Voter Help Desk
iVoteIsrael
As an American citizen born overseas, can I vote?
 

Whether or not an American citizen born overseas who has never resided in the U.S. can vote in American elections is determined by state law. Please see the list of states below.

The voting rights of U.S. citizens born overseas are specifically provided by laws in approximately 37 states. Information about these states is listed below and should be reviewed before submitting a Registration/Absentee Ballot Request form in case special exceptions apply. Even though some states are silent on the issue, no state specifically forbids it, so we encourage you to try to register, even if your state is not on the list, by using the federal Registration/Absentee Ballot Request form.

You can generate the completed form using the our website. Choose "Register to Vote / Request your Ballot."

Your voting address in the United States will be the last U.S. residence of a U.S. citizen parent. U.S. voting is very local, so the ultimate decision regarding whether you can register to vote rests with your local election officials in the voting jurisdiction of your U.S. citizen parent.

Our website will lead you through the process of creating the form to register to vote. During the online process, there will be a space provided where you can insert "Additional Information." In this optional section, we recommendthat you explain your situation and emphasize your citizen parent's ties to the state by including a statement like the following, depending on your individual circumstances:

"I am a U.S. citizen who has never lived in the U.S. My U.S. parent [YOUR PARENT'S FULL NAME] is eligible to vote in [YOUR STATE NAME], and I have used the same voting residence claimed by my U.S. parent in [YOUR STATE NAME]. I have a U.S. passport, birth certificate, and social security number."

If you can, provide any other information you may have about ties to the state — other family members living there, etc. — or a brief statement about why being able to vote is important to you.

After you've completed the online process, you should download the form, print it, sign it, and return it to your local election official in the U.S. Then, once the form should have been received, you should contact your local election official via telephone or email to check whether your application was accepted and you are registered to vote. If you run into problems when trying to register, please don't hesitate to contact us with any further questions.

Please save a copy of all registration documents for your records.

STATES

The following states have specific laws granting voting rights to American citizens born overseas who have never resided in the U.S. These states have effectively extended to such voters the rights granted by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).

Alaska

A U.S. citizen who has never resided in the U.S. and whose parents were last domiciled in Alaska is eligible to register to vote as a "Federal voter" and may vote in Alaska.

Arizona

A U.S. citizen who has never resided in the U.S. and whose parent is qualified to vote in Arizona is eligible to register to vote and may vote in Arizona.

California

A U.S. citizen who was born abroad, who is eligible to vote, and who has not previously registered to vote in any other state, may register and vote in the California county where a parent or legal guardian, spouse or civil union partner would be eligible to register and vote.

Colorado

Colorado allows citizens who have never resided in the U.S. to register and vote. Colorado law defines these citizens as persons who are citizens of the United States, will be 18 years of age or older on the date of the next election, and have never been a resident of any state but whose parent is eligible to register and vote in Colorado (for federal offices only).

Connecticut

A U.S. citizen who was born abroad and who is eligible to vote and who has never lived in the U.S. may register and vote in the town or city in Connecticut where a parent or legal guardian would be eligible to register and vote.

Delaware

A U.S. citizen who was born abroad and who is eligible to vote and who has never lived in the U.S. may register and vote in the county where a parent would be eligible to register and vote (for federal offices only).

District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.)

A U.S. citizen born abroad who is eligible to vote and has never lived in the U.S. and is not registered to vote anywhere else in the U.S. is eligible to vote at the same voting residence in the District of Columbia where a parent or guardian would be eligible to register and vote.

Georgia

If a U.S. citizen outside of the U.S. has never lived in the U.S. and either parent is a qualified Georgia voter then, he or she is eligible to register and vote where his or her parent is a qualified voter.

Hawaii

U.S. citizens who have never resided in the U.S. but have a parent who is eligible to vote in Hawaii are eligible to vote at the same voting residence claimed by their parent (for local, state, and federal office ballots).

Illinois

A U.S. citizen who was born abroad and who is eligible to vote and who has never lived in the U.S. may register and vote in the county where a parent would be eligible to register and vote. Use the most recent residential address in Illinois of a family member.

Iowa

If a U.S. citizen outside the U.S. has never lived in the U.S. and either parent is a qualified Iowa voter then, that person is eligible to register and vote where his or her parent is a qualified voter.

Kansas

A U.S. citizen who has never resided in the U.S. and has a parent or legal guardian that was last domiciled in Kansas is eligible to vote in Kansas.

Kentucky

 A U.S. citizen born outside the U.S., who is eligible to vote and who has never lived in the U.S. may register and vote where the parent or legal guardian would be eligible to register and vote in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  

Maine

A U.S. citizen who has never lived in the U.S., but who has a parent or legal guardian who is a qualified elector in Maine, may register and vote at the address where that parent is a qualified elector.

