Voter Help Desk
Can a U.S. citizen living outside the country vote in primary elections?

Yes. All voters eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act can vote in federal primaries. You have the right to vote in any primary, general, special, and runoff election held solely or in part for the purpose of selecting, nominating or electing any candidate for office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the U.S. Senate, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Delegates from the District of Columbia, Guam, Virgin Islands, and American Samoa, and Resident Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

State and local primaries for electoral positions other than federal offices usually only apply to you if you are temporarily overseas and continuing to pay state taxes. In short, if you are voting for someone who will sit in Washington, D.C. and represent your state/country, that is the federal level and you can vote in those elections without hesitation.

Note, that in a presidential election year, many states hold both Presidential Preference Primaries (to select the presidential candidates) and State Primaries. Please consult the Election Dates & Deadlines page on this website to see upcoming election dates and to confirm the deadlines for registration and ballot requests.



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