Voting

Introduction
Overseas Americans – estimated at 9 million by the US State department – have had the right to vote in Federal elections since 1975 thanks to grassroots campaigning by citizens and organizations, particularly Democrats Abroad. Since that time, it's become clear that a theoretical right to vote does not necessarily translate into an effective reality. Each state has different procedures and deadlines, information distribution is difficult, and mail delivery times can be problematic.

Great strides have been made in recent years. More overseas Americans than ever before who wish to vote are able to do so. Congress passed important legislation both protecting and facilitating overseas citizens' ability to vote. Online registration tools like Vote From Abroad at www.votefromabroad.org have made it even easier to send a yearly request for ballot required by the law. 

DA Voting Leadership:

Heidi Burch
| DA Canada Executive Vice Chair/Global GOTV Co-Chair
Eileen Weinberg
| DA Switzerland / Global GOTV Co-Chair
See all Leaders



  • News

    September Primaries

    Massachusetts, Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York

    Overseas voters can participate in the 2018 Democratic Primary Elections and impact the ideological direction of the party through the nomination of candidates.

    What is on the Primary Ballot

    Massachusetts: Tuesday, September 4, 2018 — Federal office candidates for U.S. Senate (incumbent Democrat Elizabeth Warren) and U.S. House; Statewide office candidates for Governor of Massachusetts (currently Republican Charles D. Baker), Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Senate and House. Massachusetts has a hybrid primary that allows those voters not registered in a party to participate and remain unaffiliated. 

    Delaware: Thursday, September 6, 2018 — Federal offices for U.S. Senate (incumbent Democrat Tom Carper) and U.S. House. State offices are Attorney General, State Senate and House. Delaware has a vulnerable Democratic trifecta since 2008.

    New Hampshire: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 — Federal office candidates for U.S. House; State office candidates for Governor (sitting governor Republican Chris Sununu is not seeking re-election in 2018), State Senate and House. New Hampshire has a hybrid primary system, that allows unaffiliated voters to choose a party before voting. New Hampshire has a Republican trifecta since 2011

    Rhode Island: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 — Federal office candidates for U.S. Senate (incumbent Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse) and U.S. House; Statewide office candidates for Governor (currently Democrat Gina Raimondo) and Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Senate and House. Rhode Island has a hybrid primary that allows unaffiliated voters to choose to affiliate with a party and vote in the primary. Rhode Island has a Democratic trifecta since 2013.

    New York: Thursday, September 13, 2018 — State Primary Election will determine candidates for Governor (currently Democrat Andrew Cuomo is seeking a third term) and Lt. Governor of New York, Attorney General, Comptroller, State Senate and State Assembly. The New York Federal Primary was held on June 26, 2018.

     

    * Overseas voters from New York who indicate they "intend to return" may vote in New York's state elections.

    Hybrid primary – Voters affiliated with a political party can vote in that party's primary, and unaffiliated voters may choose a party primary.

    Trifecta – when one political party holds the governorship, a majority in the state senate, and a majority in the state house in a state's government.

     

    Questions about the primary?

    Take a look at our Primary Elections FAQ.

     

    read more

    August 21 - 28 Primaries

    Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Guam, Wyoming

    Overseas voters can participate in the 2018 Democratic Primary Elections and impact the ideological direction of the party through the nomination of candidates.

    Tuesday, August 21 – Alaska and Wyoming
    Saturday, August 25 – Guam
    Tuesday, August 28 – Arizona and Florida

     

    What is on the Primary Ballot

    Alaska — Federal office candidates for the U.S. House At-large District. Statewide office candidates for Governor (currently Independent Bill Walker), Lieutenant Governor, State Senate and State House.

    Arizona — Federal office candidates for the U.S. Senate (incumbent Republican Jeff Flake not seeking re-election) and U.S. House. Statewide office candidates for Governor (incumbent Depublican Doug Ducey), Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, Supreme Court, State Senate and State House. Arizona has a Republican state government trifecta since 2009.

    Florida — Federal office candidates for the U.S. Senate (incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson) and U.S. House. Statewide office candidates for Governor (incumbent Republican Rick Scott is term-limited), Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Supreme Court, State Senate and State House

    Guam — Candidates for federal non-voting delegate to the U.S. House. Territory office candidates for Governor (incumbent Republican Governor Eddie Baza Calvo is term-limited), Attorney General and all fifteen members of the territorial legislature.

