An official website of the United States government

April 20, 2022

Elections/Voting Important Updates:

COVID-19 ELECTION UPDATE – FVAP is working closely with state election offices, the Military Postal Service Agency and other federal agencies to bring you up-to-date information on possible mailing delays. Please visit FVAP.gov/COVID-19 for the latest information on any international postal disruptions or contact your installation military post office.

Register and request your ballot by your state’s deadline. You can use FVAP’s easy online assistant at www.fvap.gov/FPCA to walk you through each section of the form. After you finish filling out the FPCA, print it, sign it, and send it to your election office. Most states accept the FPCA by email or fax while some require it by mail. Check your state-specific guidelines at FVAP.gov.

Once you receive your requested absentee ballot, vote and return it as soon as you get it. Remember to carefully follow the instructions, especially if a “security envelope” is required, and sign the package as indicated when returning it.

To save time, send voted ballots electronically if allowed by state law. Voters can check if their state accepts completed absentee ballots by email, fax, or via an online portal at FVAP.gov/guide.

If a requested ballot has not arrived, use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) immediately at www.fvap.gov/FWAB. It works like a backup ballot. If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, complete and send in the official ballot, too. Only one will be counted.

Make sure the voted ballot is received by your state. Go to FVAP.gov/Guide, click on your state and then the “check the status of your voted ballot” button.

To find your state’s election website for specific information on candidates, elections, contact information, and links to your local election offices, visit our contact page. You can also reach out directly to your election office for status updates on your registration and absentee ballot.

Additional Information for non-UOCAVA voters: Uniformed service members, their families, and Department of Defense civilians who are currently stationed in the same location as their voting address may visit vote.gov to register to vote and request information from their local election office to vote locally.

How do I drop off my ballot at the Embassy/Consulate?

  • In-Person: During business hours (8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.), please call Embassy Seoul 02-397-4114 and ask for American Citizen Services. Embassy staff will meet the voter at the main entrance to the embassy to collect the voting envelope. The envelope must have either have a U.S. postage-paid label or have sufficient U.S. postage affixed to be delivered to your local election office from the U.S. sorting facility where it will be mailed.
  • By Mail: In order to mail election-related materials to the United States, you will need two envelopes:(1) Address the first (outer) envelope to the U.S. Embassy Seoul at mailing address:188 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03141Attention: American Citizen Services (Ballot)(2) Address the second (inner) envelope to your local state election office and enclose your ballot inside. The second (inner) envelope should have either have a U.S. postage-paid label or have sufficient U.S. postage affixed to be delivered to your local election office from the U.S. sorting facility where it will be mailed. Seal the second (inner) envelope, place it inside the first (outer) envelope, and mail the package to U.S. Embassy Seoul.

2 simple steps for U.S. citizens overseas to vote from anywhere:

Voting by absentee ballot is easy!

First, register and request your ballot. Go to FVAP.gov to fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and send it to your local election official by your State’s specific deadline.

Second, fill out and send in your ballot when it arrives and send it back before the ballot return deadline.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program makes it that simple. Get started at FVAP.gov

PLEASE NOTE: Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, you must complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) each year to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.  Please visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s website for further information on the absentee voting information for U.S. Citizens abroad.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) works to ensure that overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools and resources to successfully do so — from anywhere in the world.

If you’d like more information on the Federal Voting Assistance Program or need help with the absentee voting process please go to FVAP.gov or call FVAP at 703-588-1584 (toll free 1-800-438-VOTE or DSN 425-1584) or email (vote@fvap.gov).

The Federal Voting Assistance Program is the official U.S. Government website for overseas absentee voting assistance.  This website has a wealth of information about absentee voting, including the downloadable absentee ballot application, state-specific instructions for completing the form, links to or contact numbers for state and local officials, and the downloadable emergency ballot.

Useful Information

Who Can Vote from Overseas?
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) allows certain U.S. citizens to vote in absentia, including members of the U.S. Uniformed Services on active duty and their family members while away from their place of voting residence, wherever stationed, within or outside the United States.

The UOCAVA also applies to U.S. citizens residing outside the United States and its territories. These citizens may vote in the state or territory where they last resided immediately prior to departing the United States, even if many years have elapsed and the citizen maintains no residence in the state or territory and the intent to return to that state or territory may not be certain. Most states and territories permit these citizens to vote in elections for Federal offices only, although some states may send a ballot containing local, state and Federal offices.

Note that the UOCAVA provides that voting for Federal offices shall not affect the determination of the voter’s place of residence for purpose of any tax imposed under Federal, state or local law. Liability for state income tax, however, may be incurred in some states by voting absentee in state or local elections. To assess the probability of incurring state taxes on income earned outside the United States, you may wish to consult legal counsel for details.

For more information on Overseas Voting, please visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s website.

Registering to Vote

To vote absentee, U.S. citizens living outside the United States must be registered to vote and must request an absentee ballot. In order to register to vote and/or to request an absentee ballot, an eligible U.S. citizen must accurately complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), using FVAP’s easy online assistant (fvap.gov/r3/fpca/state) or using fillable PDF (fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fpca.pdf) (PDF-320.5KB) and submit it to the voting officials in your “legal state of residence” in the United States.

The “legal state of residence” is the state in which you could vote if you were present in that state. The rules for determining that state depend on your status overseas.

  • Military and Merchant Marine members, and their spouses and dependents, may register to vote in the domicile (state) that the member claims as his or her residence.
  • Civilian U.S. Government employees overseas, and their spouses and dependents, generally register in the state they claim as their legal residence.
  • Overseas citizens (not affiliated with the U.S. Government) must vote in their last state of residence immediately prior to departure from the United States. This rule applies even though you may not have property or other ties in your last state of residence and your intent to return to that state may be uncertain.
  • American citizens who have never resided in the United States should apply to the state where their American citizen parent(s) last resided, although they should be aware that not all states will grant such a request. Please refer to the state instructions.

For more information on your state’s requirements and to register to vote and/or to request an absentee ballot, please visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s website.  The website’s on-line step-by-step instructions will guide you through in completing your request depending on your overseas status and your legal state of residence requirements.

Absentee Voting Process

  • You send in a completed FPCA to your local election officials
  • They confirm your eligibility to vote, and put your name on a list to receive absentee ballots
  • They send you a blank absentee ballot by mail or make it available electronically
  • You complete the ballot and send it back before the ballot receipt deadline
  • If your ballot fails to arrive, use the emergency federal write-in ballot to vote

If you are 30 days before the election and you still have not received your ballot, you should complete and submit a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). (PDF-347KB)

Voting and Returning Your Ballot

Complete your ballot carefully and legibly, and return it to your local election officials before your state’s ballot receipt deadline. Overseas voters have a number of options for returning voted ballots:

  • Local mail – If you live in an area with efficient mail service to the United States, affix sufficient international postage to your ballot envelope and mail it promptly.
  • U.S. Embassy Pouch/Army Postal Service (DPO/APO) – Official election ballot envelopes that bear postage-paid markings can be returned via U.S. diplomatic pouch or Military Postal Service free of charge.  Please note that this process can take 2-3 weeks to reach your local election official, so please plan accordingly.  When mailing your ballot, you can print out and use an envelope with postage-paid markings that is available on FVAP website.
  • Fax, E-mail, or Internet – A number of states now allow the return of voted ballots via electronic means. Consult the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Voting Assistance Guide for electronic transmission options for your state.
  • Express Courier Service – If time is short or local mail is unreliable, you can use professional courier services such as FedEx, DHL, or UPS. NOTE: FedEx does not deliver to P.O. boxes.