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Overseas Voting Myths

What stands between you and casting your ballot from overseas? Could it be that there's an old "story" or an anecdote someone told you, or the assumption of a barrier or complication blocking you from voting from abroad? 

Here you can dispel the myths and misconceptions around overseas and military voting. We've listed the top "imagined" barriers to overseas voting, and along with them, the truth of the matter. Because the assumptions around the rules of voting from abroad are often incorrect, and unfortunately so often repeated, they have become long-term barriers that serve only to suppress the inclination to vote. We are calling them out as “Overseas Voting Myths.” 

Don't let these false stories and misconceptions stop you from voting from abroad, regardless of where you are! 

  • Myth #1 - Previous Voting Record

    I heard that US overseas voters must have voted before in the US to later vote from abroad.

    Here's the TRUTH:

    To register and request your overseas ballot, there is no previous voting requirement. You can even be a first-time voter!

  • Myth #2 - Fixed Overseas Address

    Somehow I thought overseas voters had to have a "permanent" overseas address to vote from abroad.

    Here's the TRUTH:

    You can vote from outside of the US whether you're abroad temporarily or permanently. 

  • Myth #3 - Own Property or Have Current Address

    I assumed that to vote from abroad, overseas voters must also have a current address or own property in the US.

    Here's the TRUTH:

    There is no requirement to own property or have a current address in the US to vote from abroad.

  • Myth #4 - Beware of Taxes

    Someone said that if you vote from abroad you will be reported to your state tax office and get a tax bill.

    Here's the TRUTH:

    Voting in federal elections cannot be a basis for a state to assert tax liability on its overseas voters.

  • Myth #5 - Put Ballot in US Mail

    I thought I could give my overseas absentee ballot to a visiting friend to drop it in the USPS mail system for delivery. 

    Here's the TRUTH:

    No! Overseas ballots must start their postal return and be postmarked from outside of the US.

  • Myth #6 - Notarization Requirement

    I read something about having to notarize my ballot or signature... 

    Here's the TRUTH:

    No! Notarization is not required in any state or territory.

  • Myth #7 - Choose the State I Vote In from Abroad

    I assume I can choose which state I vote in when I vote from abroad.

    Here's the TRUTH:

    Sorry, it's not a choice. You vote in the state where you last lived before moving abroad.

  • Myth #8 - My Overseas Ballot Won't Be Counted

    I heard that overseas and military ballots aren't actually counted.

    Here's the TRUTH:

    Phooey on that! It is illegal to not count and include all ballots received in order to certify the election.

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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