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 Go immediately to FAWCO registration and voting services (https://fawco.overseasvotefoundation.org/overseas/home.htm ) or find answers below to the following questions.

1. Who can vote absentee? I don't have a U.S. address anymore; can I still vote?

2. How do I apply for an absentee ballot? Do I need to have the application notarized?
3. What information do I need to fill in the application?
4. I'm a U.S. citizen but have never lived in the United States. Can I still vote?
5. Will I be liable for U.S. taxes if I vote?
6. How can I be sure I'm registered to vote?
7. What are the deadlines for registering for and voting in primaries? Will I have to submit another application for the November 2008 elections?
8. Can I register and/or vote by electronic means (fax or e-mail)?
9. I’ve registered, but my ballot hasn’t come. What do I do now?
10. I have more questions. Who can answer them for me?


1. Who can vote absentee? I don't have a U.S. address anymore; can I still vote?

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) says that any U.S. citizen who will be over 18 and overseas at the time of U.S. elections has the right to vote absentee.

Your "legal state of residence" for voting purposes is the state where you last resided immediately before leaving the U.S. You keep the right to vote even if you no longer own property in or have other ties to your last state of residence and do not intend to return to that state.

When you first arrive overseas, you should register using your last address in the U.S. and use that same voting residence the whole time you reside overseas. This means your vote will always be counted in the same electoral district. It doesn't matter if you no longer have any real connection to that address.

Federal Voter Assistance Program guidelines (http://www.fvap.gov/laws/legal.html)  

2. How do I apply for an absentee ballot? Do I need to have the application notarized?

U.S. consulates provide assistance, information and hard-copy application forms (Federal Post card Application – FPCA). Usually, you can also get these through your local American women's group. You can fill out the FPCA online by using the FAWCO and Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) registration wizards, which are secure and very user friendly, or the Federal Voter Assistance Program (FVAP) Online FPCA.

Very few states still require notarization; but if needed it can be done at no expense at a U.S. consulate. American Samoa requires it from first-time voters; Minnesota, if no driver’s license or passport number is supplied; Puerto Rico, for some categories of voters; and Vermont, if the voter has not previously taken the voter’s oath.

FAWCO registration wizard ( https://fawco.overseasvotefoundation.org/overseas/home.htm)

OVF registration wizard (https://www.overseasvotefoundation.org )
FVAP FPCA (http://www.fvap.gov/pubs/onlinefpca.html)

3. What information do I need to fill in the application?

The information requested on the Federal Post card Application (FPCA) varies by state. You only have to supply the information requested by your state. If you use the FAWCO and Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) registration wizards, they will prompt you to supply what’s required. If you use the form on the Federal Voter Assistance Program (FVAP) web site, consult the section for your state in Chapter 3 of the Voting Assistance Guide. The address for your local election district is in the same section.

In general, you need to have the following information ready to give in the FPCA: your passport, U.S. driver's license and/or Social Security and/or passport numbers, and the exact address of your American address: the one you claim as your voting residence (including the zip code and county).

If you don't know your county, you can find it on the FVAP web site; if you use the OVF wizard, the address will call up the other information needed.

In addition to your “voting residence”, you need to give your current overseas address – the place to which your ballot should be sent.

FAWCO registration wizard ( https://fawco.overseasvotefoundation.org/overseas/home.htm)
OVF registration wizard (https://www.overseasvotefoundation.org/overseas/home.htm )
FVAP Voting Assistance Guide (http://www.fvap.gov/pubs/vag.html#ch3 )
FVAP info on counties (www.fvap.gov/links/county.html)

4. I'm a U.S. citizen but have never lived in the United States. Can I still vote?

Many children of overseas citizens have visited or lived in the U.S., but not long enough to have voted there. People overseas who are U.S. citizens but have not resided in the U.S. may, if the state allows, claim the voting residence of their U.S. citizen parent(s) as their own. If you’re such a person, apply to vote from the address your parent(s) use as the voting residence. Sixteen states have passed legislation accepting this practice: Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Many others accept it, and some (such as Virginia) forbid it. If your state isn’t in the “explicit yes” category, try to register anyway.

If you are applying to vote for the first time, use area 6 (Additional information)of the Federal Post Card Application form (FPCA) to tell the local election official that you are applying to vote for the first time, using your parent’s address. It’s a good idea to give an e-mail address in case the official wants to contact you.

5. Will I be liable for U.S. taxes if I vote?
No, if you vote for federal offices only. Voting for federal offices only does not affect the determination of residence or domicile for purposes of any tax imposed under federal, state or local law. If you claim a particular state as your residence and have other ties with that state in addition to voting then you may be liable for state and local taxation, depending upon that particular state law. To vote for Federal offices only, check box 1.c. “A U.S. CITIZEN RESIDING OUTSIDE THE U.S. INDEFINITELY” on the application form (Federal Post card Application – FPCA).

