Federation of American Women's Clubs

FAWCO - Vote in 2016!

Voting by American “citizen children”

FAWCO’s US Liaison, Lucy Laederich announced some good news at the interim meeting in March: 36 states and the District of Columbia now allow “citizen children” (citizens who have not lived in the US as adults) to vote: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Register to vote through the FAWCO site (see https://www.fawco.org/us-issues/us-voting-from-overseas)! A “citizen child” wanting to register should use a standard sentence in the “Additional info” box on the federal form: “I am a citizen who has not lived in the United States as an adult. I am registering to vote using the address of my citizen parent (or grandparent).”

The other states and territories may either explicitly forbid citizen children from registering (such as New Jersey). If the state’s attitude is not clear, I’d advise trying to register citizen children in the usual way, and see what the local election official says.

What is your voting address?

The federal registration/ballot request form asks for three pieces of info:

  • Who you are (proof of identity); name, birthdate, ID number (usually the last 4 digits of your Social Security number);
  • Proof that you should vote in the state/territory concerned: your voting address; and
  • Where to send your ballot: your current address.

If you voted in the US before going overseas, list the address you used at that time. You do not need still to own it, use it or have any connection with it. I’m still voting using an address I lived at for 18 months, 35 years ago! That apartment block is probably a parking lot now. If you have never voted in the US, use the last address where you lived in the state or some kind of family address.

Lather, rinse, repeat

Once again, here’s our main message to every American we can find.

1. Register to vote/request a ballot for the 2016 election. Send the registration form/ballot request to your local election official according to the instructions that accompany it.

2. Receive and complete your ballot. States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections.

3. If your ballot does not arrive in time (1 month before 8 November 2016), send a federal write-in absentee ballot (FWAB). If your regular ballot arrives after you have sent off your FWAB, vote and send it, too, and let the local election official decide which one to count.

For tasks 1 and 3, use the online resources available to you to, including:

Send questions to the FAWCO Voting from Overseas Committee (voting@fawco.org).

Did You Know That  ...

FAWCO offers AWC members’ children and grandchildren scholarships, as well as opportunities to explore the world with other young people. They do not need to hold USA passports to participate. See more about this on the FAWCO Foundation website.







Mary Stewart Burgher

Mary Stewart Burgher