Under U.S. law, qualified American citizens residing abroad may register and vote by absentee ballot in their state of last residence. For instructions on how to vote while abroad, please visit the State Department website.

U.S. embassies and consulates can provide American citizens with voting forms and information about absentee voting, and can mail voter registration, absentee ballot request forms, and voted ballots back to the United States. Embassies and consulates can also advise voters on local mailing options and estimated mail transit times. In addition, the embassy or consulate can notarize or witness voting materials (if required by the state) free of charge. There is no fee for this notarial service, for which the U.S. citizen voter should make an appointment.

American citizens cannot vote in person at U.S. embassies or consulates, nor can embassies or consulates receive mail or blank ballots on behalf of voters. You can drop off your ballot request or voted ballot at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for return to the United States, or you can have someone drop it off for you. It must be addressed to your local election officials and have sufficient postage or be in a postage-paid envelope. A postage-paid envelope is available on the FVAP web site. (Note: postal delivery time to the United States varies by consulate. To determine by when you will need to submit your ballot, please write to the consular section at

If you have further questions about how to vote in U.S. elections and primaries from DRC and would like assistance, please email the Embassy at We will respond to your email and will be happy to help. For other U.S. embassy and consulate email addresses for voting assistance please visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website.

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).

Be an educated voter.  Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues.   You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, and search the Internet to locate articles and information.

To receive information by email about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (  FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.

If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S.  Embassy Kinshasa Voting Assistance Officer at