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As a U.S. citizen born abroad - can I vote?

The voting rights of U.S. citizens born abroad to at least one American parent depend on a few factors. The determination is based on the state where your American parent was resident and votes. The most basic of scenarios is as follows: 

  1. The best scenario is that you were born to at least one U.S. citizen parent who had established residency and then moved from one of the 38 U.S. states or the District of Columbia that allow voting for their children born abroad. These states include: AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, GA, HI, IL, IA, KS, KY, ME, MA, MI, MN, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI.

    Even if you never resided in the U.S., you are still eligible to vote. You would use your parent(s)' previous U.S. address as your voting residence address. That would determine the state in which you vote. 

    When you were born, your parent(s) ideally would have obtained your passport and Social Security Number at the closest consulate or embassy. If not, you may need to do that yourself.

    Your voting rights are covered by the federal law, the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), and you can vote for federal offices using all the features of the overseas voting program. Read more about how to vote in U.S. elections from abroad.

  2. If neither of your parents were U.S. citizens who had established residency and then moved from one of the 38 U.S. states, plus DC, that allow voting for their children born abroad, but rather, if they were resident in one of the 12 U.S. states or 4 U.S. territories that do not pass voting rights to children born abroad who never resided in the U.S., then unfortunately, you do not inherit voting rights. These states are: AL, AR, FL, ID, IN, LA, MD, MS, MO, PA, TX, and WY. The U.S. territories are AS, GU, PR and VI.

    If, in the future, you do happen to live in the U.S. at some point, and establish residency in a state, as a U.S. citizen, you will then have the right to vote both domestically and abroad.

You may wonder how it is that federal voting rights are not passed to all American citizens abroad? This question is, of course, of great concern to our organization and is included in our overseas voting reform agenda.

Go to Overseas Voter Registration and Ballot Request 

People Registration US Vote

Overseas Vote is redirecting you to our parent site, U.S. Vote Foundation.

U.S. Vote Foundation offers complete voter services to all voter types including voters abroad and uniformed services voters and their families.

US Vote

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