Absentee Voting Information for U.S. Citizens Abroad
VOTING IS NOW EASIER THAN EVER BEFORE:
Now all U.S. citizens can receive their blank ballots electronically. Depending on the state in which you are eligible to vote, you may get your ballot by email, fax, or internet download. To start, go to http://www.FVAP.gov to complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), print and sign the form then return it to your local election office in the United States. We recommend overseas U.S. citizens get in the habit of completing FPCAs each January. You should include your email address on the form so it’s easier for your election officials to reach you if there is a problem. If your state delivers ballots electronically by fax only, be sure to include your fax number. If you request electronic delivery and include your email address or fax number, you’ll receive your blank ballot 45 days before general and mid-term elections and generally 30 days before special, primary, and run-off elections for federal offices. Most states now have voter registration verification websites, and many offer a means of tracking the status of your registration and ballot. Please visit this website for more information.
FVAP NEWS RELEASES
The following is the basic absentee voting process:
- You complete an application form (see below) and send it to local election officials in the U.S.
- The local official approves your request, or contacts you for further information
- The local official sends you an absentee ballot
- You vote the ballot and send it back in time to meet your state’s deadline
The official US Government website for overseas absentee voting assistance is the Federal Voting Assistance Program website at http://www.fvap.gov/. It has a wealth of information about absentee voting, including the downloadable absentee ballot application, state-specific instructions for completing the form, links to state and local officials, and a downloadable emergency ballot.
To register to vote and to request an absentee ballot, download the Federal Post Card Application at http://www.fvap.gov/. You can also obtain this form from overseas U.S. citizens groups or from the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. Fill it out and send it in, following the guidelines for your state. A postage-paid envelope template, valid if you are using the U.S. postal system, is available at http://www.fvap.gov/.
Each state has different voting procedures. Information about your state’s procedures, deadlines to register and vote is available here.
States sometimes make last-minute changes. There may be late changes to your state’s voting calendar, procedures or deadlines. When these occur, the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will issue a News Release. News Releases are available at http://www.fvap.gov/info/news/.
Be an educated voter. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues is widely available and easy to obtain via the Internet. Use the links appearing on the Federal Voting Assistance Program website at http://www.fvap.gov/, or choose any one of several search engines to locate articles and information.
An emergency ballot is available. If the ballot receipt deadline is approaching, and you have not yet received the blank ballot from local officials, you can download an emergency ballot, write in the names of the candidates and the offices for which they are running, and send it back in time to meet your state’s ballot receipt deadline. The emergency ballot (SF-186, Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, or FWAB) is available on the Internet at http://www.fvap.gov/.
The Voting Assistance Officer at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi is available to answer questions about absentee voting. To contact the Voting Assistance Officer send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, we strongly encourage you to begin this process as soon as possible.
U.S. citizens may follow the Federal Voting Assistance Program on Facebook.