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 Portugal 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 Portugal.
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 CTT, the Portuguese 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. Embassy in Portugal requests that ballots sent by the diplomatic post be dropped off no later than four weeks before the ballot due date. There is no guarantee that your ballot will be delivered on time if you choose the diplomatic pouch. 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. Again, there is no guarantee that your ballot will be delivered on time. 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 Portugal is:
U.S. Embassy Lisbon
Avenida das Forças Armadas
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.
DA Portugal is working to arrange with DHL a discount for ballots to be returned to the U.S. We'll share the specific details here as soon as they've been set. Stay tuned!
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? 😕
10. Get your "I Voted from Portugal" sticker
Thank you for voting! If you would like to print an “I Voted from Portugal” sticker go here.
Democrats Abroad Portugal is thrilled to present a “Road to Victory” wine tasting and discussion with leaders from the Democratic National Committee and the Democrats Abroad global organization. Join DNC Vice Chair Ken Martin, Democrats Abroad International Chair Candice Kerestan , Eastern Regional Director of the Association of State Democratic Committees Jarryd Rauch, and our DA Portugal leadership to learn more about how Democrats in the US and abroad are working to secure big victories in November! DA Portugal leaders will share how you can get involved in helping to ensure that the midterm elections are a huge success for Democrats at every level. The gathering will be on August 15 at 7 PM. All US citizens in Portugal are welcome to attend - you do not need to be a member!
For more information or to RSVP please visit the event page.
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