The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) guarantees United States citizens overseas the right to vote in federal elections in the United States.
Eligible citizen voters can use the website for the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) at FVAP.gov to register and request for an absentee ballot on-line by selecting the On-Line Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Each state has a state-specific page on FVAP.gov that gives important details about deadlines, contact information, and voting procedures. Voting regulations and procedures vary from state to state, including deadlines for submitting applications. Each state’s website indicates if the FPCA or absentee ballot must be notarized or witnessed, a service that will be provided at no charge by the Embassy or Consulates.
The Consular Section’s American Citizen Services Unit can help facilitate voting overseas by accepting absentee ballots and mailing them to local election officials in the United States.
For a video tour of the online voter registration services available to you, click here.
Registering to Vote and Requesting your Ballot
To register to vote and/or to request your ballot, complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Even if you have voted by absentee ballot in the past, you must complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to vote in the 2020 elections. The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories. It allows you to register to vote and to request absentee ballots for all regular, primary, run-off, and special elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) during the course of the year it is submitted in.
You can complete the FPCA online at FVAP.gov. The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state. It will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature.
Request Electronic Delivery
States are now required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office (President, U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives) and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. No matter which state you vote in, we encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). Be sure to include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. You can now also confirm your registration and ballot delivery online for most states.
For more information on primary elections, please visit FVAP.gov detailing dates, runoff elections, and seats up for election.
Federal Write-In Ballot (FWAB)
If you do not receive an absentee ballot in time to return it to your state, you can use the Federal Write-In Ballot (FWAB) as a backup ballot to vote for federal offices. If your official absentee ballot arrives after you send in the FWAB, then you can fill out and send in the official ballot as well. Your state will count only one.