If you’re a US citizen, then you can vote abroad in any Presidential and Congressional elections while residing in South Korea. The only requirement necessary, besides citizenship, is that you’re registered to vote.
The length of your stay in Korea and the maintenance of a residence in the US remains irrelevant, though your intention to return to the US can matter when voting in state and local elections while living abroad. For some states, voting in state elections can also mean that you will be liable to pay state taxes even if living abroad. Keep in mind, though, that many states will require that you be registered a month prior to the election day in order to vote in that election.
Here at 10 Magazine, we’ve created a guide to voting in US Presidential and Congressional elections from South Korea.
Things to Check Beforehand:
- That you are registered to vote
- Your state’s voter registration, ballot request, and ballot return deadlines (you can check all this information through this link)
- That you have ample time to undergo the process – around 45 days is a good time frame
- Each year, you are required to submit a new completed Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to your local election officials despite whether or not you’ve submitted the form in the past.
- Keep in mind that you can contact the US Embassy & Consulate in Seoul for any questions you may have regarding the process or your eligibility
1. Download your Voter Registration and FPCA
You can download your Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at www.fvap.gov. You can save your data in a voter account to participate in future elections. Once your form is completed, it will serve as your absentee ballot request.
2. Request an Absentee Ballot
Once on the website, click the box labeled “Request an Absentee Ballot.”
3. Indicate Your State of Residence and Jurisdiction
You will then be redirected to a page where you can choose your state of residence and jurisdiction.
4. Determine your Absentee Ballot Classification
You will have to choose from the following:
5. Fill Out The Required Information
Fill out your personal information, contact information, personal identification, affiliated political party, voting residence information, and any other information requested. To prove your personal identification, you must provide either a State issued ID number or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
6. Indicate how you intend to submit the form
Your state’s options may include email, fax, or post.
7. Download, print, sign, and mail the form
Download the completed form and instructions. Print, sign, and mail it to the indicated elections office in the instructions. Keep in mind that your ballot isn’t officially submitted until your request is sent to your election official via email, fax, or post. If you choose to send your form electronically, the elections official will need your original signature on file so you will need to mail your printed, original form by post.
8. Check the Election Official Directory for your status
After your registration and ballot request form is processed by your election official, you will be placed on the Election Official Directory. You can check the directory for contact details and to find the online ballot tracking system for your state.
9. Receive your ballot via online or post
Receive your ballot either online or by post, depending on your state’s regulations. This process may take a couple of weeks. Your elections office should send you your ballot around 1-2 months before the election date either electronically or by mail.
10. Complete, sign, and send your vote
Complete the ballot as per the instructions attached and sign the envelope to cast your vote before the deadline. You’re finished!