Voting

Absentee Voting

You can vote absentee in any election for Federal office if you are a U.S. citizen 18 years or older and are residing outside the United States.  For assistance to register to vote absentee, you can use the FVAP online assistant at fvap.gov/military-voter/registration-ballots.

You may register and request an absentee ballot with a single form: Registration and Absentee Ballot Request – Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) (PDF).  The online version of the form must be mailed in an envelope with proper postage, or mailed using the FVAP prepaid return envelope.  This application form is accepted by all states and territories and is postage-paid in the U.S. mail, including the Military Postal System and State Department Pouch mail.  Hard copies of the form can also be obtained from a U.S. embassy or consulate or requested directly from the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Your FPCA must be completed, printed, signed, dated and mailed directly to your local election official.

NOTE:  Postage-paid return envelope templates are available onlineat the FVAP.gov website.  The templates should be printed directly onto plain blank envelopes and should NOT be printed on to paper then taped or glued to envelopes.

Legal State of Residence

Your “legal state of residence” for voting purposes is the state or territory where you last resided immediately prior to your departure from the United States.  This applies to overseas citizens 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.

When completing block 7 of the Voter Registration/Absentee Ballot Request form, be sure to enter the entire mailing address of your last residence, including rural route, number and county.  That address determines your proper voting jurisdiction.

Some states allow children of U.S. citizens residing overseas who are U.S. citizens but who have never resided in the U.S., to claim one of their parent’s legal state of residence as their own.  Check out the FVAP List of States allowing this.

Assistance with Registering to Vote

There are no provisions for in-person voting or on-site voter registration at U.S. embassies or consulates.  Our office at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana can assist U.S. citizens in completing the Voter Registration/Absentee Ballot Request form or other election materials for their state, witness election materials (if required), and provide other absentee voting information.  If you would like assistance with these services, please schedule an appointment using our online calendar or email us at ACSTirana@state.gov.

Furthermore, in addition to using the local or express mailing services, you also have the option of using U.S. Embassy in Tirana’s diplomatic mailing system to mail your voting materials.  Remember to make sure to use postage paid return envelopes.  Templates are available online at FVAP.gov.  The templates should be printed directly onto plain blank envelopes and should NOT be printed on to paper then taped or glued to envelopes.  You may also use normal envelopes; however, you will need to include U.S. postage stamps on them.

The ballots may be dropped off any time, Monday to Sunday, 24 hours a day, at the ballot drop box created located at the Embassy’s main gate.

If it’s more convenient for you, you can also return your FPCA or ballot to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.