Voting

Updates:

We encourage you to mail your ballots in as soon as possible. Unfortunately, if you drop off your ballot at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulates after October 15th, we cannot guarantee that it will arrive to the United States in time to be counted. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to consider other options. 

First, check with your state to see if they accept ballots by fax or by email. Otherwise, if your state requires your ballot be sent by mail, you can use a courier service, such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL. 

If you haven’t received your ballot yet, you can go to FVAP.gov and you can use a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. But don’t wait! Time is running out, so act now to make sure your vote counts!  

Finally, if you need additional assistance with absentee voting, the Federal Voting Assistance Program is offering recurring virtual voting assistance via Zoom for the next two weeks to provide direct support to overseas citizens. You can find more information below.

Remember U.S. embassies and consulates are not polling places;  same-day in-person voting is not available outside the United States!

Did you know that many U.S. elections for House and Senate seats have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters?

Go to the Overseas Citizen Voter section of the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website for specific information about voting in your state of residence, including deadlines for registration, requesting and returning ballots.  Some states permit electronic or email submission of a ballot while others request the submission of a written ballot.

Steps to Register as a 2020 Overseas Voter:

  1. Request Your Ballot:
    Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). You must complete a new FPCA after January 1 to ensure you receive your ballot for that year’s elections. Completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, Senate, and House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted. The FPCAis accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.
    You can complete the FPCA online at www.FVAP.gov. The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state.  Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option.  Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website.  FVAP.gov will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature. If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options, or contact your Voting Assistance Officer.
  2. Receive and Complete Your Ballot:
    States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office, and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.
  3. Return Your Completed Ballot:
    Some states allow you to return your completed ballot by email or fax. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can use international mail, a courier service such as FedEx or DHL, or you may also drop off completed voting materials during regular business hours at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara or at the Consulates General in Istanbul and Adana. Place your materials in a postage paid return envelope (available under “Downloadable Election Materials” on the FVAP website) or in an envelope bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address it to the relevant local election officials. You may place your voting materials in designated ballot boxes outside the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. To drop off your ballots at the U.S. Consulate in Adana, please send an appointment request by email to CA-Adana@state.gov.
    IMPORTANT: Be advised that a disruption in transatlantic flights limits the Embassy/Consulate’s ability to ensure timely mail service for election materials. As a result, the recommended deadline to drop off your ballot for postage-paid mail was October 15.  If you still choose this option after that date, place your materials in a postage paid return envelope (available under “Downloadable Election Materials” on the FVAP website) or in an envelope bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address it to the relevant local election officials. You may place your voting materials in designated ballot boxes outside the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. To drop off your ballots at the U.S. Consulate in Adana, please send an appointment request by email to CA-Adana@state.gov.
  4. Email to fax service by FVAP!
    The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will provide an email-to-fax conversion service for voters who have difficulty sending election materials to states that do not accept emailed documents. Get more information online here.
    Never received a ballot? If you registered to vote and requested an absentee ballot prior to your state’s registration deadline, but have not yet received your ballot, complete and return a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot to ensure your vote reaches election officials by your state’s deadline. If your regular ballot arrives later, complete and return it as well. Your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot will only be counted if your regular ballot does not reach local election officials by your state’s deadline. Your vote will not be counted twice.

Need Assistance with Absentee Voting? Check out FVAP Virtual Voting Assistance!

The Federal Voting Assistance Program is offering recurring virtual voting assistance via Zoom for the next two weeks to provide direct support to overseas citizens. Voters can participate in any of the meetings and speak with an FVAP voting Ambassador who can answer questions about absentee voting, including inquiries about the FPCA and FWAB forms. Voters can also use the chat to write their questions for the FVAP representatives. None of these sessions will be recorded nor will they be uploaded to social media. These office hours are intended to support those voters who are not able to call us during FVAP’s regular business hours.

Every Wednesday at 6:00 AM EST (converted time = Istanbul 1:00 PM)
FVAP Representative: Sean
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89965798879?pwd=MHJnbDhWZzQrTDNKNFowL0dPTnFWUT09
Meeting ID: 746 356 6929
Pass code: 234960

Every Thursday at 7:00 AM EST (converted time =  Istanbul 2:00 PM)
FVAP  Representative: Kayla
Zoom Link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/9750035128?pwd=TFZnTHd2dkR6YVhxbWNlcVB2Vy9BUT09
Meeting ID: 975 003 5128
Pass code: 28Xx2X

Watch our videos about voting:

Read our prior updates and alerts about voting:

Register at FVAP.gov to send your vote home
Register at FVAP.gov to send your vote home

You can find more information below. Please monitor this website for updates regarding absentee voting.

Timeline of the absentee voting process:

Step What When
1 Register and request an absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) – January of each year
2 Receive your absentee ballot from your State election office – 45-30 calendar days before the election
3a & 3b Return your State absentee ballot to your State;
If you do not receive your State absentee ballot, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) –
As soon as you receive it
NOTE: If you are at sea or at other overseas locations without access to the military postal system you should send your voted ballots to your election office – 35 calendar days before the election
NOTE: If you are at an overseas military installation with access to the military postal system you should send your voted ballots to your election office – 30 calendar days before the election
NOTE: If you are a stateside Uniformed Service member or an eligible family member you should send your voted ballots to your election office – 11 calendar days before the election

Researching the Candidates and Issues: Online Resources

Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues.

Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain online. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, or search the Internet to locate articles and information.

For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov

The Embassy and Consulates in Turkey also have email addresses specifically for voting:
• VoteAnkara@state.gov
• VoteIstanbul@state.gov
• VoteAdana@state.gov

All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.

Remember, your vote counts!