A smaller proportion of Americans voted in last year's presidential election than in 1984, but the rate went up for those who voted while abroad, according to the head of the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Henry Valentino said the overseas rate rose to 35.3 percent from 33 percent four years earlier, based on an estimate that 2.5 million civilian Americans were outside the country on Election Day.But that rate was still lower than the overall turnout, which was 50 percent.