How to vote in American Elections from Italy

Americans in Italy, it’s already election time!

Now is the time to request your ballot to vote in the November 8 midterms.

All U.S. citizens can vote from Italy, but to do so you need to request an absentee ballot every election year. You can do this by filling out and submitting a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at www.votefromabroad.org. 

The U.S. midterm elections seem a long way off, especially if you are still enjoying your vacation, but for the 40,000 or so U.S. citizens living in Italy it’s not too early to think about election time. 

Overseas absentee ballots are sent out to voters via email 45 days prior to the election (September 24 this year). But don’t wait… You need to get started immediately! You’ll find all the rules and deadlines for each state at Vote From Abroad!

Fortunately, requesting a ballot is easier now than ever before: it takes just 5 minutes by smartphone or computer. Go to www.VoteFromAbroad.org, a website designed to help ALL eligible U.S. voters who live overseas. Vote From Abroad walks you through the process step by step. You just need to choose your state, then provide your U.S. voting address and zip code. You’ll need your Social Security number and an unlined piece of white paper so you can “capture” your signature and upload it to the platform. If you run into trouble at any point you can contact the Help Desk and the volunteers will help you through any difficulties. 

Overseas voters who request their ballots via FPCA have several advantages. Only one form of ID is needed, ballots are sent out 45 days before the election (this year on September 24), and overseas ballots are protected under federal law. 

When you receive your ballot by email, waste no time! Complete it and return it immediately to your local election official, and you should follow up to make sure that your ballot has arrived. Many states allow ballots to be returned electronically or via fax (e.g., via internet fax systems such as FaxZero). In some states your ballot must be returned in paper form. For paper ballot return DHL is offering a special discount code “USA20“, a 20% discount available for all mail going to the US only at DHL physical drop-off ServicePoints or you can use the Poste Italiane Posta Prioritaria. You can also drop it off at the Rome Embassy or the Consulate in Milan, Naples, or Florence.  A message will be sent by the Embassy and Consulates to all registered U.S. citizens in Italy detailing the ballot drop box procedures at our consulates and embassy by Monday, September 19.

Your vote counts – a lot! 

If you think your vote from abroad can’t make a difference, think again. You have more power in this midterm than you know. In 2020 overseas voters created the margin of victory for the Democrats.

In the 2022 midterms the margin of victory in several key states will be razor thin, just as it was in 2020. President Joe Biden won Georgia by a margin of just 0.23% (11,779 votes), but overseas voters returned approximately 19,000 votes to Georgia and the Democrats carried the state! In another example of a slim margin making the difference, Biden ultimately won Arizona by some 10,000 votes over Trump, a 0.3% margin.

The 2020 election set a new voter turnout record: nearly 158.4 million ballots were cast, or about 7 percentage points higher than in 2016. Americans living overseas also voted in increasing numbers in 2020: 900,000 American civilians and military personnel residing abroad voted by absentee ballot, according to the Election Administration and Voting Survey 2020 Comprehensive Report 

Democrats Abroad tripled the vote of Americans living in Italy in the 2020 presidential election. We are proud of these results and grateful for all the support from all of you and our volunteers. However, we must increase voter participation even more in the midterms and in the 2024 presidential elections.   

And yet despite these impressive increases, only 7.8% of Americans living overseas who can vote actually do so, according to a federal study based on data from the 2020 elections.

American Elections

What’s at stake

This election will determine the future of our country and what President Biden can accomplish in the next two years. Halfway through his term, Biden has fulfilled many of his campaign promises: The impressive Inflation Reduction Act was passed, which will lower the cost of living and fight climate change; the CHIPS & Science Act was signed into law; the strongest gun safety legislation in decades is now law; and a once-in-a-generation infrastructure package is a reality. We must continue to have a Democratic majority in the House and Senate so that President Biden can continue to pass more historical legislation like this. 

If you are worried by the events of 2022 – the war in Ukraine, extreme weather, drought, continued gun violence, the Supreme Court decision on abortion – or are concerned about the erosion of our democratic rights, don’t sit at home. Exercise the power you have. There are 34 U.S. Senate seats, 435 U.S. House of Representative seats, 46 state legislatures, and 36 state governorships on the ballot, all deciding the future of our country. 

What you can do? Commit to asking five Americans living abroad to request their ballots at VoteFromAbroad.org.

VOTE and donate! 

Best regards,

Nancy Fina

National Chair at Democrats Abroad Italy

daitaly-chair@democratsabroad.org