Voting in U.S. Elections
Voting and Returning Your Ballot
Now all U.S. citizens can receive their blank ballots electronically. Depending on the state in which you are eligible to vote, you may get your ballot by email, fax, or internet download.
To start, go to www.FVAP.gov to complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), print and sign the form then return it to your local election office in the United States.
We recommend overseas U.S. citizens get in the habit of completing FPCAs each January. You should include your email address on the form so it's easier for your election officials to reach you if there is a problem. If your state delivers ballots electronically by fax only, be sure to include your fax number.
If you request electronic delivery and include your email address or fax number, you’ll receive your blank ballot 45 days before general and mid-term elections and generally 30 days before special, primary, and run-off elections for federal offices. Most states now have voter registration verification websites, and many offer a means of tracking the status of your registration and ballot.
IMPORTANT NOTE: States are no longer required to automatically send ballots to voters for an entire election cycle so everyone who wants to vote in U.S. elections from overseas should send in a new Federal Post Card Application in January of each year.
Absentee Voting Basics
Absentee voting is a simple 2 step process.
- Every year, you send in a completed Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to your local election officials. The FPCA is available at www.FVAP.gov. o They confirm your eligibility to vote, and put your name on a list to receive absentee ballots for any elections held that calendar year. o They send you a blank absentee ballot electronically or by mail.
- (a). You complete the ballot and send it back so it arrives before your state's ballot return deadline.
(b). Or, if you haven't received your blank ballot 30 days before an election, use the emergency Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot to vote. The write-in ballot is available at the U.S. Embassy or on www.FVAP.gov.
Registration/Absentee Ballot Request
To vote from abroad, you have to register to vote with local election officials in your state of legal (voting) residence, AND every year you have to request to receive absentee ballots. You can use one form to do both - the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).
Submit a new FPCA in January of each year, every time you move, change your address, change your email, or change your name. To complete and address the form, go to either the Federal Voting Assistance Program or the Overseas Vote Foundation website, where an on-line assistant walks you through the process.
You can also pick up an FPCA and a copy of your state’s requirements from U.S. embassies and consulates around the world, or from many overseas U.S. citizen civic or political groups. You can always return your FPCA by mail. In addition, most states allow you to send in your FPCA by fax or email. Consult the online FVAP Voting Assistance Guide for your state’s current instructions. If you need help completing or submitting the form, contact the voting assistance officer at the U.S. Embassy at VoteMontevideo@state.gov.
Almost all U.S. citizens 18 years or older who reside outside the United States are eligible to vote absentee for candidates for federal offices in U.S. primary and general elections. In addition, some states allow overseas citizens to vote for candidates for state and local offices, as well as for state and local referendums.
For information regarding your specific state, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Voting Assistance Guide or the Overseas Vote Foundation website.
The Overseas Vote Foundation is a non-partisan voter advocacy organization. For voting purposes, your state of legal residence is generally the state wherein you resided immediately before leaving the United States, even if you no longer own or rent property or intend to return there in the future. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia specifically allow U.S. citizens who have never resided in the United States to register where a parent would be eligible to vote. Direct your questions about eligibility to your local election officials.
Voting and Taxes
Voting for candidates for federal offices does not affect your federal or state tax liability. Voting for candidates for state or local offices could affect your state tax liability. Consult legal counsel if you have questions.
Contact the Voting Assistance Officer in Uruguay:
Telephone: (+598-2) 1770-2040