If you know you will be away during an election (and you already know your overseas address), you should file a Voter Registration/Absentee Ballot Request form in order to request that an absentee ballot be sent to you overseas. This is the case even if you are only overseas temporarily.
Note that as an overseas voter, you can receive your blank ballot online. However, you should be prepared to download and print it.
You can go to the Register to Vote/Absentee Ballot page on our website to generate your registration and request form - you can do this either before you leave the U.S. or when you arrive overseas. During this registration process you will have an opportunity to enter "Additional Information". It’s at this point that you can explain your plan to return by a certain date (if that is the case), and that starting on that date you would like to revert back to your local voting status. The information you enter will print on an Addendum Page that you will sign and send with your form.
When you return to the U.S., in order to make sure that your next ballot does NOT get sent overseas, you will have to be sure to contact your local election office and tell them to take you off the voter rolls as an "overseas voter" and to change your status to a domestic, local voter. This is something you may also be able to do online with your state. You should then file a new domestic voter registration form, which you can do by visiting the U.S. Vote Foundation website and, subsequently, the Register to Vote/Absentee Ballot page.
Contact information for your local election office can be found in the Election Official Directory on our website. Once there, simply input your state and region, and click on the “Election Official Contact Details” tab to get started.