Voting Abroad

Voting Abroad

Voting From Indonesia

We strongly encourage all eligible voters to request your ballot so you can vote in the primaries and the general election for President/Vice President, Congress, and Senate.  Primaries are mostly finished, and the general election is coming soon: Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Remember that your vote CAN BE THE DECIDING VOTE.

Attention: Time is Running Out for Voters in Many States

Voters in 21 states* basically need to complete all steps of the voting process this month (Sept), since these states require that balllots be physically returned (3 states allow exceptions). Now since there is no airmail to the US from here, that leaves Consular mail (4 weeks minimum from any Consulate to return ballot, so before Oct 2 to ensure your ballot arrives by election day.), or expensive courier service — DHL, FedEx, EMS — as your options (allow 2 weeks for these). Note that Consular mail is delivered to the US, and then handed over to USPS — thus the need for US postage (both we and the Bali Consulate have US stamps you can have — just ask)– and that adds to the delay and uncertainty in delivery time. (Some states will accept your ballot a few days AFTER election day — see below* — so you have a few more days to get it to them.)

The other (not these 21) states allow electronic return of ballots so you have some more time, but make sure you register and/or request your ballot ASAP.

So if you vote in one of these 21 states and you do NOT YET have a ballot, we recommend that you vote NOW using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) and getting that into Consular mail ASAP, and certainly before Oct 2. Complete instuctions on how to get and complete the FWAB and return it are here

* The 21 states are: AL*, AR, CT, GA, ID, IL, KY, LA*, MD, MI, MN, NH, NY, OH, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT*, and WI. You vote in there if that is the last state where you resided in the US.

AL: can vote online if ballot requested by email/online
LA: can fax ballot if you arrange with election official first
VT: can email ballot if country you live in has no mail service to the US

Ballot Return Deadlines for These States
Nov 03: CT, ID, KY, LA, MI, MN, NH, SD, TN, VT, WI
Nov 06: GA, VA
Nov 09: TX
Nov 10: PA
Nov 13: AR, MD, OH
Nov 16: NY
Nov 17: IL

See here for important updates

Note that in order to vote this year you must request your ballot THIS YEAR, by filing an FPCA (Federal Post Card Application) form — doing so in a previous year does not count — to ensure your vote will be counted in this year’s elections. Even if you have already received your ballot from your election official!!

But voting from here is a very simple process now, thanks to recent voting law changes and some very helpful websites that do most of the work for you. There’s just 2 basic steps, so see below. If you’ve already completed the first part and you’re ready to cast your ballot go here.

[We’ll be adding more voting info here as elections near to ensure you are able to easily navigate the voting from abroad process — stay tuned, or better yet — sign up for our email bulletins]

1. Start the Voting Process: Requesting Your Ballot with an FPCA (Federal Post Card Application)

If you’re ready to fill out the form to request your ballot, just click here — the website will do the work for you. All you’ll need other than your identifying information, is your last US residence address. Do be sure to check the “Email/Online” box so your ballot will be sent by email. But if you have some questions first, read on:

OK? If you still have some questions you might check  here for some facts. Or if you’re still perplexed about something, contact us and we’ll get back with you.
Otherwise now just go to and in 5-10 minutes, you’ll have your completed FPCA (Federal Post Card Application) all ready to be signed, dated, and mailed in per the instructions. Then you’re all set!

2. Casting Your Ballot

If you’ve properly requested your ballot as per above, you should receive a ballot from your election official about 45 days before any election this year. Fill it out and return it being sure to follow instructions carefully.

If you don’t receive your ballot by 20-30 days before the election, you should fill out a FWAB (Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot), again easily done at in a few minutes, fill it in, sign and date it, and send it back per instructions.

And if you have questions:

If you still have some questions you might see this excellent video. Or if you’re still perplexed about something, contact us and we’ll get back with you.


3. Now What?

Pat yourself on the back for doing your part in our democracy — this is a vital step that each of us should take.  If this helped you, please consider telling any other American you know here about us — just click the little email envelope button in the upper right below the Borobodur statue.  Do note that many elections are won by just a handful of votes., so your vote is important.  Remember the 2000 presidential election and the 2008 nip and tuck battle that Senator Al Franken of Minnesota won by a handful of votes.   So be sure you complete the voting process and encourage other Americans here to vote also — we’ll help make the process painless.

See your state’s voting deadlines and requirements


Below are some important voting-related websites that you might find useful.

  • — a great website to guide you through the process so you can quickly register, request a ballot, or vote even if you didn’t receive your ballot.
  • — another great website to guide you through the process so you can quickly register, request a ballot, or vote even if you didn’t receive your ballot.
  • — the overseas branch of the Democratic Party that supplies lots of information and guidance for Americans abroad as well as championing expat causes, e.g. US tax and immigration policies aimed at expats. 
  • MyDistrict — find out which Congressional District you vote in — it’s likely different from the 2010 one.
  • Vote Smart — source of a lot of solid, unbiased info on candidates, the voting procedures, rules, …

And we are ready to help with any voting questions you may have — use our Contact form and direct it to Voting and we’ll get back to you.