Massachusetts

A U.S. citizens who have never resided in the U.S. but have a parent or legal guardian who is eligible to vote in Massachusetts are eligible to vote at the same voting residence claimed by their parent (for local, state, and federal office ballots).

Michigan

A U.S. citizen who has never resided in the U.S. and has a parent or legal guardian that was last domicilied in Michigan is is eligible to vote in Michigan as long as he or she has not registered or voted in another state.

Minnesota

A U.S. citizen who has never resided in the U.S. and has a parent or legal guaardian that was last domiciled in Minnesota is eligible to vote as a "federal voter" and may vote for federal offices only.

Nebraska

U.S. citizens of voting age who have never resided in the U.S. but have a parent who is eligible to vote in Nebraska, and have not registered to vote in any other state of the U.S., are eligible to register to vote in one county in which either of their parents claimed residence (for local, state, and federal office ballots). The citizen must include with the registration a signed form provided by the Nebraska Election Commissioner or County Clerk.

Nevada

A U.S. citizen who has never resided in the U.S. and has a parent or legal guardian that was last domicilied in Nevada is is eligible to vote in Nevada as long as he or she has not registered or voted in another state.

New Hampshire

A U.S. citizen who was born abroad and who is eligible to vote and who has never lived in the U.S. may register and vote in the town or city in New Hampshire where a parent or legal guardian would be eligible to register and vote.

New Mexico

A U.S. citizen who has never resided in the U.S. and has a parent or legal guardian that was last domicilied in New Mexico is is eligible to vote in New Mexico. 

New York

A U.S. citizen who was has never resided in the U.S. and has a parent or legal guardian that was last domiciled in New York is eligible to vote as a federal voter and may vote for federal offices only.

North Carolina

A U.S. citizen who was has never resided in the U.S. and has a parent or legal guardian that was last domiciled in North Carolina is eligible to vote in North Carolina.

North Dakota

A U.S. citizen who was born abroad and who is eligible to vote and who has never lived in the U.S. may vote in the county where a parent would be eligible to vote .

Ohio

A U.S. citizen who was born abroad and who is eligible to vote and who has never lived in the U.S. may register and vote in the town or city in Ohio where a parent or legal guardian would be eligible to register and vote.

Oklahoma

If a U.S. citizen outside the U.S. has never lived in the U.S. and either parent is a qualified Oklahoma voter, then he or she is eligible to register and vote where his or her parent is a qualified voter.

Oregon

A U.S. citizen who has never resided in the U.S. but intends to reside in Oregan and has a parent, legal guardian or spouse that was last domiciled in Oregon is eligible to vote in Oregon.

Rhode Island

If the person is a U.S. citizen and has never lived in the U.S. but has a parent who is a qualified Rhode Island elector then, this person will be eligible to register and vote in federal elections.

South Carolina

A U.S. citizen who has never resided in the U.S. and has a parent or legal guardian that was last domicilied in South Carolina  is eligible to vote in South Carolina. 

South Dakota

Any overseas citizen may register and vote in any federal, state, county, or local election held within South Dakota under the following condition: (1) The overseas citizen, or the spouse or parent of the overseas citizen, was last domiciled in South Dakota immediately prior to departure from the United States (2) an adult child of the overseas citizen has not reached the age of 22.

Tennessee

A U.S. citizen who was born abroad and who is eligible to vote and who has never lived in the U.S. may register temporarily and vote in the county where a parent would be eligible to temporarily register and vote pursuant to this action.

Vermont

A U.S. citizen who has never resided in the U.S. and has a parent or legal guardian that was last domicilied in Vermont is is eligible to vote in Vermont as long as he or she has not registered or voted in another state.

Virginia

A U.S. citizen who was born abroad and who is eligible to vote and who has never lived in the U.S. may register and vote in the city or county where a parent would be eligible to register and vote. However, your eligibility to vote may be restricted to federal elections. Please contact your local registrar for additional information.

Washington (State)

A U.S. citizen who was born abroad and who is eligible to vote and who has never lived in the U.S. may register and vote in the county where a parent would be eligible to register and vote. He or she must use the most recent residential address in Washington of their family member. [

West Virginia

A U.S. citizen who was born abroad and who is eligible to vote and who has never lived in the U.S. may register and vote in the county where either parent would be eligible to register and vote.

Wisconsin

A U.S. citizen who was born abroad and who is eligible to vote and who has never lived in the U.S. may register and vote in the city or village where a parent would be eligible to register and vote (for federal offices only).

Wyoming

A U.S. citizen who has never resided in the U.S. and whose parent(s) is/are qualified to vote in Wyoming is eligible to register to vote and may vote in Wyoming.

Information Source:  www.fvap.gov/citizen-voter/reside

 

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