    Wyoming — Federal office candidates for U.S. Senate (incumbent Republican John Barrasso) and U.S. House At-large District. Statewide office candidates for Wyoming Governor (incumbent Republican Matt Mead is term-limited), Secretary of State, Treasurer, Supreme Court and Wyoming House. Wyoming has a Republican state government trifecta since 2011.

    *Overseas voters from Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming who indicate they "intend to return" are eligible to vote in state and local elections.

     

    Questions about the primary?

    Take a look at our Primary Elections FAQ.

    Find dates of other 2018 Primary Elections.

     

    read more

    August 11 and August 14 Primaries

    Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Vermont, Wisconsin

    Overseas voters can participate in the 2018 Democratic Primary Elections and impact the ideological direction of the party through the nomination of candidates.

    Saturday, August 11 – Hawaii 
    Tuesday, August 14 – Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin State Primaries

     

    What is on the Primary Ballot

    Connecticut — Federal office candidates for U.S. Senate (incumbent Democrat Chris Murphy) and U.S. House. Statewide office candidates for Governor (currently Democrat Dan Malloy is not seeking a third term), Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Senate and State House. Connecticut has a Democratic state government trifecta since 2011 rated vulnerable.

    Hawaii — Federal office candidates for U.S. Senate (incumbent Democrat Mazie Hirono) and U.S. House. Statewide office candidates for Governor (incumbent Democrat David Ige), State Senate and State House. Hawaii uses an open primary system. Hawaii has a Democratic state government trifecta since 2010.

    Minnesota — Federal office candidates for U.S. Senate (incumbent Democrat Amy Klobuchar), U.S. House and Special Primary Election for Minnesota's other Senate seat. Statewide office candidates for Governor (incumbent Democrat Mark Dayton), Attorney General, State Secretary of State, State Senate, State House and State Supreme Court. Minnesota uses an open primary system.

    Vermont — Federal office candidates for U.S. Senate (incumbent Independent Bernie Sanders) and for the state's At-Large Congressional District. Statewide office candidates for Governor (currently Republican Phillip Scott), Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Senate and State House. Vermont uses an open primary system.

    Wisconsin — Federal office candidates for U.S. Senate (incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin) and U.S. House. Statewide office candidates for Governor (incumbent Republican Scott Walker), Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, State Secretary of State, State Senate, State Assembly and State Supreme Court. Wisconsin uses an open primary system.

     

    * Overseas voters from Connecticut, Minnesota and Wisconsin who indicate they "intend to return" may vote in state and local elections.

    Open primary – an election in which registered voters need not be members of a party to vote for the party's nominee.

     

    Questions about the primary?

    Take a look at our Primary Elections FAQ.

    Find dates of other 2018 Primary Elections.

     

    read more

    FPCA Protections for Voters Abroad

    Why should I send an FPCA as an overseas voter, rather than using a regular in-state absentee ballot request?

    We strongly recommend that all overseas voters submit the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to let your Local Election Official know you are living and voting from abroad. The FPCA is only one page and acts like an address update--but it also provides significant advantages that are only available to overseas voters:

    1. An FPCA sent in the calendar year of an election, protects your ballot at the federal level in case of a recount. (A ballot that doesn't have a corresponding ballot request form may be subject to challenge in a close election).
    2. You will receive a ballot for every election in that calendar year, including primaries, special elections and runoff elections by submitting the single request.
    3. You can use the form to request your blank ballot be sent to you via an electronic option (email, online and/or fax) instead of postal mail. Every state will send a blank ballot electronically.
    4. Your state must send your blank ballot no less than 45 days before the election.
    5. If you don't receive your blank ballot in time to return it in by the deadline, you can use the federal backup ballot, the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB), to cast your vote.
    6. Many states allow overseas voters additional time to return their voted ballot, and some states allow overseas voters to submit voted ballots using an electronic option (email, online and/or fax).

