voting on new legislation coming into effect this week.
🗽 Other positive news includes the victory of Mary Peltola (D) over Sarah Palin in Alaska (R) for a special congressional election. Peltola is not only the first Democrat sent to Washington in 50 years, but the first Naive American to represent her state. Her Finnish name reflects her current husband’s roots, by the way.
🎉 Encouraging legislative news also includes the new Chips and Science Act, a veterans bill which expands medical coverage for those exposed to toxic burn pits, and finally Biden’s promise to forgive up to $20,000 in student loans for those most in need.
🗳 Democrats are indeed working hard to bring solutions to the nation. Let’s take all the legislative wins to the bank this November for the midterms. Things are looking up, but we need all hands-on-deck to (re)elect Democrats up and down the ballot. To meet the enormous challenges ahead, we MUST hold the House and expand the Senate in November! If you haven’t registered to vote, file now at votefromabroad.org. You are also needed and welcome to participate with us in getting out the vote and organizing at this critical time. Let us know if you have any problems or questions at [email protected]
DA FINLAND ACTIVITIES
☎️ Democrats Abroad is conducting phone banking campaigns across the world to ensure all our members are getting registered. If you haven’t heard from us yet, we will continue making calls through October to help and guide all of you as you prepare for the November midterms.
🎓 We will also begin doing student outreach at high schools and colleges throughout the country and would be grateful for some volunteers!
HELP SPREAD THE WORD AND THE VOTE FOR THE MIDTERMS!
🙏 Please take some time today to make sure every American abroad in your networks has requested their 2022 ballot! You can:
-Create a personalized post on social media about voting from abroad: where, why, or how you vote. Be sure to include www.votefromabroad.org! 💻📣
-Share a DA and/or VFA post about overseas voting on your social media channels. 📱🌎
-Comment on relevant posts from DA Finland, fellow state parties, journalists, celebrities, etc. about the fact that U.S. citizens abroad can vote. Be sure to include www.votefromabroad.org! 📰⌨️
-Write to at least five contacts abroad and make sure they’ve requested their ballots – and encourage them to reach out to their networks as well! 🖋️✉️
-Help our CallHub campaign by volunteering for phone banking. Go to www.democratsabroad.org/phonebanking ☎️✅
PLEASE volunteer to phone bank for the 2022 election cycle. Training videos and live training sessions are available. It is easy, fun and gratifying…so sign up and let us know you’re available. Here is a link!
We'd love help with student voter outreach for the midterms at high schools with Americans kids turning 18 by November 8th and at colleges and universities around Finland. Contact us at [email protected] for more info.
We are actively looking for assistance with DA Finland social media, Facebook and Instagram. Are you or your older kids Insta users and interested in homing your skills for the good of democracy?? Get involved and learn more about what we do! Please give us a holler.
You can also consider getting involved with caucuses here in Finland or globally. Democrats Abroad has a wide range of caucuses that are mobilizing to keep you informed and to give you a voice. Please check out democratsabroad.org/caucuses to join these and many other enriching DA groups.
DA EVENTS GLOBALLY AND LOCALLY
There are wonderful events taking place in Democrats Abroad virtually around the world, from book clubs to prominent speakers, caucus events, and more. DA Germany is also hosting a terrific in person Octoberfest event for all members once again this year, after a two year covid hiatus. To RSVP for this and many other events, and for a complete list of global happenings, check out the link https://www.democratsabroad.org/events .
MONTHLY SOCIAL GATHERING
We will be holding Drinking Liberally on Tuesday, September 6th at 6:00 pm, at our usual Bruuveri Pub at Kamppi Center, Helsinki. Weather permitting, we will be seated on the terrace, but you never know this time of the year. Please join us to share a beer or just a chat about our fears, ideas, or bits of good news in these unsettled times.
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