I realize now that I should have posted about this months ago. Today is election day so it is late now to post all the advice and tips for voting from abroad. But here it is anyway. Perhaps it will be helpful for someone in the future.
In summary, there are a lot of resources available. Here are some from this time around for next voting season.
- And also check your county & state resources
Each state has different rules or procedures for how to send in your ballot. In our case it had to be mailed or faxed. So an option for us, was to drop it off at the US embassy in Paris and they would send it to the US and mail it from there (no postage required). So that’s what I did in early October. (NOTE: sending my ballot via the embassy worked great for me, but since I dropped it off I have heard of a number of instances where ballots send via the embassy didn’t make it or didn’t make it in time. The problem is that there is no process for tracking its progress. While there are problems, in particular delays, with sending it by French mail at least (usually) tracking is available and works).
We didn’t know that if your state requires you to fax the ballot, and you do not have a fax machine, the Embassy or the Federal Voting Assistance Program can assist with faxing. If you can scan the completed ballot and all required forms into an email, you can send the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, the Consular Section of the Embassy could have faxed it for us. And of course, there online services to turn emails into faxes.
Other states allow email of ballots.
Bottom line, each state is different but there are a lot of resources for voting from abroad!
Here is my vote, which arrived and was accepted in California. Just remember… vote!