Absentee Voting Information for U.S. Citizens Abroad
April 2013 Update
Some states allow overseas citizens to vote for candidates for state and local offices, as well as for state and local referendums. For information regarding your specific state, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Voting Assistance Guide or the Overseas Vote Foundation website. The Overseas Vote Foundation is a non-partisan voter advocacy organization.
Voting for candidates for federal offices does not affect your federal or state tax liability. Voting for candidates for state or local offices could affect your state income tax liability depending on the laws of your state. If you are concerned how your response may affect your state tax status, consult legal counsel, a U.S. tax advisor, or your state tax authorities.
How to vote from abroad:
If you would like to vote from abroad for candidates in state or local elections, please select your state on this map then choose “Register to Vote and/or Request Ballot.”
Under “Important Dates for UOCAVA Citizens” (Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act) you will see what types of elections are being held in your state and the resources you will need to complete the voting process.
You may also refer to this State Department website page for more information.
Helpful voting tips:
Embassies and consulates are not polling places. When abroad, you must vote by absentee ballot only.
Options for returning your voted ballot: please remember that voted ballots must be addressed to the appropriate state board of elections in the United States. You may also contact your state’s election officials for information on elections being held and the voting process.
- Many states allow you to vote by email or fax, but may also require you to also mail in the signed paper ballot. Check your state’s voting procedures online.
- Returning ballots via 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 the required arrival date.
- French Postal System: place correct French postage on your completed, signed, dated, voted ballot, and mail it directly to the local election officials in the state where you vote. Make sure USA or Etats-Unis is indicated at the end of the address of your U.S. board of elections. Then just mail it from any French post office box. Please do not send any voting materials to the Embassy by mail.
- Embassy Paris: Since it takes approximately three weeks for your ballot to arrive in the U.S. using the Embassy’s mailing service, you may want to choose one of the sending options above. If your state has provided you with a U.S. postage paid envelope you may bring your voted ballot and the envelope to the U.S. Embassy. No envelopes without the postage paid stamp will be accepted. If you do not have this envelope, you must choose another option.
If your state has provided you with a U.S. postage paid envelope:
Go to the Consular Section entrance of the Embassy with your voted ballot weekdays from 9:00 to noon and 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.
- announce you would like to drop off voting materials;
- present suitable ID (preferably a passport);
- after the security check, you may enter the consular section for assistance.
Need help? Have Questions? Please contact the Voting Assistance Officers at the U.S. Consulate in Paris by sending an email to: VoteParis@state.gov.
IMPORTANT NOTE: States are no longer required to automatically send ballots to voters for an entire election cycle so everyone who wants to vote in U.S. elections from overseas should send in a new Federal Post Card Application in January of each year.
Federal Voting Assistance Program
Check the website of the Federal Voting Assistance Program for complete details on voting by absentee ballot from France.