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How to vote as an American expat abroad

The Local · 1 Mar 2016, 15:00

Published: 01 Feb 2016 18:46 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Mar 2016 15:00 GMT+01:00

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Even if you're living thousands of miles away from the US of A, don't fret - you can still have your voice heard from abroad.

The Local looks at the fairly simple steps involved in getting you to the presidential vote.

Voting absentee with your state

To vote in your state's primary, presidential and any other election, you first have to register as an absentee online with the Federal Voting Assistance Program, or VoteFromAbroad.org. The US State Department recommends doing this for those living abroad at the start of each year so you can keep getting ballots sent to you.

Then print, sign and send the resulting form to your state election office. You should get your ballot by mail or electronically (depending on the state) 45 to 30 days before the vote.

What if you don't have a US address?

Don't worry! Just register with the last state where you lived before leaving the US.

Plus, 24 states and Washington DC allow American citizens who have never lived in the US to register where a parent is eligible to vote. Find a list of these states here.

Vote in-person at the Global Primary (if you're a Democrat)

Unlike Republicans, Democrats who live abroad get their own primary to vote until March 8th with the group Democrats Abroad, which is given state-level recognition in the Democratic National Committee. This is an alternative to voting in your state's primary.

There are two ways you can do this. First, you can vote in-person at one of the Democrats Abroad voting centres between March 1st and March 8th. You must register as a member to vote and can do that online beforehand, or at the centre. Just bring your US passport along.

Check with chapters for more information here or 

Second, if you can't get to one of the voting centres, simply print out the ballot online and email it to PrimaryVoting@democratsabroad.org or mail it to:

International Chair, Democrats Abroad

Stettenerstr. 61

83209 Prien, Germany

OR

Shari Temple

Nordstrasse 3

85417 Marzling Germany

Where to vote in the Democrats' Global Primary in Germany:

Augsburg: March 5th

Reesegarden im Kulturhaus Abraxas
Sommestraße 30

Berlin: March 6th

Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD)
Genthiner Straße 20, 10785 Berlin
 
 
Karen Schneider
Beethovenstrasse 32
Bornheim-Merten 53332
 
 
Bill Purcell
Werner-Bergengrien-Strasse 10
Neuss 41470
 
 
Yours Australian Bar
Rahmhofstrasse 2-4
 
 
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Rathausmarkt 5
 
 
Cafe Inti
Burgstrasse 17
 
 
Hotel/Cafe Goldinger
Von-Richtofen-Strasse 18
Landstuhl 66849

Munich: March 1st

Check link above for more info, or here.

Nuremberg: March 4th

Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut
Gleißbühlstrasse 9

Stuttgart: March 4th

Ratskeller Restaurant
Marktplatz 1

Wiesbaden: March 5th

Andechser im Ratskeller
Schloßpl 6, Wiesbaden 65183

Other cities are also supposed to be hosting voting centres, so check with local chapters for more details.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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