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 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.
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 www.fvap.gov to register and request for an absentee ballot on-line by selecting the On-Line Federal Post Card Application (OFPCA). The FVAP website contains valuable information on all aspects of the absentee voting process, particularly the on-line version of the Voting Assistance Guide (VAG), which is an essential tool as voting regulations and procedures vary from state to state, including deadlines for submitting applications. The VAG also 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
Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) (PDF 321 KB). Even if you have voted by absentee ballot in the past, you must complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) (PDF 321 KB) to vote in the 2014 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 the FVAP webpage detailing dates, runoff elections, and seats up for election.