American Expat Voting

Hi, American expat readers!

Maybe you’ve been following the news of the American election with avid interest. Maybe you’ve been avoiding reading anything out of pure embarrassment (“I don’t want my [insert nationality of country where you now live] friends to think I have anything to do with things like this,” for example). Well, you don’t have to tell anyone about this part of the election – the voting!

Feeling legit.


Trouble is, you can’t do anything about it come November 6th. The regulations for how and where you vote can vary depending on your state. For voting purposes, your state is wherever you were last registered to vote – in our case, VA – and not necessarily where you may have made your official U.S. home address – in our case, CT. (Can you tell that I often suffer from identity crises?)

In general, you need to do the following:

1. Register to receive a ballot. (This means going online, printing out a piece of paper, signing it, and sending it in to wherever you last lived)

2. Receive ballot over e-mail. (I know, right? Only 3 more years ’til hoverboards, folks!)

3. Print it out, fill it in, and snail-mail it back.

If you haven’t started thinking about it, look into it soon to make sure you will get your ballot with time to spare. It’s a little bit confusing if it’s your first time. You can also opt to get your ballot over postal mail, rather than e-mail.

We received our ballots over email and they are surprisingly…not very official-looking. This is mostly due to the fact that they were mailed from an administrative person in our tiny VA town, who has a email signature with three different fonts and two different colors. And random words in the message were capitalized – perhaps to appeal to our German senses, though I doubt it.

Go here to figure out more about your absentee voting situation.

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