How to vote when you’re abroad

Pro tip: Register to vote before going abroad so your voice counts in this election.

Preparing to go abroad this fall? Amazing. Think that means you can’t vote this November? Nope.

You may not be in the United States while studying abroad, but that doesn’t mean you can’t vote. Nearly every American citizen over the age of 18 is entitled to vote in federal and state elections — including the vote for the President of the United States in November 2024. All you need is an absentee ballot, which you must request 45 days before the election.

Step 1: Register to vote

If you aren’t already registered to vote in your home state, do it now. Go to vote.org/am-i-registered-to-vote to double-check your voter registration status. Deadlines vary for each state, but you should aim to get signed up at least 90 days before you leave the country.

Step 2: Request an absentee ballot

Submit an absentee ballot request using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). If you need help, use the online help tool to request a ballot from your home state. If you submit your FPCA within 45 days of the election, they will send your ballot as soon as possible. Complete this step before September, to be safe.

Step 3: Fill it out

Complete your electronic or paper absentee ballot from your home state and send it in. Look up your home state to know the exact deadline. In most cases, your ballot must be received by November 5, 2024 to count in the general election.