6. How can I be sure I'm registered to vote?
The same Federal Post Card Application form (FPCA) is used both to register and request ballots. The only difference is that some states may have slightly different timetables or identification criteria, depending on whether you're registering or just applying for an absentee ballot. You can check your registration status online.

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of October 2002 extended the effective period of an application to register from overseas (using the FPCA) through two regularly scheduled general elections for Federal office. Because many overseas citizens change their addresses, the Federal Voter Assistance Program, Overseas Vote Foundation and FAWCO continue to recommend that you submit an FPCA to your state of legal residence in January of each election year and again each time you change your mailing address.

Many people who registered for two years or four years in 2006 or 2004 now need to re-register for 2008. Even if you’re sure you’re registered, it’s a good idea to re-register for every cycle, just to make sure that the local election officials know your current address – to ensure that your ballot finds you.

Can I vote? (http://www.canivote.org/)

7. What are the deadlines for registering for and voting in primaries? Will I have to submit another application for the November 2008 elections?


In all states and territories, one Federal Post-card Application (FPCA) should secure you both primary and general election ballots for federal offices for an entire calendar year. To get a primary ballot, of course, you have to indicate a party preference on the FPCA.

Your local election district must receive a request for a ballot at least 30 days before the day of the election. FAWCO and the Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) have information on each state's requirements  for the primaries; be sure to apply for a ballot in good time!

FAWCO registration wizard ( https://fawco.overseasvotefoundation.org/overseas/home.htm)

FAWCO state voter information (https://fawco.overseasvotefoundation.org/state-voter-information-directory)
OVF registration wizard (https://www.overseasvotefoundation.org)
OVF State Voter Information (https://overseasvotefoundation.org/state-voter-information-directory )

8. Can I register and/or vote by electronic means (fax or e-mail)?

Many more states and territories permit registration and/or voting by fax and/or e-mail in at least some circumstances. Requirements vary, so see the Federal Voter Assistance Program (FVAP) and Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) web sites for details. Note: OVF warns that e-mail is not a secure way to communicate sensitive personal details about yourself; fax is safer, but reduces the privacy of your vote.

Registration
For 2008, 49 states and territories permit voters to submit the Federal Post-card Application (FPCA) by fax, although 39 also require you to mail it, too. (The 49 are: AK, AS, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OK, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VI, VA, WA, WV, WI.)

Ballot receipt
Fewer states and territories allow you to receive you ballot by fax (35) and/or e-mail (12). (The 35 are: AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MS, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OK, OR, RI, SC, UT, VI, VA, WA, WV, WI..)

Ballot return
And 27 allow you to return your ballot by fax, and 6, by e-mail. (The 27 are: AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MS, MO, MT, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OK, RI, SC, UT, VI, WA, WI.)

FAWCO state voter information (https://fawco.overseasvotefoundation.org/state-voter-information-directory)

OVF State-specific Voter Information Directory (https://www.oversearsvotefoundation.org/state-voter-information-directory )

FVAP Electronic Transmission Alternatives by State (http://www.fvap.gov/ivas/fvap_state_menu.html)

9. I’ve registered, but my ballot hasn’t come. What do I do now?
When your ballot arrives, fill it out and return it as quickly as you can. Unfortunately, the biggest reason for failing to vote is the failure of ballots to arrive in a timely fashion. If you have not received your ballot by mid-October 2008, fill out a Federal Write-in Ballot (FWAB). It’s available online from the Federal Voter Assistance Program (FVAP); the Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) has a FWAB wizard that will prompt you through the form (go to home page and click on Federal Absentee Write-in Ballot).
If your ballot arrives after you’ve sent in a FWAB, fill it out and send it in, too – let the local election officials sort them out.

FAWCO FWAB Wizard (https://fawco.overseasvotefoundation.org/overseas/home.htm )
OVF FWAB wizard (https://www.overseasvotefoundation.org/overseas/home.htm )
FVAP FWAB (http://www.fvap.gov/pubs/onlinefwab.html )

10. I have more questions. Who can answer them for me?
You can contact the FAWCO Voting from Overseas Committee, the Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) Voter Help Desk or the Federal Voter Assistance Program (FVAP).

FAWCO Voting from Overseas Committee This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
FAWCO Voter Help Desk (https://vhd.overseasvotefoundation.org/fawco/ )
OVF Voter Help Desk (http://www.ovf-vhd.org)
FVAP Contact us (http://www.fvap.gov/contactus.htm l
 

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