How to vote as a Peace Corps Volunteer

Just in case you haven’t heard, it seems there is an election coming up soon.

We’ll skip the passionate argument about why voting is important and get straight to the point.

Voting in the United States is not an easy task. Only 58% of the voting public participated in the 2016 election. Mid-term elections hardly hit 50%, and State/Local elections are lucky if they get 30% of voters out.

With voting this difficult in the U.S, just imagine trying to perform this civic duty while living in a rural village in Mali, or on the coast of Timor-Leste.

The key factor in absentee voting is to allow your ballot enough time to arrive back home. This can be challenging if you live in a rural community or in a country with a leisurely-paced postal system.

For its part, the Peace Corps does its best by sharing useful resources for volunteers and reminding them of the strict policies around absentee voting. However, at the end of the day, it comes down to your State and current voter status.

Below, we’ve outlined the steps needed to vote while serving in the Peace Corps. Absentee voting admittedly is a cumbersome process that almost looks difficult by design, but try not to focus on that.

Allow yourself to take solace in the fact that you are participating in a fundamental process that does have the power to elicit societal change. People you disagree with are always voting their views…you might-as-well vote yours.

How to vote while serving in the Peace Corps:

  • Register to vote in your State before leaving for the Peace Corps

  • If you did not register before you left, do it here

  • Look up your State’s absentee voting requirements in the list below

    • Reflect on the fact that Uber Eats exists but you still have to vote in this way

  • Request an absentee ballot

  • Wait for your absentee ballot

  • Brush up on who deserves your vote (this is a nice list of resources)

  • Mail it in!

  • Drape yourself in an American Flag

A big thanks to for simplifying the process as much as possible

**Edited October 2nd, 2019

Another incredible resource we learned about from a reddit community member is This website offers similar information but more targeted toward those living abroad.

Congratulations on making it through this article and preparing yourself for your Peace Corps experience. You can find more information about Preparing for the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Discounts, and Concerned Parents in our other articles. 

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Hope to hear from you!

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