FAQ about Voting from Abroad
Can I vote in elections in the USA while living abroad?
YES. American citizens can vote in federal elections (for members of Congress, for President, and for Vice-President).
I’ve lived abroad a long while – can I still vote?
YES. You can continue to vote for federal offices no matter how long you have lived abroad.
What is the FPCA form?
It is the voter registration and absentee ballot request form, a federal application form which all states must accept. It is no longer in the shape of a post card. In most cases it can be done online.
Why does the FPCA form ask whether I “intend to return”?
To our understanding, the “intent to return” is to your previous state or voting district (not to the United States in general), and it helps the state determine whether to send you only the federal ballot, or also the ballot for state and local offices.
Can there be tax repercussions to voting?
ATTENTION: Voting for candidates for federal offices does not affect your federal or state tax liability. However, some states consider voting in state/local elections as an indication that you remain a resident of the state although abroad, and therefore may be subject to state taxes.
I’m an American citizen, but have never lived in the USA? Can I vote?
PERHAPS. Voting is implemented through the individual states, and there are thus variations in legislation. There is an increasing tendency to permit Americans who have never lived in the US to vote in federal elections (administered by states); this is now possible in 37 of the 50 states. Generally, you are allowed to vote in the state where at least one of your citizen-parents last resided. See: www.fvap.gov/citizen-voter/reside. ACA is in favor of extending voting rights to all US citizens residing abroad.
What if I am a US citizen, but cannot vote?
American Citizens Abroad, Inc. recommends that you write letters to BOTH candidates for federal office in the state in question, pointing out to them that you are a disenfranchised American unable to vote for them. This will increase visibility of the problem.
There are a number of online sites aimed at citizens voting from abroad, listed here.
This ACA webpage was updated in May 2020