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I’m a U.S. citizen living overseas

Who is an “Overseas Voter”?

You are an overseas voter if you are a U.S. citizen who last resided in Wisconsin, or your parent last resided in Wisconsin, before moving to a foreign country, and you have no intent to return to your prior municipality in Wisconsin.  These voters are often called “permanent” overseas voters.

Note: Voters who are temporarily overseas on Election Day, and have an intent to return are NOT considered overseas voters.

Registering to Vote

  • An overseas voter is required to register to vote, but is not required to provide proof of residence

Requesting an Absentee Ballot

  • Unlike a regular voter, an overseas voter can request and receive an absentee ballot online at MyVote WI:
  • You can also complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and mail it to your municipal clerk (the FPCA serves as both voter registration AND absentee ballot request)
  • Overseas electors who are not registered must postmark their registration by the 3rd Wednesday before the election in order to vote
  • Overseas electors can request an absentee ballot up until 5 p.m. on the 5th day before the election
  • Overseas voters are only eligible to vote in elections that contain a federal office

Receiving Your Absentee Ballot

  • Overseas electors can choose to receive their absentee ballot by mail, email, or fax.  You may not return your absentee ballot electronically.
  • Since September 20, 2012, overseas electors can access their absentee ballots online at MyVote WI:
  • If the absentee ballot does not arrive in time, you may use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB), which is available online, and at U.S. embassies

Voting and Returning Your Absentee Ballot

  • You may only vote for federal offices
  • You must mark your ballot in the presence of a witness who is a U.S. citizen
  • After you vote your ballot, place it in the envelope, and complete the absentee ballot certification
  • Make sure you sign and date the certificate, provide your date of birth, and have a U.S. citizen sign as a witness, and provide the witness' address
  • Return your absentee ballot to your municipal clerk by mail
  • The absentee ballot must be postmarked by Election Day, and received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.  The U.S. Postal Service recommends absentee ballots be mailed one week before Election Day to arrive on time

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