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.