Andee Goldman
Overseas Voting Consultant

Americans Living Overseas ~ YOUR VOTE COUNTS

#ReadinessChallenge: You can continue to use your last U.S. voting address even if: A) you no longer live there B) you no longer have any ties C) that address no longer exists D) all of the above

Posted by Federal Voting Assistance Program - FVAP on Thursday, July 6, 2023
American overseas can vote in US Federal Elections. (courtesy)

The 2020 presidential election had the highest domestic voter turnout of the 21st century, with 66.8% of eligible citizens voting and a very low 7.8% overseas eligible voter.

FVAP Report to Congress

US citizens, 18 years or older, residing abroad have the exact same right to vote in federal elections for President, Congress, and Senate, as US citizens living within the nation.

This is true regardless of:

  • How many years you have lived abroad
  • Whether or not you plan to return to the United States
  • How long it has been since your last vote, or whether you have ever voted before.
  • Whether you have a home in the United States

Even if you were born and have lived your whole life outside the United States, if you have at least one citizen parent, you may be able to vote in the state in which your American parent resides or resided.

Congress, Senate, and President gave overseas voters the right to vote.  In 1951, President Truman asked the American Political Science Association (APSA) to study the military voting problem and make recommendations. APSA completed its study in 1952 and the President endorsed the association’s legislative recommendations, which were sent to Congress.

The Federal Voting Assistance Act (P.L. 84-296) was subsequently enacted in 1955. The law was amended in 1968 to include a more general provision for U.S. citizens temporarily residing outside the United States, expanding the number of civilians covered under the law. The Overseas Citizens Voting Rights Act of 1975 (P.L. 94-203) guaranteed absentee registration and voting rights for citizens outside the United States, whether or not they maintained a U.S. residence or address and whether or not they intended to return.

The current law, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (P.L. 99-410), was signed into law by President Reagan on August 28, 1986.

Many Americans overseas think voting is to difficult, or they don’t feel they have the right if they no longer own property in America.


  • If you are receiving Social Security
  • If you are receiving Medicare
  • If you are filing an US Income Tax Return
  • If you have a US Passport
  • If you have investments or bank accounts in the US
  • If you want to voice your opinion about American politics
  • If you want to hire or fire elected officials by your vote

Everyone has their own reason why they vote or don’t vote.

Bad officials are the ones elected by good citizens who do not vote.George Jean Nathan

“We are voting because we appreciate the fact that even though we live abroad, we have the right & privilege of voting. I don’t know of another country that encourages its citizens, no matter where they happen to be to vote. So I will be doing my civic duty this coming November, and vote “  Myra B

Not voting is one of the worst things that could happen in our community. You can vote for whoever you want to, but choosing not to vote spits in the face of our ancestors who fought for our right to vote.”  Otis Moss III

“Voting in an election is not only a right but a duty, for all of us living the freedoms of our democratic countries. Life here in the Middle East has taught me that nothing should be taken for granted: Not our safety, our alliances, and certainly not our freedom of expression. We actually are the only democracy in the region, and as a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, I’m so proud of these inherent rights.

We teach our kids to respect their elders, to learn from example – yet to question their surroundings and use their talents to better their lives, their society, their future. to get involved and be a part of what happens, to raise a voice and be heard. Let’s be honest: Complaints abound. Every society inevitably complains about their leadership, how things are run, what decisions are made, how resources are divided and used. From the personal to the national, we have opinions on what should be done. And that’s great – I highly encourage involved citizenry. What gives us that right is our democratically given right to vote for our leaders. A vote is our voice, a referendum on how things should be. Vote, and speak out. Don’t vote, and relinquish your right to complain for the next four years. It’s that simple. Responsibility in democracy is dependent on casting your vote, and staying involved.

Don’t take for granted your right to vote. Exercise your vote, and enjoy the benefits of democracy.”  Ruth L.

