FAQ about Voting from Abroad

YES. American citizens can vote in federal elections (for members of Congress, for President, and for Vice-President).

YES. You can continue to vote for federal offices no matter how long you have lived abroad.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.