U.S. citizens age 18+ can vote wherever they are in the world. Simply follow the step-by-step instructions below and look at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s website, fvap.gov for more resources. U.S. citizens in Cabo Verde can email PraiaConsular@state.gov with any additional questions.
1) Determine Your Voting Residence
Your voting residence is your address before leaving the United States. You do not need to have current ties with that address. If you have never lived in the United States, your voting residence will usually be your parents’ last residence in the United States (if you were born overseas) or their address at the time you were born (if you were born in the United States).
All U.S. elections (including for the president) are managed at the state level and each state has its own deadlines and instructions for absentee voting. Your voting residence determines your state for U.S. voting purposes.
If you have questions, contact your local election office in the United States.
2) Register to Vote and Request an Absentee Ballot
- You must re-register every year in which you wish to vote. You can register and request an absentee ballot at the same time by completing the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). For states other than California and New York (which require a hand-signed FPCA), you can complete and submit the FPCA online here. Alternatively, you can print the FPCA here, fill it out and sign it, and scan and send it to your local election office in the United States. Make sure to include your U.S. voting residence address as well as your current address to prove your eligibility to vote absentee. Request your ballot to be sent to you via email if possible.
- Locate instructions for your state of voting residence in the Voting Assistance Guide.
3) Complete and Return Your Ballot (or Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot)
- To ensure timely processing, you should complete your ballot as soon as you receive it.
- The return method will vary based on your state’s requirements.
Although most states will accept ballots via email or fax, U.S. Embassy Praia can accept your FPCA, ballot, or Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, in person to mail to the United States. Simply download and print the postage paid envelope for your ballot or request one at the Embassy. You (or a friend or relative) can give the sealed and prepaid envelope to the guards at the main entrance or come through security and place it in our locked collection box Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You do not need to make an appointment. You can also mail your sealed ballot to the Embassy at the address below, but please ensure sufficient Cabo Verdean postage and time for domestic transit. You can also mail your sealed ballot to the Embassy at the address below, but please ensure sufficient Cabo Verdean postage and time for domestic transit. It can take 4-6 weeks for forms sent from the Embassy to be received by relevant U.S. election offices, so please plan accordingly.
After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by your election office.
YOUR VOTE COUNTS
Many U.S. elections within the past ten years have been decided by a margin of victory of less than 0.1%. All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline (differs by state, find your state’s deadline here).
Be an educated voter. Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues.
U.S. Embassy Praia
Rua Abilio Macedo 6
Praia, Cabo Verde
Phone: (+238) 260-8900