Absentee Voting Information for U.S. Citizens Abroad

IMPORTANT NOTE: States are no longer required to automatically send ballots to voters for an entire election cycle.  All overseas citizens must complete a new Federal Post Card Application each year to ensure they are not dropped from the voter register.

Overseas U.S. citizens can receive their blank ballots electronically.  Depending on the state in which you are eligible to vote, you may get your ballot by email, fax, or internet download.

To start, go to the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website at www.fvap.gov to determine the requirements to register in your home state.  If necessary, complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).  Print and sign the form, then return it to your local election office in the United States.  We recommend overseas U.S. citizens get in the habit of confirming the registration guidelines and completing FPCAs each January to ensure your name is not dropped from the registry.

Include all requested contact information, including your email address on the form so it’s easier for your election officials to reach you if there is a problem.  If your state delivers ballots electronically by fax only, be sure to include your fax number.  If you request electronic delivery and include your email address or fax number, you’ll receive your blank ballot 45 days before general and mid-term elections and generally 30 days before special, primary, and run-off elections for federal offices.  Most states now have voter registration verification websites, and many offer a means of tracking the status of your registration and ballot.

For more information and guidance, please refer to www.FVAP.gov.  If you reside in Ireland and require forms or information, you may contact the U.S. Embassy in Dublin by email at votedublin@state.gov.

Options for Returning Your FPCA or your Completed Ballot: 

FPCAs and ballots must be addressed to the appropriate county board of elections in the United States.

Check your office at: https://www.fvap.gov/search-offices

  1. Irish postal system:  This is the most direct method.  Place Irish postage on your completed, signed, dated and sealed FPCA or voted ballot, and mail it directly to the local election officials in the state where you vote.  Make sure USA is indicated at the end of the address of your U.S. board of elections, and then just mail it from any Irish post office.
  2. Fax, E-mail, or Internet:  Some states allow ballots to be submitted electronically.  Check the specific requirements of your state since some require you to still mail in the signed paper ballot.
  3. Express courier service: Voters can hire express courier companies such as UPS, DHL, and FedEx to return voted ballots.  Ballots sent to local election officials via express courier service do not receive standard postmarks, so voters using this method should confirm delivery on or before Election Day prior to payment and shipment.
  4. Personal Drop Off at U.S. Embassy Dublin: If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can do so free of charge at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin.  The forms must be in a Ballot Transmission Envelope or in envelopes bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage and must be addressed to the relevant local election officials.  You can drop off your ballot off with security personnel at the main U.S. Embassy entrance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The U.S. Embassy staff is not able to provide specific guidance on candidates and political issues.  For information about election dates and deadlines, refer to www.FVAP.gov or subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov).  FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.