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Once again, election season is upon us! Election Day this year is Tuesday November 4, 2014.

Like many of our compatriots living in the US, many Americans resident abroad are unhappy with Washington's performance. The temptation to disengage is strong. Nevertheless, we shouldn't let disappointment about gridlock and failure of the US government to take into account our concerns prevent us from voting, as this is one of the few means at our disposition to influence policy. Let's use it!

US citizens resident abroad are eligible to vote in all Presidential and Congressional elections. (If you were born abroad to a US citizen parent, you may be entitled to vote in the state in which your American parent last lived. Check with the election authorities in that state to determine your status.) It does not matter how long you have been living abroad, whether you ever intend to return to the US, whether you have voted before, or whether you maintain a residence in the US. However, in order to vote you have to be registered. Many states require you to be registered at least a month before election day.

If you have not yet received your ballot, you may register and request an absentee ballot by using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). You can obtain an FPCA at most Embassies and Consulates, or via download from the website of the Federal Voting Administration Program:

The Overseas Vote Foundation website also contains a wealth of information and tools to simplify voter registration: