Americans: How to vote from the Netherlands
With the November general elections coming up, you probably want to have your say and thus cast your vote. Living as far away from America as the Netherlands may make it seem as though voting will cost you a lot of time and hassle. Well, it is actually not as difficult as you might think.
Register and request absentee ballot
First things first, in order to vote you’ll need to make sure you stay on your State’s voting rolls. Do this by requesting and registering your absentee ballot as soon as possible; it’s best to do this at the start of the calendar year.
The form you have to fill in to register is called the Federal Post Card Application and it can be done on the Federal Voting Assistance Program website. After filling out said form, print, sign and date it and then return according to the given instructions. Some States may allow you to return it via email or online.
Make sure you contact your local election office to confirm they have received your request. You never know, it may have gotten lost in the post and it would be a shame if such a mishap cost you the right to vote.
Use your received ballot to vote
Once you have your ballot, you can vote and send it back. Make sure you follow your specific State’s instructions. Or drop it off at the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam.
If you are mailing it, the Military Postal Service Agency recommends sending it by October 25 at the latest for some zip codes in the Netherlands, as it will take some time to get to its destination. However, please make sure you check your State’s deadline, as this may vary.
If you have not received your ballot from your State at least 30 days before the election, you can use the emergency backup ballot called the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). The FWAB can be completed online by filling out a PDF, which you can then download, print, sign and send.
Vote in the upcoming elections
Now, that wasn’t so difficult, was it? If you get stuck, just visit the FVAP website for more information. You can also watch the video below from the U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam to help with the voting from the Netherlands process.