How to Vote from France

American flag with the following text: Here's everything you need to do: * request a ballot * vote * return your ballot on time * make sure your vote is counted

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 on the ballot 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, whether you are living, working, or traveling overseas, you can register to vote and request your ballot 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. You have the right to vote!

The U.S. State Department recommends that “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 France for the November election! 📌

 

✭ ✭ ✭ In 2022, the following states must mail in the ballot by postal mail. Request your ballot ASAP! Vote as soon as you get your ballot, and don't wait to return your ballot! 

Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey,* New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont,  Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

* New Jersey voters may return a ballot by email/fax but must also send in the ballot by postal mail. 

 

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 overseas ballots are sent out (45 days before the election)
    • Download and vote your ballot as soon as you receive it
    • Mail your ballot back immediately using the French postal service, a courier service, or the diplomatic pouch (see below). 
  • Track your request form and your ballot
  • Questions? Email [email protected] or call 07 555 FRDEM (07 55 53 73 36).

 

What's covered on this page: 

  1. Registering to vote and requesting your ballot
  2. Confirming your request has been accepted
  3. Receiving your ballot
  4. Oct 1 and the ballot hasn’t arrived? 
  5. Voting your ballot
  6. Returning your ballot
  7. Checking twice to prevent mistakes
  8. Confirming your ballot's arrival
  9. What to do if you encounter difficulties

 

 

1. Registering to vote and requesting your ballot for the 2022 midterm elections

 

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.

You should fill out an FPCA 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 follow these steps 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. 

Submit the FPCA 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, email [email protected] or call 07 555 FRDEM (07 55 53 73 36). You can also type your question in the chatbox on the website Vote From Abroad (the red circle in the bottom right-hand corner of each screen). Or visit the FAQ section on the website.

 

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



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 (find their contact info here) and confirm they’ve sent your ballot to you. 

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 online. It’s important to vote in every race on your ballot. 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. Returning 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! 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 France.

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, you can use international mail from the French Postal Service (La Poste). It is a reliable postal service, but please remember mail service in both France and the US can be slow and so you should send your ballot as soon as possible! 

We do not recommend spending the extra money for a tracking number when sending the envelope – it’s better to confirm receipt by looking on your state’s website, or looking up your local election officer's contact details here (see below). Do not send it with a signature required (that is, as a lettre recommandée), as Local Elections Officers will not sign for it. 

A single timbre violet (international stamp) suffices if your envelope weighs less than 20 g; if it weighs more, then 2 will do. You can also use the machines in the Post Office to buy the postage.

Ask for a postmark or date stamp to be placed on the outer envelope. Some states require this, and it is a good practice in general. Find out your state’s requirements here

 

Courier Service:

If your state requires postal mail ballot return, the quickest option is to use a courier service.

DA France is working to arrange with DHL a discount for ballots to be returned to the U.S. We'll let you know the specific details here as soon as they've been set. Stay tuned!

Even with expedited courier services, 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 📌

 

The U.S. Embassy/Consulate diplomatic pouch: 

It is possible to return your ballot by using the diplomatic pouch mail service at the U.S. Embassy in Paris and at the Consulates in Marseille and Strasbourg. However, using this process, it takes 3-4 weeks for your ballot to reach its destination in the U.S. The French mail system (La Poste) is quite reliable and more rapid, and we recommend using La Poste or a courier service, rather than the diplomatic pouch service.

If you do choose to use the diplomatic pouch mail service, we recommend that you drop off your envelope no later than October 1. 

For the diplomatic pouch mail service, you will need U.S. postage on the envelope (not French postage), as it will be delivered into the U.S. mail system after transportation to the US by the diplomatic service. You can use a U.S. postage paid return envelope (sometimes provided with your ballot), or an envelope bearing sufficient U.S. postage. You can download a free U.S. postage-paid ballot return envelope template at FVAP.gov.

Addresses: 

The U.S. Embassy in Paris:  2 Avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris

The U.S. Consulate General in Marseille: Place Varian Fry, 13286 Marseille Cedex 6

The U.S. Consulate General in Strasbourg: 15, Avenue d'Alsace, 67082 Strasbourg Cedex 

Please see the U.S. Embassy website for more information. 

 

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 officer'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? 

We understand that the voting process can be confusing — that's why we're here to help! Send us an email at [email protected] or call 07 555 FRDEM (07 55 53 73 36). 

You can also type your question in the chatbox on the website Vote From Abroad (the red circle in the bottom right-hand corner of each screen). Or visit the FAQ section on the website.

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!

 

 

Thank you for voting from France!