    Mark your calendar: for the 2018 Midterm Elections, overseas voters can expect requested blank ballots will be sent by September 22.
     > add 45 Day reminder to your calendar

    Why should I send in the FPCA to request my ballot every calendar year?

    Under federal law, states are only required to send you a ballot if you submit the form to request it that calendar year, even if you're a registered voter. Some states are more generous and will send blank blllots without an annual request; others are very strict. So we advise all overseas voters to be safe and send an FPCA in each year: the best practice is to send in a new form every January and any time you move. You don't want any unexpected surprises that cause you to miss your chance to vote!

    Overseas voters use the FPCA both to register to vote initially and to request a ballot each year. The FPCA is only one page and you can fill it out online at VoteFromAbroad.org (you can create a "Voter Account" to save some of the form information you enter for your future use1). And the one form will cover you for all elections in the calendar year: primary, general and upcoming special elections of which you may not be aware. Here's what you need to do:

    1. Go to www.votefromabroad.org, click on "Start Here" and follow the prompts.
    2. Print out and sign the form.
    3. Return the form to your Local Election Official by mail, email or fax, using information in the Instructions from the website. (The email, phone and fax information is on a separate page from the mailing address.) Submission methods and deadlines vary by state, but please note that you do not need to show a foreign postmark or get a consular stamp.

    After you send in your FPCA, be sure to verify with your Local Election Official that they received your application and will be sending a ballot to you. The applicable contact information will be in the printed Instructions, or you can also look up the contact information using the Election Official Directory.

    If you have any questions while filling out the form, the website has an online chat box (click the orange circle in the lower right corner of the screen) to contact the Voter Help Desk, or send an email to help@votefromabroad.org.

    Only your Local Election Official in the US can accept your voter registration and send out your ballot.

    Hint: if you did not received a ballot to vote in your state's 2018 primary election, you most likely will not be getting a ballot to vote in the General Election--UNLESS you submit a new FPCA.

    I'm already a registered voter and my state always send me a ballot. Why should I send in the FPCA anyway?

    Even though you may vote in a state that typically sends out a ballot without an annual request we still urge all overseas voters to send in their form to request a ballot every year to make sure you will be able to vote. Don't find out too late that you've missed your chance to vote!

    And even if you decide not to send in the form this year, it's still very important to email or call your election official to verify that you will be getting a ballot this year. Mistakes happen, states change voting rules--don't wait to find out if your ballot will come--Verify! 

    Every election, we hear from voters who find out too late that they won't be able to vote because they missed the deadline to request their ballot.

    The most reliable way to verify you will be receiving a ballot this calendar year is to email or call your Local Election Official. You can look up the contact information using the Election Official Directory. Most states also provide online voter registration checks to verify your voter status, but they are not always up-to-date.

    Be safe, be sure, be counted!

     

     

    1 The VoteFromAbroad.org Voter Account will never store personal identification information such as Social Security number (SSN), driver's license number, Passport number or any such identifier.

    read more
    See all posts

    Upcoming Events

    Friday, August 17, 2018 at 12:00 PM · 1 rsvp
    EuroPride Park in Göteborg, Sweden

    INFORMATION TABLE DURING PRIDE WEEK

    At a table in a tent shared with three other organizations -- in EuroPride Park on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday during EuroPride Week -- we'll be representing DA and encouraging Americans to request their absentee ballots and vote.

    We need volunteers to take one-hour shifts. Sign up here.

    We'll have DA literature as well as "Elect a Clown, Expect a Circus" and "Democrats Believe" cards to hand out to Americans or others who seem interested.

    We'll have gay pride buttons (and others) as well as postcards for a small donation.

    Come help out and join the fun!

    Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 12:00 PM · 1 rsvp
    EuroPride Park in Göteborg, Sweden

    Information Table during Pride Week

    At a table in a tent shared with three other organizations -- in EuroPride Park on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday during EuroPride Week -- we'll be representing DA and encouraging Americans to request their absentee ballots and vote.

    We need volunteers to take one-hour shifts. Sign up here.

    We'll have DA literature as well as "Elect a Clown, Expect a Circus" and "Democrats Believe" cards to hand out to Americans or others who seem interested.

    We'll have gay pride buttons (and others) as well as postcards for a small donation.

    Come help out and join the fun!