Can I register to vote if I've never resided in the US?


Yes! As a U.S. citizen living outside the U.S., federal law guarantees your right to vote in federal elections. See the answer to FAQ #1 (“I Live Outside The U.S., Am I Eligible To Vote In U.S. Elections?”) You will need to submit the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and to request a ballot every calendar year. See FAQ #5 (“How Do I Register To Vote Or Request A Ballot As A U.S. Citizen Living Abroad?”)

When you fill out the FPCA–which VoteFromAbroad (VFA) will help you do–your “voting address” is the address of the last place your U.S. citizen parent lived in the U.S. If both of your parents are U.S. citizens, you may use the last U.S. address of either U.S. parent. See also FAQ #13 (“What Should I Use As My ‘Voting Address’?”)

You will also see the question:“Are you abroad temporarily or indefinitely?” For most states, you will choose one of these three alternatives: “I intend to return”; My return is uncertain”; or “Never resided”. Depending on the state, “never resided” voters may receive only a federal ballot or may receive the full state and federal ballot.

However, the “Never Resided” category is not applicable for the 14 states–Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Illinois (non-military), Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah–that require registered voters to have resided in the state for a set amount of time. If you are registering to vote in one of those states, you will choose between: “I intend to return” or “My return is uncertain”