Voting Important Updates:
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 03141 Attention: 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.
Normal transit time from Seoul to the United States is 7-10 business days.
Registering to Vote and submitting a ballot is fast, easy, and can be done from anywhere in the world! Follow a few simple steps to vote in the 2022 U.S. elections:
- Register to vote: Start by confirming your voter registration with your state. Some states require absentee voters to register annually, so you may need to re-register. Go to FVAP.gov to connect to your state’s voter portal to register to vote, request a ballot, and more.
- Request Your Ballot: Most states provide the option to request ballots through their state election portals, which you can easily access via FVAP.gov. You can also choose to complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives), including primaries and special elections, during the calendar year in which it is submitted. FPCA forms that are correctly filled out and include a signature and date are accepted by all local election officials in every U.S. state and territory. FVAP’s easy online assistant can assist you with completing the FPCA. Whether you request your ballot through your state’s portal or the FPCA, we encourage you to select the option to receive your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax) when available. This is the fastest way to get your ballot and ensures you have it in time to return a completed form before your state’s deadline.
- Receive and Complete Your Ballot: States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office, and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. Most states allow you to confirm your ballot delivery online.
- Return Your Completed, Signed Ballot: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or through U.S. Embassy Seoul’s diplomatic pouch. The diplomatic pouch provides mail service from embassies and consulates to a U.S. sorting facility. You will need to place your ballots in postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage, in order for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities once received by the U.S. sorting facility. If you plan to use the diplomatic pouch, drop off your ballots at the Embassy’s American Citizens Services section (see instructions for sending in ballots by mail or in person above). Please note that all visitors to the Embassy are subject to security screening and you will not be permitted to bring electronic devices, including cell phones, inside the facility. It can take up to two (2) weeks for mail to reach its destination if sent by an embassy or consulate via diplomatic pouch. All overseas U.S. citizens are advised to submit their forms and ballots accordingly. Ballots will be received and forwarded whenever submitted but you may want to consider using a courier service if submitting your ballot close to or after the stated delivery time for pouch mail.
Researching the Candidates and Issues: Go to the FVAP links page for helpful resources to aid your research of candidates and issues. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain online. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, or search the internet to locate articles and information. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (firstname.lastname@example.org). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov).
Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov. If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. Mission Korea’s Voting Assistance Officer at 02-397-4114, or at VoteSeoul@state.gov
Remember, your vote counts!
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.