The only way for us to force Congress to listen to us is if we vote. Currently a very low percentage of Americans Overseas vote. Some people are afraid to register for fear of being discovered by Uncle Sam. But we are complicit in the US Government making our lives difficult if we do not vote. What we have seen is that there is a worse penalty than being “discovered”, we will continue to be punished. Please register and vote! We need you.
Offers voter registration (form to send), voting alerts, policy information and other voter information for overseas voters.
Private foundation that offers internet-based voter registrations, outreach programs, and other services for Americans abroad. You might find this the most convenient place to start.
Vote from Abroad is a very good Democratic party sponsored website and organization to help register US citizens abroad to vote. It is full of information and also provides registration and ballot requests. You do not have to be a democrat to use this.
Some common questions
Please note, we cannot be 100% certain of the answers here. Laws may change and individual State laws can apply. However, the following may be useful for you.
Which state do I use for a voting residence?
This can be a dumb answer, especially if you have lived abroad for a long time. Your voting residence is your address in the State in which you were last domiciled, immediately prior to leaving the United States.
Like many other things, the US wants to treat you like you were at home. When you register using your last address, you will also be registered to vote for local issues.
One point of reference is the state where you last had a driver’s license or voted. If there is a discrepancy, we would suggest selecting a battleground state.
What if you have never lived in the US?
Voting rights vary by State for U.S. citizens born overseas who have never established residence in the United States. In some States, U.S. citizens 18 years or older who were born abroad but have never resided in the U.S. are eligible to vote absentee. A listing can be found here.
If neither of your parents is from one of these States, it is possible that you do not currently have voting rights. However, additional States are working to pass legislation to allow citizens born overseas who have never established residency in the U.S. to vote in the State in which their parents are eligible.
You can either check with your State or contact us and we will make some suggestions.
Does voting impact my state tax obligations?
Great question. According to the State Department, 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 tax liability. If your application asks you if you want to vote in a local election, a long-term Citizen Abroad should consider checking “No”.
Check with your State for details.
Why does the registration ask if I intend to return ?
According to the ACA (American Citizens Abroad), “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.”