Americans Helping Americans Abroad

The midterm elections are just weeks away. To help you ensure that you have submitted the correct documentation to be able to vote, and to make sure you can find answers to all of your vote-related questions, we have put together some helpful tips for overseas Americans.

The basics

  • To vote, every American above the age of 18 living outside of the U.S. must both register to vote and request a ballot.
  • To do both, you can complete, sign, and submit a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).
  • Note that most states impose three deadlines: voter registration, ballot request, and ballot submission. Most states close new voter registration between October 7 and October 12, 2018. It’s essential to respect this deadline, because you could request and submit your ballot on time, only to have your ballot disqualified because you did not register on time.

Common overseas voter questions

How can I find the registration, ballot request, and ballot submission deadlines?

There are two excellent resources for finding voting deadline information: The Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) provides election dates and deadlines and  the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) provides federal voting assistance.

What if I cannot mail in my FPCA before the registration deadline?

If this happens to you, email or fax a signed copy of your FPCA, indicating "hard copy being mailed this date."

How do I know if I am registered to vote?

You can either contact your local election official or visit

How do I contact my local election official?

The Overseas Vote Foundation provides an election official directory.

How do I obtain a Federal Post Card Application?

FPCAs are available both on the FVAP and The Overseas Vote Foundation websites.

Where do I find my U.S. zip code and U.S. county?

You can find this information on and

What if I have a problem?

You can contact your local election official, or contact AARO’s election team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This article is contributed by John Fredenberger