Moving to Spain: Registering to Vote

With this being an election year, voting has been on everybody’s minds. It’s so important that your register to vote if you’re American and old enough! Whether or not you live abroad, we are lucky to have a voice in our government system and it’s important to exercise that right. State elections probably have more of a direct impact on people, so even though it’s too late to send an absentee ballot for the presidential race, register anyway!

Voting abroad can be very complicated (and a little expensive!) However, please don’t let that dissuade you from trying. I’m a little convinced that it’s a way to make sure you’re really devoted to the cause.

Register as soon as possible! Below are the steps to doing so:

  1. Have a foreign address. I know, this is sometimes harder than it sounds.  However, for some reason, you need to have an international address.
  2. Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). You can sign up at votefromabroad.org, complete the form, and print off the PDF it generates to fulfill this requirement. Though postage is pre-paid in the USA, you’ll need to pay to mail it internationally. You can also drop it off at the American embassy for them to mail it for you to your state’s voting office.
  3. Your FPCA should have included a way in which you want to receive your absentee ballot. You should receive this, fill it out, and mail it in the same way as your FPCA to your state office in time for their local deadlines.
  4. In case you haven’t received your ballot or there isn’t time for it to be mailed back in time, you can complete the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), which you can also generate through votefromabroad.org. It is imperative that you have mailed in your FPCA previously to this. It will generate another PDF that you fill out– if for a presidential election, you will have to write in your candidates. The others are generated and you simply mark your choice. Mail your FWAB either though the embassy or postal mail.

Have fun and rock the vote!

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