Voting Information for U.S. Citizens
Generally, all U.S. citizens 18 years or older who are or will be residing outside the United States at the time of an election are eligible to vote absentee in any election for federal office. Some states allow overseas voters to vote in elections for state and local offices and state and local referenda. Voting eligibility and residency requirements are determined by the individual states. Contact your state or territory’s chief election administrative office or visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website for more information.
Voting for candidates for federal offices does not affect your federal or state tax liability.
State and Territory Election Websites
Registration and Absentee Ballot Request
Voter registration and absentee ballot requests are determined by the individual states. Contact your state’s chief election administrative office to determine the procedures and obtain the correct forms. It is also possible to use a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and/or apply for an absentee ballot. The standard FPCA can be obtained online at the Federal Voting Assistance Program website or from the U.S. Embassy Kathmandu. The online version of the FPCA is accepted by all states and territories. The on-line FPCA form must be completed legibly, printed, signed, dated, and mailed to your local election officials. Some states allow electronic transmission of the FPCA via fax or email to speed the process, but many states will still require voters to send in the original by mail after faxing or emailing.
- Note: you must send in a FPCA to your local election officials every year—even if you have previously voted overseas—and every time you change your name, physical address, or email address.
As a general rule, you should try to send in your completed voter registration and/or absentee ballot request so that it reaches your local election officials at least forty-five days before the first election in which you are eligible to vote. In most cases, this will provide time for election officials to process the request and send you a ballot.
You can drop off your voter registration requests, absentee ballot requests, and voted absentee ballots at the U.S. Embassy Kathmandu for delivery to your local election official in the United States. The U.S. Government offers this service to U.S. Citizens living overseas to make absentee voting as easy as possible. The box is located inside the consular section security checkpoint building. Any U.S. Citizen can drop off the mail items listed above and the U.S. Embassy Kathmandu will send them via Diplomatic Pouch to the United States Postal Service (USPS) in Virginia. The mail will then enter the USPS system. It will take approximately three weeks for the mailed item to reach your local election official. You must include proper postage and complete “to” and “from” addresses on envelopes. Proper postage is needed for domestic mail, as if the envelope was deposited in a mailbox in the United States. If the envelope says postage paid on it, then no additional postage is necessary.
The Voting Assistance Officer at the U.S. Embassy Kathmandu is available to answer any questions; please email us at VoteKathmandu@state.gov.