“We are dual citizens and have the right to vote.  I am not happy with the growth of antisemitism in America and feel it is important to elect a leader who will fight for us.  Plus, I worry about the public education that my grandson will be receiving, and the problem with America’s illegal immigration.  That is why I am spending so much time helping and encouraging Americans overseas to vote.”  Andee Goldman

”Since the day I became 18, I have registered and voted in every election.  My late grandmother encouraged me to vote.  She came to American in 1912, at the age of 12 and was active in the Woman Suffrage Movement that fought for the right of women to vote. Suffragists won the political support necessary for ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. For 42 years, the measure had been introduced at every session of Congress, but ignored or voted down. It finally passed Congress in 1919 and went to the states for ratification. In May, the House of Representatives passed it by a vote of 304 to 90; two weeks later, the Senate approved it 56 to 25.”   Louise K.

American Democrats in Israel ~Heather Stone, Vice Chair of American Democrats in Israel (formerly Vice Chair of Democrats Abroad Israel):  “I am voting Democrat in 2024, Biden – Harris for President and Vice President, and Democrats for Senate and House.  I want to give President Biden a Democratic majority in the House and Senate so he can “finish the job”, protecting women’s rights and LGBTQIA rights, protecting voting rights and our democracy, standing by our international allies – NATO and Israel.  Biden will further build out the U.S. economy, clean energy jobs and improve healthcare for all Americans in his second term.”  For more information,

Ethan Kushner, Chair, American Democrats in Israel (former Chair, Democrats Abroad Israel)   “As we witnessed in the 2020 Presidential election cycle, the outcome of the overseas vote played a vital role particularly in several key states, a fact that ended up tipping the balance in favor of President Biden.  As it appears we are heading towards a “rematch.”  Considering the unequivocal support President Biden offered Israel in the wake of the horrors of October 7th, we, as overseas citizens need to ensure that the President remains in office, not only to complete his domestic agenda, but to ensure that the special relationship between the two countries remains strong and unbreakable.  

Most importantly, getting the vote out in favor of President Biden will ensure that we do not return to the days of an administration that attacks allies, glorifies dictators and backs out of international agreements. We need to vote in overwhelming numbers to stay on course, and to guarantee that we do not return to the dark days of voter suppression and insurrection championed by the former administration.”

Republican Overseas-Israel ~ “This election is the most consequential US election for the Jewish people – possibly in history.  As Israel wages war for its very existence, against an enemy which personifies evil, we need to ensure that the U.S. administration stands steadfastly and unapologetically with Israel – and against evil.  Unfortunately, as the Biden Administration pursues votes in the swing-state of Michigan, their support for Israel wanes.  From threatening to cut off or slow military support for Israel, to their unilateral imposition of sanctions without due process against Jews defending their farms from Palestinian interlocutors, to overt calls for Israel to not finish the job of destroying Hamas, this administration has corrupted the moral clarity needed to destroy evil.  And the single thing we can do to reverse the dangerous trend plaguing this Administration is by voting in the upcoming election.”  RO – Israel Facebook

New York State Board of Elections  ~ “I want to assure overseas voters that all eligible voters who return their ballots within the timeframe established by law will have their ballots counted. There is a persistent myth among absentee voters that your vote will only count if “it is close”. Nothing could be further from the truth. All ballots issued to eligible voters, which are returned timely, are counted. Every vote counts. Prior to becoming New York’s chief election official, I served as a County Commissioner and experienced many tight votes. One race was decided by two absentee votes, so I have firsthand experience!  Kristen Zebrowski Stavisky, Chief Election Official, New York State, Co-Executive Director,


About the Author
Andee Goldman moved to Israel in 2006 from Las Vegas, Nevada. Since 2008, as a nonpartisan, she has volunteered helping and encouraging Americans overseas to vote in America's Federal Elections. The 99th Congress (1985-1986) passed the bill that gives Americans overseas the right to vote YOUR VOTE IS YOUR VOICE As an Israeli, she has become a history buff and enjoys sharing her experience and travels around Israel and the world!! Andee is available to answer your voting questions at:
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