An American Voting in Prague

All You Need To Know To Ensure Your Vote Counts

Michael Franco

Written by Michael Franco Published on 18.09.2012 15:47:00 (updated on 03.02.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

In 2009, the United States Congress passed the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act to help protect the voting right of service members, their families and other citizens living abroad. Known as the MOVE Act, the legislation requires states to send absentee ballots to overseas voters no later than 45 days before an election. While the act helped reduce the number of ballots that were getting sent out too late for Americans to cast their votes, it also introduced a few additional complications that have made process of voting overseas more complicated than ever.

With a critical federal election looming in the United States on November 6, we thought we’d take a moment and try to cut through the complicated government language surrounding the MOVE Act. We spoke with Julia Bryan, from, and got the scoop on what it’ll take to make your vote count if you’re an American living in the Czech Republic: 

1.  I registered to vote from abroad 4 years ago, so I don’t need to do anything else, correct?

No. Because of the MOVE Act, every American living abroad must request their ballot within the calendar year of an election. Go to to request your ballot today.

2.  I’ve already received my ballot, even though I didn’t request it, am I good to go?

You might be. As mentioned above, if you requested and received your ballot in 2012, you are fine. You also must be sure to have requested your ballot from a foreign address. If you’ve not done both of these things, your ballot may be thrown out as illegal and you should start again.

3. I’m going to be in the States later this year and I think I’ll just drop off my ballot. That’ll be OK, right?

Yet again, no. Ballot requests are now only legally binding if they are mailed from abroad, either through the postal system or a US consular office. By working with Vote From Abroad, you’ll be given the address to which you need to mail your ballot depending on the state in which you’re registered.

4.  Is there a different form for registering to vote and requesting my ballot?

Luckily, no. If you go to, fill in all your information, and print and sign your form (the FPCA), you’ve covered both registration and your ballot request.

5.  When is the deadline for sending in my form?

Each state has a different deadline, but most fall at the beginning of October. We recommend that you send in your ballot request/voter registration by September 24th to make sure it makes it to your county’s election office in time.

6.  I’ve filled in my form and signed it. What’s next?

You can either mail your form from a Czech post office, take it to the U.S. Embassy (Tržiště 15 118 01, Praha 1, Malá Strana), or drop it off at the IWAP (International Women’s Association of Prague) offices at Sazavska 6, Prague 2, from 9 till 12 weekdays. We’ll be picking up ballot requests/voter registration from IWAP until the 24th of September. Please be sure to bring both the form and instructions with you (they include the mailing address) to make mailing easy.

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